Jeff Green | Aug 13, 2009
Back to HomeEditorial - August 13, 2009 Paging Randy HillierEditorial by Jeff Green
Basra's Petro-Canada and General Store is open year round at the corner of Highways 7 and 38, providing fuel, snacks, and as many other household items as can be squeezed into the store.
Since 2001 Bob Basra has been in conversation with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) about the entrances to his business and about the MTO's plans for the intersection. He has spent about $100,000 already and the MTO wants him to spend up to $100,000 more just to earn the right to spend money to upgrade his business, which he must do in order to keep Petro-Canada from severing its ties with him.
It's hard enough to keep a business alive in this part of the country without a government agency continually throwing roadblocks in your way.
The MTO has been asking for new entrances, new drainage systems, different drainage systems. They've wasted taxpayers’ money looking at this intersection for 10 years, and the net effect is hardship for business owners trying to make a living on that corner.
Bob Basra has been trying to comply, but in the end there is no satisfying a succession of MTO officials. The MTO officials don't care about Bob Basra, they don't care about small businesses in a struggling community.
So, as Mr. Basra's consulting engineer told Central Frontenac Council this week, the only outlet that is available to the township, the county, or local businesses in this matter is the political outlet.
Someone has to have the clout to take on the Ministry of Transportation, and that puts the matter into the hands of MPP Randy Hillier.
Randy Hillier has made his career out of fighting for the rights of landowners who find themselves powerless in face of the machinery of government. He has had some success, both for his advocates and for his political career by doing this.
Here is another front in that battle.
So put away that fancy suit you wore to run for Conservative Party leader, Randy, and dust off those red suspenders. Jump in your car and head over to Sharbot Lake.
There is more at stake than one business. We need help from government to survive in business out here, not more mindless roadblocks.