Government Doesn’t Answer Questions Anymore

The following letter to the editor was published in the Cape Breton Post on Saturday past (Sat April 22, 2023). Amanda ignores that our funding problem is answered in the federal equalization transfer. She has not been the only mayor to ignore this fact. Party politics remains alive and harmful to the CBRM and all rural Nova Scotia. When is this going to change?

We have included a link below of a podcast Russ and Father Maroun did with Amanda before she was elected. What are your thoughts?

Here is the letter:

Government doesn’t answer questions anymore. From a municipal level to the Prime Minister, we are just ignored when we ask a question that the politician does not want to answer. We watch it in Parliament, the Legislatures and of course at a municipal level right across this country.

Politicians have decided it is ok to ignore questions that they are not comfortable answering or have been told by the higher ups to just ignore that topic or any subject that makes the politician look unfavorable, in the public’s eye.
Our mayor published an Op-Ed in the Cape Breton Post (Sat. April 15, 2023) where she finally identified our biggest problem in the CBRM and that is a lack of funding at the hands of our provincial government. The mayor now knows how we feel when we write her email after email that are never answered and when these important emails are ignored, I then go into the editorial section of the Cape Breton Post and address the issue publicly. The mayor then calls this mudslinging.

Politicians today seem more interested in playing party politics than representing the community that they were elected to serve. I strongly believe this is due to corruption within the political party system and I have seen far too much evidence of this while trying to seek fairness for our community.

Equalization payments are generated because of the poor fiscal capacity of the rural communities in Nova Scotia, such as the CBRM. Keeping us poor fiscally has been generating billions for the provincial government in Nova Scotia for many decades now all while our elected officials turn the other cheek. Derek Mombourquette is a prime example of this because as Min. of Municipal Affairs, he was able to change how we are funded but he did not and instead, he like many before him and many after him, tell us that the funding agreement with the province is currently under review. I have heard that a few times in the past decade, but nothing ever changes so who exactly do these politicians represent?

I am happy to see the mayor finally admit that equalization is growing each year, but the CBRM still receive the same pittance from our, so called government. Her request for a meeting with provincial officials will most likely be ignored. The mayor should take a lesson from the NSEF playbook and hold a public meeting at C-200 and invite Cape Breton MLAs, MPs, and the council to discuss the situation. Let the public see who shows up and who does not and let us, the public, judge based on their actions, answers, and attendance if they are worthy of being re-elected.

Our mayor needs to put the power in the hands of the voters with regards to our severe under-funding and yes, this letter was written because she has ignored our email (from NSEF) on this subject.

Rev. Dr. Albert Maroun &

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Raymond Mac Donald Follow Me
The Mayor obviously is not concerned about our finances.There is a picture of a delegation of 5 in today's CAPE BRETON SPECTATOR including our Mayor and Deputy Mayor currently in Copenhagen chasing another Barbusci fairy tail right in the middle of nasty public negotiations with Minister Lohr,whining that we are broke.DISGUSTING.They should be ashamed of themselves.
Charles Sampson Follow Me
Fact: The 2005 Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities report, “A QUESTION OF BALANCE” stated on p.71, “CORE EXPENDITURES: The main problem with the standard expenditure estimate utilized in the formula as currently implemented is that it accounts for only 40%of the expenditures normally undertaken by Nova Scotia Municipalities. Consequently, it should not be surprising that the equalization system utilized in Nova Scotia, which equalizes up to a standard that consists of 40%of normal municipal expenditures, does not enable Nova Scotia’s municipalities to provide REASONABLY COMPARABLE LOCAL EXPENDITURES AT REASONABLY COMPARABLE TAX RATES.” This is the funding model still being used today. 5-towns have already dissolved. Many other municipal governments are financially struggling, including the CBRM. Why are the mayor and councillors afraid to state the obvious? Their compensation is not too low but the very high taxation rates here in the CBRM makes their incomes possible. Why do we even need a municipal government’s cost when we could have a lower tax rate by turning over our governing back to the provincial government? What is the benefit of having this toothless municipal government in the CBRM? The MLAs and MPs are also enemies within too who are very well- compensated to guarantee their silence. So, where is the evidence of any democratic representation for the people at the municipal level of government in the CBRM and in rural Nova Scotia?
Raymond Mac Donald Follow Me
Charles,I'm just an average grunt who sticks to the basics.Having said that, when us regular folks are threatened with the end of heavy garbage collection because we are broke and we see pics of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and 3 others in a selfie,grinning away from Copenhagen,in the CAPE BRETON SPECTATOR and twitter,listening to the complaints at Tims and Walmart this morning you know it's time to vote these locals out.The BIG QUESTIONS :How's this gonna look when you are on your knees to Houston and why didn't our Councillors talk some sense to them and insist they stay home under the circumstances?
Raymond Mac Donald Follow Me
Just 2 hours ago CBC posted{it's on here} that Minister Lohr just turned CBRM down for more money at least for the time being.Wonder who is going to pay for CBRM's 5 reps way home from Copenhagen????
Charles Sampson Follow Me
Ray, the actual equalization calculation is provided by the government. The public is informed that there are 5-categories dealing with fiscal capacity to raise revenues. The one for now that the NSEF seeks transparency about is the one that generates about 22% of the total transfer $2.803 billion to this province. This means over $600 million is generated because of the municipal deficiency in the fiscal capacity related to property taxes and miscellaneous expenses. When the provincial government’s equalization program is only $30, where is the rest being spent? Nothing complicated? The government refuses to be transparent. These are not the figures of the NSEF.
Raymond Mac Donald Follow Me
The issue today Charles for regular folks at the coffee shops and walmart is being threatened with the loss of heavy garbage collection cuz we are broke and yet there is a selfie in the media and social network of 5 CBRM officials smiling on the streets of Copenhagen. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???????????
Charles Sampson Follow Me
Ray, the Fr. Maroun group has not done anything but try to have the government explain its own equalization program, which it refuses to do. MIKE KELLOWAY one of our MPs, so far has refused to be interviewed in a discussion about the equalization program and to be recorded, live streamed,etc. Somehow he claims he can be misquoted. He has to be on camera in the House of Commons. Perhaps he has not been heard yet in the HOUSE of Commons? Maybe he thinks the camera will force his tongue to say something that he doesn’t want to say.
Charles Sampson Follow Me
Ray, there must be some forbidden rule or taboo for politicians to discuss the equalization program the public does not know about. When only former mayor John Morgan and MLA Tammy Martin and now MLA Kendra Coombes have broken this rule, taboo or whatever has frightened plenty more politicians to never let the equalization words flow from their tongue. On rare occasion, member of the so-alleged opposition gang in the provincial legislature have used this manipulated federal program to try and pressure the governing gang to open up their members to discuss this manipulation of the equalization distribution within this province. That about it. One very senior bureaucrat in the Municipal Affairs dept. had told a former municipal official that the members of the NSEF are dangerous people. In that case, a 92-year old priest has been the face of this "dangerous group" but I do not recall any damage or people physically harmed by this group of nonviolent volunteer citizens. Amazing how these well-paid elected politicians are so afraid to meet these nonviolent citizens just to explain the government's own federal program and to show how government is abiding by its own law it enshrined in the Constitution.

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