The following letter was published today by Joe Ward. Joe is drawing attention to equalization fairness and the fact that it will be a hot topic in the next municipal election. We will make sure it is! With the constant increasing and over the moon property tax rates in the CBRM, how can it not be first and foremost on the minds of the voters? Here is Joe’s well-done letter: EQUALIZATION FAIRNESS ISSUE COULD IMPACT FALL ELECTION 6 Jun 2024 David Delaney’s commentary listed above advises us to bury the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) equalization fairness fight and he suggests a “better alternative” that requires a “relentless application of (hard work and logic) with all three levels of government.” Either way — equalization fairness or Delaney’s alternative — define their success as funnelling more federal dollars to municipalities like ours. Neither is easy. When targeting more federal dollars for CBRM’s needs and to lower taxes, it’s intuitive that the billions the feds send to Nova Scotia for that purpose is the primary target. The target and the strategy aren’t the same, but at least we know where the money is coming from. There’s more to “equalization fairness” than just former CBRM mayor John Morgan’s mythology. Both his legacy and equalization fairness supporters are significant factors in CBRM voter decisions. While Delaney is fittingly amused at how “local politicians run toward it, then away”, they cannot do so unscathed. It’s one of the key reasons why Amanda McDougall Merrill is our mayor right now, instead of Cecil Clarke in his third term. With Morgan out, Clarke managed to get elected for a first term as mayor in 2012. He narrowly slipped by for a second term in 2016 when the public thought challenger Rankin MacSween “blamed” the Thanksgiving Day storm on the CBRM. (FYI, he didn’t). Clarke finally met defeat when McDougall trounced him in 2020 despite his two-term incumbency. His opposition to equalization, contrasted with McDougall embracing it, were most certainly a component of the deficit of thousands of votes he succumbed to on election night. And it will once again factor this October. After becoming premier in 2021, Tim Houston sent the CBRM an extra $15 million with nary a “thank you”, then took it away after a willy-nilly property tax break that primarily wound up benefitting big box stores. We can’t restore that $15 million and then some without the impact of the influential equalization fairness voice. Joe Ward Sydney

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Raymond Mac Donald Follow Me
McDougall embraced equalization is news to me............ and where did that get us?
Charles Sampson Follow Me
Raymond, she did not embrace equalization.
Bill Fiander Follow Me
What is required to get these equalization dollars? And what is the likelihood of it happening?
Raymond Mac Donald Follow Me
There has never been any proof that there are bucks missing from here.Recently an RCMP investigation concluded that.It's all about politics and many of the people we have elected over the years don't know how to play it.It hurts me to say it but politicians gotta play politics at times and ranting and raving over being gyped out of funds in the media,sometimes very personal against fellow politicians at various levels and from different parties is not playing politics.In simple terms it's being stupid.Let's get out and elect some folks that are in it for our interests and not their own grandstanding.
Charles Sampson Follow Me
Raymond, the reason the RCMP did not pursue this matter is because they said their policing power does not include section 36 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
Charles Sampson Follow Me
Raymond, the issue is whether governments are complying with the supreme law pursuant to section 36 of the Constitution Act, 1982. When governments refuse to be accountable and transparent about their spending of public money, there is no proof either that money is not missing from where it legally belongs. When the government’s own figures show that there is a whopping gap between the amount provided by the federal government’s equalization formula for a municipal deficiency in tax capacity related to property taxes and miscellaneous revenues and the tiny amount forwarded by the provincial government to municipalities, the missing money argument is a legally valid argument to make. This money is missing from where the constitutionally related category in the formula generated over $650 million while the provincial government provided $30 million. This gigantic amount of money difference needs government TO PROVE IT IS DOING NO WRONGDOING WITH TAXPAYERS’ MONEY .
Charles Sampson Follow Me
Bill, when government is unaccountable over the public money it spends and when the justice system is rendering a political decision instead of a legal one, I guess this legality of our property taxes is then left to the electorate.
Charles Sampson Follow Me
Raymond, your comments reflect an obvious message of no concern about the government’s refusal to explain their own information that does not simply add up legally. The math is elementary grade school level but you, like a government employee or politician, avoid any kind of remark concerning these discrepancies. Why? Raymond, if you and the government are being above board about your role here, what are you and the government afraid of when asked to explain their own numbers presented that do not correlate with the federal government’s numbers? Why are you ignoring the evidence of possible government mismanagement of public money and possible non-compliance with its obligations to the people enshrined in OUR CONSTITUTION?

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