It's been a crazy start to the provincial election campaign. Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield echoed the thoughts of many, when he took the premier to task for spending promises.

"We have still got a massive, massive infrastructure deficit. So, how can you afford all these new programs, when we can't even fund the stuff that we need today," he asked.

Municipalities have proposed a one per cent increase in the Harmonized Sales Tax, in order to reduce the deficit. But none of the parties have agreed to it.

Nevertheless, Premier Kathleen Wynne stuck to her guns last week, as she defended her decision. In response to the mayor's question, Wynne said she doesn't want to increase the HST by a percentage point, in order to pay for roads and sewers, because it would have an impact on other programs.

"That takes a billion or so dollars out of the provincial treasury -- which means health care, which means education -- and those things that we have to provide province-wide," she said in response.

Steep increases in water bills also have ratepayers upset. Still, the minister responsible for Municipal Affairs, Bill Mauro, isn't backing down. He says councils can now get projects done, without going to taxpayers for money.

The minister said 50 per cent of the cost can now come from the federal government, 25 per cent can come out of the province's $270 million fund, and the remaining 25 per cent can come from Ontario's community infrastructure fund.

The increases in water bills -- 10 per cent for five years in Kenora -- were forced upon council's by Queen's Park. The province decided reserves for maintenance were insufficient, due to tax holidays taken by many councils over the years.

Persistence being a virtue, Canfield offered his assistance with helping the province fund local projects.

"Well, as of Dec. 1st, I won't be running again, so I might be able to help you with that. I'm out for hire," he said with a bit of a grin.

A provincial election is set for June 7. Municipal elections are in late October.

For more information:

Canfield considering retirement

AMO - Local share snapshot

More Local News

Pothole season is here

Spring is in the air, and with the shift from winter snow plowing to snow melting, conditions are perfect for potholes to form. Moisture seeps into the pavement and sub-base, freezes, expands and…

Main st in Kenora open

Main Street in Kenora has opened to vehicles and pedestrians. The CIBC building, demolition site, and Bargin shop remain blocked off by police, as they continue to investigate the cause of Sunday's…

City approves 2019 budget

Kenora city concil officially passed their budget for 2019. “This budget was a particularly difficult one for council," said Mayor Dan Reynard. From the city's perspective, the 3.55 per cent increase…

Suspect apprehended

Police have apprehended a man, following a hold and secure at Kenora schools this afternoon. At around 2:10 p.m. members of the Kenora OPP detachment responded to an incident in the north side of the…

Hold and secure in Kenora

A hold and secure was been put in place for students in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, as well as the Kenora Catholic District School Board. Senior staff from both school boards are…

CIBC branch manager provides update for customers

CIBC Branch manager Jackie Hailstone said Sunday's fire on Main St didn't impact the inside of the building too badly. "The inside is actually not too bad. We have more concerns around the outside of…

Main street clean up joint effort

No word yet on when Main St in Kenora will reopen to vehicular traffic. The clean up of the street is a joint effort between the Kenora Fire & Emergency Services Department, Kenora OPP and City of…

Kenora mayor proud of how the community stepped up

Kenora Mayor Dan Reynard said it's always difficult when tragic events happen in the community, such as Sunday's fatal fire in downtown Kenora. "Such a tragedy anytime we see, or feel, a loss of life…

Kiiwetinoong member lobbies for at-risk youth

Kiiwetinoong member Sol Mamakwa is lobbying for more help in the Far North, when it comes to children in care. At Queen's Park, he again questioned the government's cancellation of the child…

Tragedy and Heroes

Kenora fire chief Todd Skene is still working with investigators and business owners, after yesterday's fire on Main Street. "On behalf of the city, our thoughts are with the person, who passed away,…

KenoraOnline.com is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Login