Letter: Full disclosure on rail corridor costs, please

Here's a crazy idea, let's have a referendum on open, transparent, ethical and honest governance.

To the editor:

Originally I was ambivalent about the rail corridor. This has changed as time has gone on and I get the distinct feeling Lake Country government is not being honest or ethical about the subject.

First, they should have raised this issue before the last municipal election. Second, the dollar figures quoted do not include any development costs. Don’t tell me they have not thought of this. Even if it is only for hiking trails there is a cost. Please disclose accurate costs for the various options being considered before the referendum.

So they lost the AAP petition and now there will be a referendum which is estimated to cost $15,000. I would bet my last dollar that if the AAP had gone their way there would be no referendum, one excuse of course would have been the cost of a referendum. Here’s a crazy idea, let’s have a referendum on open, transparent, ethical and honest governance.

And now there is a ‘vote yes’ group being organized. No problem, if it is completely independent politically and financially of Lake Country government and has absolutely nothing to gain from a ‘yes’ vote.

Let’s have openness and transparency on all aspects of this on going soap opera.

I also read that a “study found there would be $6.5 million in economic spinoffs per year beginning after year five of a potential trail.” How were these airy fairy figures determined? But if true, then why do our taxes have to increase to pay for it. Increase the taxes of those businesses that benefit from the corridor and at year five start refunding the resident taxes that had to be increased up to then to pay for the corridor.

This brings me to the last issue. Were not the railroads originally given their lands so they would open up the country? If so, and someone please correct me with documented evidence if I am wrong, should the railroads not give the land back when they no longer have any use for it? Since new local governments have grown up in these areas shouldn’t those local governments get the land? Also, for 2014, CN had a net income of $3.167 billion (source: their Web site info). Surely CN can afford a tax deductible donation of the rail corridor if they actually bought the land originally.

As an aside, how do you determine when a politician is misleading you? Their lips are moving and/or they feel the need to write newspaper articles about the subject to back up their position.

Brent Walterhouse,

Lake Country