Bob Gale Can Take My $240 and Shove It!

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper Posted March 23rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls regional councillor Bob Gale – a current Doug Ford Conservative candidate in the Niagara Falls Riding – wants to see us get back  money/ And why not – especially during an election year like this, where we have a provincial vote this spring and a municipal election in the fall..

What an ingrate I am.

Here is Bob Gale, a Niagara regional councillor from Niagara Falls and long-time retailer in gas, wanting to give me and every other property tax payer across Niagara who rakes in less than $160,000 a year a $240 cheque out of the Regional Government’s reserve fund.

What a magnanimous gesture on Bob Gale’s part.

And I don’t want to take it!

Of course, I am sure that Gale’s generous proposal has nothing to do with the fact that he is also running in the Niagara Falls Riding (covering all of Niagara Falls and most of Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake) as a Doug Ford Conservative candidate in this spring’s provincial election, Who would be cynical enough to think something like that?

And no wonder so many people now hold such a cynical view of politicians and politics in general. In a front page story in this March 23rd’s St. Catharines Standard, Gale argues that some $60 million he would draw the $240 per household rebates from has been accumulated over time in the Regional Government’s reserve fund and, after all, is just sitting there at the moment.

Like all right-wing Conservatives have a habit of saying – going back at least as far as former Ontario premier Mike Harris in the late 1990 – , that kind of money represents an “overpayment” by taxpayers and should go back in their pockets because “they know how to spend it best.”

There is no doubt that if I and who knows how many tens-of-thousands property tax payers across Niagara received a $240 rebate cheque that we would spend it on something. BUT THAT MISSES THE WHOLE POINT.

He is just such a generous, thoughfull man!

The point is that municipalities keep money in reserve for emergencies, just as homeowners should try to keep some money in the bank in case our furnace, roof tiles or something else in or on our home is damaged or dies, and our insurance won’t cover it.

The money is there in reserve in case one or more of our communities experience damage from a severe storm or find our lives and properties harmed in other costly ways.

It is about keeping money in reserve to help people in the name of the public good, which is a concept that Gale and many other of today’s Conservatives appear to neither care about or understand.

What is finally so cynical about all of this is that Gale must know that he is now placing some 30 of his fellow Niagara regional councillors in the position of voting for or against distributing these $240 cheques. He puts other councillors in the position of looking like heartless misers if they vote NO.

Yet as much as I wouldn’t mind getting $240, I hope and pray that they vote NO because I see it – and so should the rest of us as a vote of YES for the public good. As for Gale, there is no way our money should be used in any way to pump up him or his provincial election campaign.

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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7 responses to “Bob Gale Can Take My $240 and Shove It!

  1. Robert Milenkoff

    Regional councilor Gales motion for a rebate plan would give taxpayers a $240 cheque and if passed would put a feather in his cap in the upcoming election. In theory it sounds great dipping into the Regions reserve and giving back to the taxpayer but Regional Budget Chair Gary Zalepa disagrees and says that the reserve is there for a reason and should only be used for emergencies. Looking back to 2017 Councilor Gale of all people should know about emergencies because he was involved in the unnecessary buyout of the Regional Police Chief Jeff McGuire which cost the taxpayer over $870,000 including a car. Bob Gale was the chair of the Police Services board when that took place and not long after Chief McGuire issued a statement to a St Catharines radio station saying ”I can assure you that I did not want or agree to retire until such time as the retirement agreement was finalized in 2020”. Now that was an unnecessary emergency but you get the idea. Reserves are there for a reason and not for Mr. Gales political gain.

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  2. This is more of the same as politicians use our money to buy our votes. Let’s hope the people of Ontario understand this scheme and vote no on June 2nd.

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  3. I agree totally.

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  4. Mr. GALE AND PREMIER FORD both Conservatives do not realize the intelligence of voters and think they can buy our votes by making promise of monetary reimbursements just before elections. This is a real insult to our intelligence and should be a signal to their integrity shortcomings. We seriously do not need politicians that cannot win an election on the merit just do be honest and work hard for the good of our communities without trying to buy our vote.

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  5. But then on the other hand, WHY do we elect NDP MPP when we know darn well it’s going to be a Conservative Govt.? Bart Maves would have had the new south Niagara hospital already built by know.

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  6. Randall LeGallais

    Perhaps all the complainers about Bob Gales comment are happy with the Regional Government which has let contracts without a proper bidding process, which grossly overpays many region employees has no respect for the taxpayers in the Region. Have a look at the salaries of Region employees many who are paid more than employees of larger regions.
    The Region has not served its constituents well but you all complain about a councilor who actually suggests something to benefit the taxpayer.

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    • Oh Randall give your head a shake. Have you ever spoken one on one with a regional rep.? Just spoke to Mr. Gale and he has some very sound ideas. You want total socialism, don’t vote Conservative. Ya I know Provincial, Federal powers, but I would be glad to get a rebate. At least I worked to pay it in the first place!

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