Keep web support in the library

Staff ~ The Amherst News
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However hamstringed they are by Nova Scotia's $500-million plus deficit, we would strongly oppose cuts to Internet services at public libraries.
For the estimated $300,000 the provincial government would save in this cost-cutting venture, much more would be lost at the community level.
Yesterday the provincial opposition flared up in response to news of such a funding reduction, claiming cuts would hit rural communities hardest.
Tory Labour and Workforce Development critic Keith Bain said the decision would be a shortsighted one, particularly for his in-government counterpart, Marilyn More.
"This funding cut would absolutely undermine the tremendous service and support they provide to rural residents who rely on their local library for access to email and employment search sites."
To be fair to More, who is also the Minister of Education, wasn't part of Rodney MacDonald's Progressive Conservative government, which promised to increase funding to libraries and then took no perceptible action.
More's predecessor, Karen Casey, faced strong public opposition to library cuts during her tenure and the provincial government of the day commissioned a task force and a report on the matter. It was received, but never considered by cabinet.
More tabled the report in the House of Assembly last fall and spoke of its importance but apparently hasn't done much else with it.
But really, this isn't about partisanship, just common sense.
Bain is right to suggest that rural communities would suffer from a cut to library Internet services. If the provincial government doesn't cover the cost, it falls to the individual library boards and then to the municipalities themselves. Neither have the resources to pay for this.
Whoever came up with this idea needs a better education, to say the least.

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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  • Moriarty
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    .................Rob the reason for a number of these *perks* as you call them is so that people of all walks of life, not just the wealthy and elite, are able to run for office and not have to sacrafice their personal security to do so.

    The only people who get car allowances are cabinet ministers, and this government has already reduced the number of minsterial cars on the road by a third!!

    Some people give up jobs, pensions, businesses and security to be able to serve the public, and pursuing their own private security while serving in public office is considered unethical (rightfully so--Paul Martin and Canada Steamship Lines comes to mind).

    We need to be careful where we swing the axe when we're cutting these things. Politics in Canada is already elite enough, we don't need to make the problem worse by irrationally dismissing and deriding affordability allowances as *perks*.

    Unless of course you think that only those who are independently wealthy should be able to run for office.

    The more productive line of inquiry here is figuring out whether or not Council can come up with a proposal to assist the province in making sure that the Library stays connected!!

  • Moriarty
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Rob you're embarrassing yourself and the rest of Council.

    The money wasted by mostly Tory MLAs amounts to about $80,000!!! NOT *a few million*

    You're way outta line here and you should stop trying to exploit this unfortunate issue for your own purposes.

  • Robert
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    No Mariarty... I'm sure if you look at all the garbage that gets wasted on MLA's (and not just that included in the audit) you'd see it probably amounts to WAY over 80k. I'm talking huge travel expenses that are not needed. Living expenses, office perks, wage perks, paid lunches, cars, apartments etc etc etc. Most of this *justified* waste can be trimmed a bit to equal major savings... but we all know they won't touch the MLA's golden egg. Easier to attack those who can offord it the least than to take the hit themselves.

  • Robert
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    It's funny, and not in a ha ha kind of way...after attending last evenings back to balance meeting, Finance Minister Steele commented that solving the MLA expense scandal isn't going to be enough to balance the provinces books. Of course he's right, we're talking about a few million wasted dollars. Then in another breath, slashing $300,000 from libraries seems a sensilbe cost cutting measure...I guess cuts of any kind to MLA's don't make sense, but $300,000 from libraries is significant. Here's a thought, if all 52 MLA's donated about $5,800 of their no receipts required expense allowance, problem solved!

  • Robert
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Moriarty, you say we need to be careful what we axe for fear of making it an elite club? How much do you expect the public to pony up to try to prevent that? Havent we bled enough? Cant we take all the expenses allowed our MLAs and cut them by 10% across the board? Dont you think our esteemed members could manage with that? Dont you think a lunch allowance of 10 dollars, instead of twelve (not an actual amount so dont bother Googling it) is enough? Maybe cut the apt allowance from 750 bucks to 650? Make them drive small cars instead of large Buicks? None of this would make an elite club as far as Im concerned it would only force them to spend more wisely.

    The common Serf gets NONE of these perks yet is forced to pay more and more so others can exploit them. Do they deserve it? Some maybe but definitely not all. We are expected to add another notch to our already strained belt yet you are telling me that MLAs dont have to tighten at all. Please thats an insult to every day Nova Scotians. If this keeps up pretty soon people will REFUSE to pay more. Then what? The trough in the house needs to be made smaller and if that means our resident porkers need to feed less, or be reduced in size, so be it. Their constant raping of our tax dollars needs to STOP. Let them cut their own expenses for a change before they force me to cut mine yet again!

  • Jack on the rocks
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Hey Moriarty or Brian,whatever you like to be called today,you would know all about the *perks*wouldn't ya???