It's not fair. I'm paying more than you are. And most of the work isn't even for my benefit - I'll get nothing from it.
Except a bigger bill. The work that is inconveniencing me - and costing me more than it does you - is a municipal project, but a lot of the money is coming to us through the beneficence of the provincial government.
Now, I'm supposed to feel better about that, because the municipal part of the price tag comes out of my property taxes, but our smooth-talking political hacks like to try and convince us all that the giant provincial "grant" that makes all of this work possible comes to us for free.
Somehow, they would have us believe, the money that comes out of the provincial coffers materializes out of thin air.
Interestingly, however, when we have a provincial works program that is augmented by a federal grant, the provincial hacks will have us believe that the less the province pays, the better things are for us, because it's then the federal money that costs us absolutely nothing.
Meanwhile, the feds are so removed from us over here on the Wet Coast (an even more ironic twist than usual on our directionally coastal designation, in light of the phone call I got from Donna moments ago to inform me that our well just ran out of water... again - but I digress) that they don't even bother to try and explain where they get the money.
They simply assume that we realize that they have the money, whether we like it or not, and that it came out of our pockets directly or indirectly, whether we like it or not.
But back to the municipal project that is costing me more than anyone else - well, except maybe for a few hundred other long and/or short range commuters who, like me, will have to drive an extra two kilometres (actually, more like about 2.15 kilometres, but I'm not really in the mood to quibble) to get to work every morning and then again to return home every afternoon or evening, depending on their usual hours.
Consider that carefully.
We are often told the cost of our municipal projects, usually broken down to the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and we can calculate, dividing that number by the number of residents who own property in the given municipality, the average amount that each of us is paying.
Naturally, those with more (or more expensive) property pay more, and those with less pay less. That's the nature of our progressive tax system, aimed at ensuring that the greater burden goes to those who can afford to wield it.
That doesn't bother me, because, frankly, I'm close enough to average that I'm not getting chiselled like the rich guys down the street (who deserve it, after all).
It's those four kilometres per day that bother me, because that's a significant portion that I'm paying that you are not.
Figure this: in summer, my car delivers about 100 kilometres for about seven litres of gasoline, and in winter that goes up to about eight litres. