Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Editorial: Discretion is best
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 1 Feb 2006, p. 6

Full Text

Halton Hills has always been a caring and generous community as local residents put their time, compassion and dollars into various good causes. So it is not a surprise when our town leaders, Halton Hills council members, do the same when the cause warrants the action. Last year, the Town of Halton Hills at council's direction donated $5,000 to the Canadian Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina Relief and another $2,500 matching federal dollars for the Southeast Asia Tsunami Relief. But the Town did not contribute dollars to the Pakistani Earthquake Relief effort. Councillor Mike Davis wanted to correct that supposed inconsistency with the creation of a donation policy. We concur with the majority of council that while the current discretionary policy on a case-by-case basis may seem inconsistent, there were reasons the Town donated to the two they chose. The tsunami affected two continents and hundreds of thousands of people worldwide-- it was a cataclysmic event of our generation. Hurricane Katrina significantly damaged a vital economic area of the southern United States including natural gas refineries. That impacted our Town with higher utility prices. The donation was intended to help that region get back on its feet quicker to minimize further economic impacts here. The Pakistani earthquake, while tragic, is regional in comparison and aid is being handled through the federal government and private aid organizations. Under the current discretionary policy, Councillor Davis could have brought forward a motion calling for a donation to the Pakistan Earthquake Relief. He chose not to. By formalizing a donation policy, we concur with Councillor Joan Robson that it would open the door to every charity demanding a handout -- and the Town could be forced to say yes to everyone, just to protect its image. Consistency is achieved best through discretion.

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Date of Publication:
1 Feb 2006
Personal Name(s):
Davis, Mike ; Robson, JOan
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Town of Halton Hills ; Canadian Red Cross
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Editorial: Discretion is best