Thursday, March 29, 2007

Nobody needs an outdoor ice rink

Osprey Media. - Northumberland Today
It is not surprising to many voters to see politicians come around handing out money just before an election. And, despite how cynical one can get, there is a long tradition used by governing parties to buy votes with taxpayers own money.

Still, when Premier Dalton McGuinty arrived earlier this week to announce provincial funding for a $1.35 million oval pond with fountains that converts to an ice rink in winter in the Rotary Waterfront Park, it was over the top.

With all the things in town that really need money, this is a slap in the face.  There is a doctor's shortage. Cobourg needs affordable housing.  And, the list goes on.

One explanation could be simple. The government allocates funds to different departments: hospitals come from health care; affordable housing comes from the housing budget, etc. So maybe the money came from the recreation pot. Still, it would seem far better to build a small arena for the kids to play hockey rather than an outdoor pleasure rink.

Also, who is going to pay all the operating costs? There will be a need to maintain the fountains, clean the pools, supervise and repair the ice in the winter. These are luxuries when we consider we can barely pay for police officers.

Sure, a fountain is a nice thing. And, so is the ice rink. But let the service clubs do it, just like the gazebo in Victoria Park.

McGuinty joked during the press conference: "Who can say 'no' to Lou (Who?) Rinaldi?"

I would suggest Cobourg taxpayers.