The view from a cottage owner’s permanent home in Hamilton
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an open letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and has been reprinted here at the author’s request.
I am a homeowner and I own a cottage. I also pay taxes. My taxes pay for ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) and healthcare and a host of other benefits. Just because I pay for ODSP does not mean that I can go in and demand money. There is a procedure and criteria to be followed. If I don’t qualify by the government’s rules, then I don’t get any money. Likewise, healthcare. There are procedures and criteria. I cannot walk in anytime and demand anything I want.
I am living in a large country which is one of the best, safest, happiest, healthiest communities in the world. This community gives me unimaginable opportunities and benefits. It imposes very few restrictions. There are a few responsibilities with which I am happy to comply; they are a very small price to pay. If it is deemed unsafe for others for me to access my cottage for a couple of months then I have a responsibility to my neighbors and friends to stay home. Cottage ownership does not come with the right to trample on others.
In my small cottage community on Manitoulin the permanent residents have worked hard and contributed voluntarily to their tiny healthcare facility. It is they who did the petitioning necessary to get this facility and they who have, year after year, done the fundraising and put in the money so that all of us can have that tiny hospital. I do not have any right whatsoever to jeopardize their access to it.
If I were not happy about the taxes or responsibilities I would have to put up my periscope and take a look around. Truthfully, however, the people we are paying to get all of us through this together have been working overtime and continue to do a very competent job. I send my thanks to all of you from my permanent residence.
Ms. Lee Alexander
Hamilton and Silver Water