Taxpayers and watchdogs often focus their attention on the top of the government salary spectrum. Government executives are increasingly overpaid, especially at the municipal and regional district level. But it's not just the top end that is out of control. Taxpayers are overpaying for labour throughout the system.
Early Monday morning I received a phone call from an urban hen owner and contributing member of CLUCK Canada (Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub). She had just been served by Calgary bylaw for possession of livestock, her three hens (no roosters), and was ordered to remove her hens. She was fearful for her pets.
It is often said that municipal governments touch the lives of Canadians more directly than provincial or federal governments, yet Canadians appear to be dramatically less aware of their local government affairs than they are with their provincial and federal governments. How can we reverse this trend?
Sometimes reading the national press makes me giggle. From those news stories one would get the impression the residents of my community fight about things like lack of parking, high rental costs, and our shortage of women. The funny thing is that we certainly have boomtown issues of just that nature, and other ones, too. But that isn't what gets Fort McMurray residents all hot and bothered. What gets people going here are issues that arise over where this community is headed - and one of those issues raised it's head recently over a little body of water in downtown Fort McMurray, a body of water called the Snye.