Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Keswick Ridge (Daryl Hunter photo)

"...considering the evidence and arguments..."

We will soon be moving into a new phase of the York Rural Community Project and that phase is considering the evidence and arguments and deciding to vote. I will not try to convince you which way to vote here, but I do want to implore you to vote on October 23rd if the Minister determines that a plebiscite should be held. I have heard that only New Brunswick and parts of PEI still have Local Service Districts, that is, rural places where service delivery is handled by provincial government and there is no local representation. If this is true, then voting for municipal government is a right that only about .008 of Canadians do not have and we are included in that tiny minority. Perhaps you are OK with this, and that is fine. But this is an important vote and I hope that we have a huge turnout. That would send a message to the rest of the province that we care about the place we live; that we take an interest in how we are governed and that we are active citizens. I would hate to have any decision result from a plebiscite in which only 25% of eligible voters participated. If the vote was positive and a council was formed in a new YRC, they would have a weak mandate. If the proposal is voted down in a narrow vote with only 25% participating, we will always wonder if the result would be different if more people had taken the time to become informed and to express their preference at the ballot box. If you pay any attention to international news, you could easily get the impression that democracy is under siege in many places. Personally, I like living in a democracy, despite its flaws. I plan to exercise my right to vote and I hope you do too. On the few occasions when I have passed on my right to vote in the past, I have nearly always regretted it.

Tom Beckley
Keswick Ridge

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