After my candidacy was declared last fall, I watched a significant number of council meetings on Shaw (I know, get a life).
One of the decisions they made that I disagreed with was over councillors’ benefits. It was not so much that they did away with them, but why they did it that bothered me most.
As I viewed the proceedings on TV, it was pure and simply a fairness issue. While some members of council received the paid benefits package because they needed it, others did not and therefore felt denied equal compensation.
To suggest it was anything else that motivated their action (councillors’ salaries across the region or saving taxpayers’ money) was merely an afterthought and window dressing.
I felt that what a slim majority of council did to a minority (yeah, I lean a little to the left) was wrong then—and I still believe that to be true because of the premise on which the action was predicated.
I will take the town’s benefits package whether pre-paid or I continue to pay one-third of my salary to receive it. But at the end of my term of office (probably in two-and-a-half years), I would like to see paid benefits to councillors re-instated for the incoming council (if at that time it is not a reality), because I believe that the injustice of that action needs to be made right and irrespective of other communities in Ontario, it was a longstanding tradition in Fort Frances.
Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft
Fort Frances, Ont.