Ward Three city council candidate Matthew Shoemaker is challenging council to set out the City’s spending priorities in the wake of council’s decision to further defer a final decision on the fate of municipal daycare centres.
“While council still needs to decide whether the City of Sault Ste. Marie should run its own daycares, there is no disputing the value that affordable daycare provides to our community. Conversely, the city funds several initiatives with benefits that are very much in question. If cutbacks to municipal daycare are up for discussion, then the same should be true for many other expenditures,” said Shoemaker
“At some point, council will have to make hard decisions. It is not enough to ‘kick the can down the road’ and hope for tidy solutions to emerge in the future. It is unlikely there will be new provincial funding or a national daycare strategy in place by the time the committee finishes its work. Continued support for municipal daycare, even over an interim period, will require savings to be found elsewhere. The time to start looking is right now.”
“With the choice to form a committee, it is likely our municipal daycares will operate well into 2015. Both this council and the next will need a plan to address the impact on city finances. Balanced spending is a focus of my campaign. If elected, I will push for greater scrutiny of how city funds are distributed. A thorough spending review is needed to ensure reliable services and affordable property taxes.” Concluded Shoemaker, “Lastly, I would like to wish good luck to the incoming members of the committee. They have a challenge ahead, but I hope they can identify changes that will make municipal daycare sustainable.”
About Matthew Shoemaker: Matthew Shoemaker (B.A., LL.B) is a Ward Three candidate for Sault Ste. Marie city council. Shoemaker currently works as a lawyer with Wishart LLP. More information about his campaign is available at www.matthewshoemaker.ca.