Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
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Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 26 Jan 2007, p. 6

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"The squeaky wheel gets greased." "There is strength in numbers." Both of the above axioms apply to Halton Region's bid to get the provincial government to stand up and take notice of the Region's displeasure with the current GTA pooling formula. After sending previous letters and resolutions to the Province outlining its concern with the formula used by the province to help the City of Toronto pay for its social services-- and hearing precious little in return-- the Region voted 19-2 this week to freeze its upcoming 2007 payment at the 2006 level. York and Peel Regions have already frozen their pooling payments in a bid to get the Province to revisit the issue, so Halton isn't breaking new ground here, but it is, as Burlington Mayor Cam Jackson said, hoping "there is strength in numbers." Halton Hills Wards 1 and 2 Regional Councillor Clark Somerville actually brought the pooling motion forward at Halton Region last week and the vast majority of his council mates agreed with him when he offered up euphemism of his own. "Let's draw a line in the sand," said Somerville. "The pooling system is broken. We've got to get it fixed." Region staff estimate that, based on the 2006 rate, Halton will fork over roughly $41 million to help out Toronto-- that's too much, most councillors contend, and they're right. With a provincial election on the horizon the Region is right to make this move now and to keep the pooling issue on the front burner. There is no better time to get a sitting government to listen to you than when it wants your support. That said, however, the Province may have a saying of its own for Halton and the other dissenting regional governments. "Buzz off!"

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26 Jan 2007
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