I am more than a bit concerned that Fort Frances did not see a need or several needs to attend the ROMA conference that took place in Toronto last week.
If there was ever an opportunity to attend this particular conference, this year was not the time to be absent.
ROMA eliminates the large urban centres and gives municipalities and towns the floor to impress upon the provincial government the need for their participation and input into the affairs of the rural landscape in our province.
The Conservative government in Ontario has placed us in deeper peril than the previous government had us. We are faced with a large increase in policing costs, which alone can mean a increase in taxes of around four percent.
There is talk that we could be faced with a huge reduction in our OMPF allotment, as much as 50 percent.
We also have been denied any further railway tax dollars as the new finance department is not going to move forward with a consideration for excess tonnage like that experienced in Rainy River District.
And what a golden opportunity there was to petition the minister of natural resources and forestry to give the new interest in the mill a favourable wood basket in order to make a restart most viable.
This conference is the gathering of the common voice of Ontario's rural and small municipalities to band together and present a united voice. Rainy River District, through NOMA, could have used our support when they got their 45 minutes to plead their case.
I wonder if we were even mentioned. I also wonder if anything was said anywhere about the amount of taxes that the railway companies are exempted in Ontario.
We have the most to lose by not being there. We need to be represented. Two-thirds of our finances could come from the province and the feds but we have to be in their face and at least ask.
On a closing note, we got exactly what we asked for this year. Exactly nothing.
Fort Frances, Ont.