NORFOLK COUNTY, ON, March 23 /CNW/ - Norfolk County Mayor Dennis Travale
has reviewed the federal and provincial budgets, consulted with senior staff
and key advisors, and provides the following comments.
Federal Budget Review
- Pleased to see the investments made in broad infrastructure renewal
by transferring money to the provinces.
- Disappointment that there was no increase in taxation on tobacco
products. This would have been a clear signal that the Federal
government was concerned about the plight of the tobacco growing
community and were willing to start the process of negotiating an
- Disheartened that the government did not provide support for an Agri-
Food Innovation Centre in Norfolk to assist tobacco (and other)
farmers in their necessary transition to other viable crops.
Provincial Budget Review
- Pleased to see the extra money allocated to infrastructure. We
eagerly await a positive response to our earlier application under
the Rural Infrastructure Investment Initiative. I would be
disheartened however, if we are forced into a process of applying for
funds that is similar to the COMRIF program where we are entered into
a bidding war against every other municipality in Ontario.
- Pleased to see a 2% increase in payments to citizens with
disabilities: however, without consultation, the Province has
unilaterally increased our payments to this program. ODSP is managed
and delivered by the province, but the municipality is forced to pay
for the program. The provincial managers of this program in Norfolk
overspend their budget of $3.2 million by $500,000 last year. That is
money out of our pockets and added an additional 1% to the levy
without any say or approval by our local Council.
- Disappointed that there was no tax increase on tobacco products. Such
a tax would have sent a clear signal that the Provincial government
was willing to negotiate a tobacco exit strategy. To add insult to
injury, the Province did not communicate with us any desire to
consider our request for an Agri-Food Innovation Centre to assist
tobacco (and other) farmers in a transition to other viable crops.
- Extremely disappointed that some Ontario ridings have received
funding for "soft" items like libraries, while critical
infrastructure essentials like sewage capacity in Norfolk are
- Disappointed about the lack of action on correcting the shortfall in
the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF), which is meant to
assist rural municipalities with their social program costs, policing
costs and other equalization measures.
What Norfolk needs...
"I am asking both of our elected representatives to step up and be more
supportive, in the strongest possible manner, of our critical needs in
Norfolk," said Mayor Travale. "Our economy is being devastated in all possible
ways and we see no semblance of support for our situation."
"I am asking both of our elected representatives to move an amendment to
the budgets, seeking a 2% increase in taxes on tobacco products so
negotiations on an exit strategy can commence," he added.
"I am asking both of our elected representatives to meet with me and
Council, and tell us how they intend to assist us with our severe
infrastructure and economic challenges," Mayor Travale concluded.
Details of the federal government's budget are available on the web at
Details of the provincial government's budget are available at
For further information:
For further information: Dennis Travale, Mayor, Norfolk County, Phone:
(519) 426-5870, ext. 1220, www.norfolktourism.ca