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How does local government affect you, how do you affect it?

Saturday, March 08, 2014   by: David Poluck

The level of government that most affects you daily is much closer to home than Queen’s Park or Parliament Hill.

Although the provincial government determines the powers of municipal governments, municipal governments in Ontario are responsible for providing many of the services we rely on.

In Canada, 83 percent of the municipal government revenue is raised through local sources.

The majority of funding for Canadian municipal governments comes from property taxes.

Additional funding sources include the sales of goods and services, fines and tax transfers from the provincial government.

Unlike our periodic interactions with federal and provincial levels of government, our interactions with municipal government are daily and constant.

By interactions, I am not only referring to interacting with a public servant about resolving a problem or receiving a government service, but also the municipal infrastructure and services that have a direct and significant impact on the quality of our day-to-day lives.

The municipal services connected to your house or place of business, the infrastructure throughout the wider community, waste collection, the transit services you utilize, the roads you drive on, the automated traffic control you depend on, the police and fire services that stand ready to assist you, these are just a fraction of the things we constantly rely on to go about our daily business in an efficient, safe and productive way.

But they are also examples of our constant interaction with municipal government.

Even though municipal government is the level of government which has the most direct impact on our day-to-day lives, it also suffers from the lowest level of voter turnout in elections.

In the 2010 municipal election, 59,439 people were eligible to vote. Ballots cast totaled 28,320, or just over 47 percent of eligible voters.

In an effort to improve turnout, municipalities across Ontario have tried a variety of different ways to bring more people out on election day, but most have met with limited success.

Nevertheless, the Sault Ste. Marie turnout is a good base from which to build upon for this year’s upcoming municipal election.

I myself have been working at the grassroots level with other ratepayers to think of creative ways to re-engage the citizenry on important municipal issues and where we fit in when it comes to municipal affairs.

The efforts are aimed at not only spurring more citizen engagement at municipal election time, but also in between elections.

It is understandable that people are busy with work and family commitments. Many choose to devote what little extra time they have to important voluntary activities.

When you add all of those things together, there is not a lot of time left for municipal affairs.

I salute all those citizens who voluntarily contribute their time and skills to help make this a better community on a variety of fronts.

Let’s hope 2014 becomes the turning point for an even wider and continuous citizen engagement in municipal affairs.

What do you think?

What kinds of concerns do you have? How can you get involved to help inform representatives about what to do?

Have you ever contacted your local government about an issue in your neighborhood?

Join the discussion!

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
StrictlyConfidential 3/11/2014 12:26:52 PM Report

I believe many people don't vote because they are unhappy with the result, and it does not matter what party they vote for. I have spoken about many problems with our communities and do have solutions. The only way to make a change is to speak out. On the news last night, Timmins residents are standing up and saying, The price of gas is too high! It is too high here as well. The cost of power is also out of hand. However, most people complain about it, ask anyone and they say the same thing, but too few do anything about it. It is too hard to try to get ahead, when our basic needs cost way too much.
David Poluck 3/11/2014 1:16:28 PM Report

Thanks for posting.
theprotector 3/14/2014 8:24:57 AM Report

So do you support the usage of city employees and equipment to build garages and pave drive ways for their supervisors and managers that work for the city?
DO you support personal usage of the garage owned by the city for repairs on vehicles that belong to family and friends?
Do you support the usage of city trailers used to hail personal equipment to and from various locations?
Do you support the high degree and continued nepotism this city continous to practice.
See David if your orgainszaton and your attmepts here to constantly recruit for your little club actually did something like report on the above it might be worth looking into, however you are without merit and true cause. Fix all the taxes you want, how about cleaning up the fraud been perpitrated using our tax dollars.
irishfey 3/14/2014 11:23:23 AM Report

Good Morning David.. I wish i could help you out in here but i don"t know a lot about some of these things,, but i do "vote" ,lol.. Keep up the good work,, I see your having a good day so far :),lol.. I see a post often on the kids fb.... It says... " what dosn"t kill you,, makes you stronger " ,lol.. Have a good day dear...
David Poluck 3/15/2014 3:53:22 AM Report

Pro, You have identified multiple topics.
In the "little club" the next thing you would need to do is research and bring in the documentation to substantiate your position. See how it works is other volunteer ratepayers won't fight your fight for you but they will help you with organizing your particular project and get you in contact with others that want to help you and move the facts into the light
Our methodology is a simple formula.. Identify, research, act,re-asses ...repeat

It is my feeling and experience that if you want something work for it. I see an the merit in this about you?
Are you willing to give up some of your time to see what you see as issues resolved?

