For Brian Caddell, water rates and other water-related issues are among the top priorities for North Glengarry council over the next four years.
Those who have been following the Maxville Water Project know that Mr. Caddell, the Lochiel Ward Councillor who is running for the Deputy-Mayor’s chair, has never been completely comfortable with it. He’s concerned that when the project is complete, the township’s water users will face increases to cover the debt accumulated through the project.
“The amount of that debt is undetermined because we don’t know if the new Ontario Government will follow through with the Liberal promise of $4,500,000 added funding,” he said. “Also, the final tally for additional work and change orders by contractors has yet to be determined. No doubt water ratepayers will be upset and many landlords will have to raise their rents. We need to keep the debt associated with this project to a minimum, not add to it.” But Mr. Caddell insists that the township’s water woes aren’t just relegated to Maxville. He’s concerned that the water levels in the Loch Garry watershed “could be an indication of future problems” and that “significant changes to consumption and conditions in the watershed” could prompt some changes.
He points out that the sewage treatment lagoons in Alexandria are near capacity and that the price of upgrading them is $12 million.
“We need a government grant to fix the problem,” he says. “Without that, we face stagnation or debt, which would add additional costs to users. This issue will come to a head in the next few years. It can only be resolved by persistently pressing upper levels of government for help.“
Water isn’t the only thing that concerns Mr. Caddell. He also wants to address economic development and the township’s aging infrastructure.
Of the former, he says North Glengarry will decline if it doesn’t grow. Although he points out some of the township’s past initiatives – like developing a Community Improvement Plan – he says more needs to be done.
“There is considerable vacant space in North Glengarry to provide accommodation for a variety of business,” he says. “We need to attract that business to North Glengarry by chasing after it and providing a welcoming environment.”
Regarding the aging infrastructure, he says: “People are always concerned about the condition of their roads and bridges and we always have issues with the unseen infrastructure of underground pipes and culverts. Our tax base and annual government grants for infrastructure can never keep up with the need. Therefore, people will always have issues with the condition of their infrastructure and council will always be striving to find more room in the budget to deal with the worst problems.
Mr. Caddell also sounded off on education (he says declining enrolment will continue to prompt the government to consider closing small rural schools and that Glengarry will have to fight again to save its schools) and seniors (he spoke about the importance of saving Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital’s stroke rehabilitation program and encouraging a senior care facility in Alexandria.)
Mr. Caddell, a former music teacher at Glengarry District High School who played a pivotal role in developing weekly fundraising concerts at the Grotto in Alexandria, also spoke about the importance of the arts. Here, he’s not afraid to dream big.
“It may be a dream but a permanent indoor performance space, with dressing rooms, stage, sound and lighting would allow North Glengarry to provide a proper space for art display, theatre, musical and dance performances,” he says. “The availability of this type of activity is widely recognized as a major drawing card for any community.”
At the counties level, Mr. Caddell says the concerns there are similar to what’s happening locally. He will push for greater economic development and wireless reception.
Honesty and integrity
“I want the public to know exactly what council is doing and why,” says Mr. Caddell. “My education and experience related to planning, environment, infrastructure and social issues gives me a unique depth of understanding where these issues are concerned.” water from Alexandria. Who will pay for this waste?”
Mr. Proulx also wonders if it’s legal to redirect funds that were saved on the water project.
“If it is legal, then why would council not use those funds to help Maxville property owners with the cost of the water hookup?” he asked.
As Deputy-Mayor, Mr. Proulx would urge council to get more aggressive with property owners who don’t pay their taxes. He says that North Glengarry has about $2 million to collect in unpaid taxes and wonders how it can create a balanced budget when it’s that far in the hole.
Rather than raise taxes, he says council should use the provincial tax collecting guidelines that state if you don’t pay your taxes for three years then the municipality has to right to sell the property.
At the counties council level, Mr. Proulx says the biggest priority should be implementing the United Counties official plan, which was approved in February and consolidated in July.
“Implementation of this plan I believe is the key issue at the upper level for any member having a seat on the SD&G Council,” he says.
Now that Maxville has an upgraded water system, Mr. Proulx believes the community needs a Via Rail commuter train stop. He’s not asking for a station, just a place where a train could stop a few times per day like in Casselman.
He would also promote North Glengarry as a place to live to the 600 new employees of the Amazon Depot located in Ottawa’s east end.
Regarding community development, he says that North Glengarry is losing too many businesses.
“We need someone with new ideas and a willingness to listen to any ideas that would attract new blood and business to our community,” he says. “As Deputy Mayor I would push for more economic development in the Township and more support for small business enterprises.”
He says that the agricultural community is the backbone of our Township and comprise 10 per cent of our work force.
“We must do whatever is possible to support them in their efforts to generate a profitable life. We must support buying local.”
He also believe that council meetings should be broadcast live on the internet.
Finally, he believes the township should be promoted as a preferred destination for international students.
“With our bilingual schools system hosting international students, we would be increasing our student population, generating revenue for the school boards and contributing financially to our local economy,” he says.
Mr. Proulx is bilingual and a strong advocate of safe guarding our local schools from any closures be they part of the English or French Board. He financially supported the SOS movement.
He is a businessman at heart who believes North Glengarry should be administered like a business.
“As Deputy-Mayor, I intend to closely scrutinizing any budget issues that have been rubber stamped as to not offend anyone. If we can’t afford it then sorry try again next year.” recreation, fire services, and public works committees.
She worked to procure funding for the Maxville water project and, as Chair of the Arts, Culture & Heritage Advisory Committee, “I was instrumental in developing the Community Grant program.”
She also worked with the Francophone community to have the Franco-Ontarian flag erected on Fireman's Island and oversaw the development of the Mill Square and Grotto historical plaques, and the Heritage Routes Driving Tour of North Glengarry.
“Earlier this year, as Chair, I received the Lieutenant Governor's Award for our efforts to preserve North Glengarry's heritage,” she says. “In short, I have amply demonstrated my commitment to North Glengarry and will continue to do so as Deputy-Mayor of this township.”