Water debt is too costly

A reader writes to ask how small communities can be forced to take on huge debt

Dear Editor.

In a perfect world there would be no need for protest. However, we do not live in a perfect world. Why? Because we are not perfect, either individually or collectively.

As the renowned philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer wrote, “Man can do what he wants, but he can’t will what he wants.” The eminent physicist Stephen Hawking only recently was recorded echoing this thought when reflecting on the “Divine Order” of life.

To get more back down to earth, or I should say water, and the multi-million dollar debt the new councillors seem to have convinced themselves is imperative for the preservation of human health, we once again find ourselves in the position of protest. Who is protesting, one may ask? Who would question the reasoning and the assumed authority of those in public office?

The answer is, an ever increasing number of taxpayers and longtime residents, some of whom have served in responsible positions in the governance of this village for years. Yes, they can and have read both sides of the forms of protest. They are very much aware of the implications, both present and future, of assuming this multi-million dollar debt.

The question is, do the bureaucracies advising municipalities across the country to assume these debts realize the implications of long-term debt for municipalities, many of whom have limited tax bases and are so poor they cannot attract a gas pump, to put it bluntly? It seems they do not. So the question is, who has convinced health advisory boards and provincial governments that, in order to prevent water-borne disease, the measures proposed must be implemented?

“Follow the money trail” is the old adage. One doesn’t have to be an astrophysicist or a Stephen Hawking to deduce there is a reason for this burst of debt assumption.

It has been suggested by intelligent persons in this village that if there is so much concern about our health, why not supply every household with water filters? But that is a simple solution, isn’t it?

If we are fated, however, to follow the money trail to its end, and we assume the monumental debt that will increase our taxes every year for the next generation to assume, so be it.

Ashcroft taxpayers already pay taxes as high as, if not higher than, larger municipalities. Sure, $145* doesn’t seem much to add on to the tax for homeowners every year. But the cost of the interest on the borrowed debt alone is too substantial for contemplation, it seems.

Esther Darlington

Ashcroft

*It has been calculated that the average Ashcroft property owner will pay an additional $70 per year in frontage rates to pay for the loan principal and interest, not $145.