David Poluck 3/15/2014 3:54:22 AM Report

Thanks Irish!
David Poluck 4/4/2014 4:23:34 PM Report

As long-time residents and now candidates for Ward 3, David Poluck and Luke Macmicheal, together we are doing something that most people would find unusual - associating and working together during an election.

We both feel strongly that good communication is the key element when it comes to good representation and recognize the value of how combining resources and experiences can effectively be able to gather information and reach out more effectively to the residents to find out what is important.

Working within a formula simply defined as identify, research, act and reassess we have a short survey to collect the data and opinions of ward neighbours, worded in a clear and neutral fashion. The object is to discover what respondents think, not to influence or alter it but capture the commonplace facts that many people express one way or the other on the survey questions.

It is our shared belief that it is important to work at the grassroots level with other ratepayers and think of creative ways to re-engage the citizenry on important municipal issues and municipal affairs. This effort is aimed at not only spurring more citizen engagement at municipal election time, but also in between elections. Please take some time and add your input and share with your fellow neighbours at

Results of this survey will be made public for further discussion and we encourage those that have an interest in Ward 3 communication improvements or any other matter to contact us 705-253-2645 and 705-253-4280
Sam C 6/3/2014 1:10:39 PM Report

protector... can you back up those claims, or are they just your impression/suspicions.
irishfey 6/5/2014 9:16:36 AM Report

David.... PROS post at 8.24 is valid as I know some of these folks that do such things.. It's a case of.. " Not what you know, but " who" you know ".. sad but true... S.C's post hit the nail on the head.... As the election draws close, I know of at least 19 folks that aren't going to vote as they think it's a waste of time. Folks from the Sault and other areas just bit** and complain about high gas prices etc. but won't stand up and hold a ptotest about them. I think a little peaceful picket protest would make some be held accountable. Writing to Congress just don't get the voices heard anymore... just saying......Have a great day David....
David Poluck 6/9/2014 7:18:19 AM Report

irish...I understand what you are saying but I find it interesting that the 19 people you speak of have chosen to be silent.
To some silence means consent.
How do you see it?

In a recent conversation on voting numbers,the complaint was only 46% came out to vote.
I like to think and maintain that out of those 46% that did go to the polls... 100% voted.
And by majority a decision was made.

MYPOINT 6/15/2014 9:23:49 AM Report

I think that it should be a law that everyone of legal age to vote MUST vote - regardless of how they feel about certain candidates. On ALL election ballots, there should also be circle defining "none of the above' so that nobody would have a reason to NOT vote.

This city is absolutely full of nepotism and most of us are aware of it already. Do any of us, yes including me, do anything about it? Speaking for myself, I have called the city to complain only to find my complaint falling upon deaf ears. I know of others who have done the same thing and who have come away with the same result as mine.

Maybe others have a better idea of how to get rid of the nepotism in this city? I await their suggestions.

Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads.

As always, your views may differ :)
irishfey 6/17/2014 8:59:33 AM Report

DAVID....WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE RED ROOM AND THE BLUE ROOM?? I seen J.C's morning post and now it's gone!! Please don't tell me that they have turned these sites into a face book site!!! If they did.. I won't be on it!! Can you explain whats happened?? Thank you.....
irishfey 6/17/2014 9:09:06 AM Report

Yep,, that's what they did!!!!.. DAVID.. May i use your site to just tell the others that i won"t be on those sites now,, sorry but i liked it the way it was before as I think othes have as well.. I think that SOOTODAY just made a big mistake and might loose a lot of folks.. J.C... if you see this,, I will see you when you're settled into you're new place. To the others, I'm sorry,, but it was nice to have met you all and will be thinking of you... Thank you David for letting me use your site to say this... Gee , i feel like i have lost my friends :(
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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