On Monday September 10th, 2018, Rory Ring stated, through a press release issued by his campaign, that the Mayor was going to raise taxes by 1% at that evening’s council meeting and urged people to watch the City Council meeting accordingly.
This statement was factually and objectively false. Mayor Provenzano did not raise taxes by 1% as alleged by Mr. Ring. At the issue’s heart was the purchase of two garbage trucks. The purchase will be funded from a reserve specifically set aside for the purchase of new equipment and will not have an impact on the tax levy because the reserve is already included in the levy and not in addition to the levy.
On Tuesday September 11th, 2018, Rory Ring stated, through a press release issued by his campaign that the Mayor had a matter removed from the City Council agenda. Again, this statement is factually and objectively false. Mayor Provenzano did not have a matter removed from the City Council agenda as alleged by Mr. Ring. The matter was deferred at the request of staff due to an issue relating to the successful tender and will be returning to Council at its September 24th meeting.
On Wednesday September 12th, 2018, during a video interview with a local news site, Rory Ring stated that, “Winnipeg hasn’t had a tax increase in 18 years.”
This statement is factually and objectively false. Winnipeg has not frozen property taxes for the past 18 years. In fact, Winnipeg has raised property taxes the last seven years in a row. Winnipeg also funds much of its operations using revenue sources that Sault Ste. Marie has never contemplated. Winnipeg charges many business owners the Winnipeg Business Tax. In addition, Winnipeg residents are billed separately for garbage and recycling pick-up and property owners also pay frontage levies.
“A pattern has emerged early in this campaign where Mr. Ring appears to believe he can play fast and loose with the facts, even when the actual facts are readily available. We’ve seen the damage this approach has caused elsewhere and we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard here. Political leaders and people aspiring to be political leaders have an obligation to be honest and sincere with the voters that they are seeking to represent,” said Christian Provenzano.
“An honest, professional and sincere public debate and is good for democracy. I think we can have that in this campaign and I call on Mr. Ring and his campaign to join me in that respect.”