Water doesn’t need purifying

A writer is worried about the financial consequences of the proposed water treatment plant.

Dear Editor,

The Village of Ashcroft Council can say No to the order to have our water system upgraded.

Speaking to Councillor Lambert recently, she thinks “the government” has ordered us to take on this enormous debt for the next 30 years.

Once again, I emphasize how poor this Village is. Here we are, worried about a graveyard to augment the older one downtown, because of the labour and expense, when we have been maintaining the spot on the Mesa for years. Here we are, with a village downtown core with businesses closing left, right, and centre. The oft-repeated statement that “you can fire a cannon down Railway and not hit anybody” is a truism.

Many complained about the purchase of the new fire truck for half a million dollars. Now we are looking at purifying water that doesn’t need it, to the tune of a debt of several million. How much debt can the Village of Ashcroft take on, without taking us into bankruptcy? Believe me, we’ve been there before. If it wasn’t for Gordon Berdan’s expertise and former Mayor Mervin Pears, we tottered on the brink of it.

It’s since the Walkerton water tragedy that upgrading water systems is necessary. Walkerton’s problem was caused by human error, not because of the system. The system was working fine. It was the person operating it who.

When I was on Council, a referendum was required for any kind of expenditure not half as large as this one. I recall my Pioneer newspaper featured a special issue to convince residents to vote for a substantial water upgrade that would ensure fire protection of the Mesa. A referendum was needed for that, and I was hired to make the need imperative. The referendum was held and the people voted to make the necessary changes and to undertake the expense.

This “alternative” to a referendum doesn’t seem like democracy to me. Firstly, because a referendum is a secret vote. Your identity isn’t known. Secondly, the issue of security is an insurance that all voting procedures guarantee.

This old woman will continue to speak out on issues that matter.

Esther Darlington



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