Sir: Canada has a $1.6 trillion debt, with Ontario alone having a $350 billion debt. You and I pay about $13.5 billion each year just on the interest for Ontario and about $64 billion each year for Canada (based on 3.9 per cent interest payments).
Money laundering in Canada cost taxpayers $5 to 15 billion each year.
Our 46-page presentation to Ontario’s finance committee in 2016 demonstrated our province could save $5 billion to $15 billion a year by overseeing responsible managerial and investment practices by Ontario’s 444 municipalities or jurisdictions and implement responsible, accountable and effective management. The province is quick to act on the money laundering, but for whatever reason continues to allow municipal corporations to do their own thing.
However, the Ford government did implement a review of 82 municipalities for the best use of tax dollars. So, our 2016 presentation may not have been in vain.
Economic growth is simple to achieve through proper municipal management. It only requires putting more disposable income back into the hands of the majority.
Each year our municipality is required by statute to provide accounting budgets to council and the taxpayer. Each year, however, taxpayers get the same gross budget overview absent of any responsible breakdowns of specifics to how and where tax dollars are spent disallowing residents and even council to view the millions of dollars annually swished back and forth under the radar.
When divisional totals are only provided, residents have no opportunity to critique the budget in order to offer constructive input.
Chatham-Kent either does not know how to be accountable or doesn’t want to be.
As an example, we requested an FOI (Freedom of Information) to the police chief’s tax funded PhD/EdD asking for total costs, direct and associated. The response received described only $3,841.74 for the entire PhD/EdD tax funded education and that the chief is paying for all associated costs.
The response was challenged, found to be flawed and misrepresented the facts. It was later learned the PhD/EdD would cost nine times the amount provided through the FOI and that the police chief’s contract SECT: A.2.10 allows him to have all his associated costs paid (books, parking, all fees and registrations, tuition, learning aids etc.). Additionally, his contract allows full reimbursement of the course plus associated costs plus allows the chief the required time off work with pay.
Unless our budgets are articulated each year with proper breakdowns under clear and unfettered costings, these types of expenses pass easily under taxpayer radar. As does the chief’s $78,000 personal taxpayer funded vehicle. These and a laundry list of other hidden expenses continue to hide in the bushes with Chatham-Kent’s current accounting format.
Our biggest beef is taxpayers not knowing financial details to costs of each of Chatham-Kent’s six departments and 21 or so divisions.