The Mayor of the Township of South Stormont recently indicated the township’s interest in having a 600-acre parcel of land re-designated for future economic development. The land lies next to Moulinette Road, between the CN Rail line and Hwy 401. As Cornwall’s industrial park reaches capacity in the future, an alternative site at Long Sault may enhance future economic development in this area. However, elected officials from the township need approval from unelected officials Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs to re-designate the land.
Elected officials from the township quite literally have to play the role of Oliver Twist in their dealings with the municipal officials who play the role of the dining room supervisor. The township mayor practically has to appeal, “Please Sir, May I have some more” (that is, land already in the township that may be designated for future economic development). And the non-elected officials are free to reply, “You want some more . . . . how dare you ask for some more!” This is the level to which the Ontario government has degraded and disempowered elected municipal officials as the province seeks to micro-manage a regime of soviet socialist central planning.
Ontario officials who administer that regime neither reside in this region nor do they possess any understanding as to the economic issues facing this region. Their regime of soviet socialist central planning totally disregards that the eastern-most area of Ontario lies on the borders of the Province of Quebec and northern New York State, both with competitive economic regimes. Restrictions imposed on Ontario municipalities quite literally hands both Quebec and Northern New York a competitive advantage over the United Counties of SD&G. . . and does so on a sliver platter. It is as if some Ontario officials view this region from the perspective of an ostrich with its head poked into the sand.
Several years ago, Cornwall competed with Coteau QUE for a distribution centre . . . and lost to Coteau as a direct result of rules and regulations imposed by departments of the Ontario Government. Massena NY and Ogdensburg NY are hungry for new economic development, as is Plattsburgh NY. Montreal’s west island industrial areas are reaching capacity and future economic development would move to the Vaudreuil-Soulanges regions located right next door to the eastern boundary of SD&G. Except that Ontario officials totally disregard that this region of Ontario faces a level of competition for new economic development that is absent from other regions of Ontario.
So officials from SD&G will have to go to Toronto and play Oliver Twist, “Please Sir, May I have some more” . . . . and may likely encounter the same response as did Oliver Twist, except from Ontario Government Officials. Given that the present government disregards the situation in Eastern Ontario, perhaps the question begs to be asked as to whether Tim Hudak would actually have the political courage to dismantle the micro-management of soviet socialist system of central planning that exists in Ontario. Or would the adage, ‘Do for thine political crony as thine crony will do for thee’, take priority.