foodforest

- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

Now that the candidates have provided their broad strokes, the residents' questions have driven deeper into local concerns.

3. Given that Owen Sound is known for high property taxes, how important is it to hold the line?
Can we address social and health issues and other pressing problems despite the fiscal
challenges?

Some candidates have focused on the first of the two questions and given answers about whether taxes should be arbitrarily controlled or how rises might be mitigated. 

In the second question, most candidates took a very narrow approach, pointing out that social services, public health and health care were responsibilities of higher tier governments. One candidate recognized that emergency services - fire and police - are part of the community's health and safety while representing a large portion of tax expenditures.

While one candidate did mention water, noone addressed the current state of the harbour from which we draw our drinking water, brought to our attention by the SON report this year and the Dillon Engineering report that has disappeared from our City of Owen Sound website. (We can provide the 5400 page download on request - [email protected])

Also barely mentioned are the social determinants of health as highlighted by everyone from the World Health Organization to our local Health Unit. There are many ways in which the City can impact social inclusion, safe and healthy housing, transportation, food security and accessibility with creative policies and partnerships - not necessarily tax dollars.

 

Answers to question three are here.

Answers to question two are here.

Answers to question one are here.