Dear fellow taxpayers,

Would you like to see your province’s revenues go up without it costing you more money? Would you like to see the taxes you pay to the United Counties go down? Well here’s a little suggestion you can write to Doug about.

You might also suggest your friends do likewise. It has to do with the dollars you pay for our ambulance services. It’s a hefty bill and more than it should be, given you’re getting fleeced by the City of Ottawa for the cross-border ambulance services your Counties provide them free-of-charge, on your behalf. That aside, here are a few basics you should know.

Thanks to Mike Harris’ download of the ambulance services to municipalities, you now pay 50% of the ambulance costs thru your county tax bill. And when you call for an ambulance, you get a $40 (user fee) bill from the receiving hospital. Half of that $40 goes back to the province to help offset its 50% share of your ambulance services. Does the other $20 go back to the Counties to offset your 50% share? The answer is NO.

That $20/ride stays with the receiving hospital. But don’t let that bother you.  Just add that gift to the hospital to your gift to the City of Ottawa. The info which should really rattle your cage is your gift to our American friends. When you call on an ambulance in the U.S. it will cost you anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000. When an American calls on an ambulance in Ontario, we only charge him the same $40 user fee you get charged. The Harris Conservative government “chose” to not do anything about that one when it decided to download the ambulance services (and 50% of its costs to your county tax bill.)  Will Premier Buck-a-Beer do anything about it to help lower your tax burden and increase our province’s revenues? Will you write to Dougy to ask him what he’ll do about this? To your County Government? To your local MPP? How about to your local MP? And don’t let him tell you it’s a provincial matter. The Feds pay a big chunk – a very big chunk – of your Province’s Health Care budget. Come to think about it, you’re the one who pays all of it. Maybe you shouldn’t write to any of them. Maybe you should simply write to yourself and  tell yourself what you will do about it.

Gary Champagne,