I should add at this point that I’m (mostly) joking.
But, the sorry and shameful state of a lot of Scugog’s roads, both urban and rural, does make me question the wisdom of the Township of Scugog’s apparent desire to go toe-to-toe with Bell and Rogers and get into the internet service provider game.
I understand the frustration with many rural residents over a lack of internet service. Before my mom kicked me out of her house at age 24, I lived in Saintfield. And before that, we lived south of Prince Albert. I know all about some of the sacrifices you make when you live in the country.
But, these are sacrifices you chose to make when you move to a rural area. We had antenna TV, a well for our water, a septic tank and no streetlights because that’s what it’s like to live in the country. I would never expect the municipality to extend those services because it’s not practical.
Practicality is also the reason Bell and Rogers claim that they don’t provide internet service to those same areas, because they can’t make money off it. But somehow the township will make money where the two largest telecommunications firms in the country can’t? Forgive me for being skeptical.
Just to establish the service-which will extend to some places that can already get high-speed wireless internet, by the way-the township will be in debt millions of dollars, with no guarantee that anyone will switch providers. It seems like a pretty big gamble to be taking with taxpayer money, especially with so many promises touting a new era of fiscal responsibility floated around throughout last fall’s municipal election.
Instead of wasting millions of dollars on internet service few have even asked for. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on something tangible that the entire community could potentially enjoy? Rather than (best case scenario) a few hundred rural residents.
I was born in Port Perry almost 32 years ago. And for that entire time, and likely before, people have been clamouring for an indoor pool. For generations, anyone wishing to go swimming outside of the June to August season that Birdseye is open for is forced to drive to Uxbridge, Oshawa or anywhere else that has an indoor pool.
For the past two years, Uxbridge has been looking at building a new, modern aquatic centre at the Fields of Uxbridge that would also house other fitness facilities. This new facility would be even more of a draw for visitors to the community, with an expanded ability to host swim meets, as well as other upgrades such as a therapy pool.
The cost for all of this? Uxbridge says $12 million, which is less than Scugog will be paying to expand internet service. In an era where so many are getting so little exercise, should government really be putting the ability to download off the internet slightly faster ahead of improved recreation facilities? I wouldn’t think so, but that seems to be the case in Scugog.