Thanks to community-focused leaders! We need more of them.
Ramara Township has now, thankfully, backed down from its MZO request for a mega-development on the shores of Lake Couchiching. It seems this issue upset many local residents both in Orillia and Ramara Township.
There were two key political leaders who stood up against the grain to ensure that the public voice was heard and that development wasn’t just rammed through.
Thanks to Councillor David Snutch, who was the lone Ramara Township councillor who voted against this MZO request from the beginning. From the outset, he had the net benefit of Ramara Township in mind and asked the questions that needed to be asked.
In Orillia, Councillor Jay Fallis took it upon himself to have Orillia Council engage in assessing this project that would have had impacts on Orillia’s economy, its water supply and Lake Couchiching in general.
Despite many other councillors naysaying his concerns and wanting to defer making a comment on this proposal, he stood fast and did the right thing.
My question is, where are all the other local politicians who were essentially mute when the votes counted? We have two local governments who espouse transparency, accountability and community mindedness, but then at a time when those characteristics really mattered there was silence.
In 2022, there will be a chance to elect new members to local councils. I hope that we look harder for councillors who will stand up when it's difficult, speak out when they are the lone voice, and above all else put our communities first.
May we find more community-focused leaders and vote them in, because we need more of them.
Mike Douglas, for the Concerned Citizens of Ramara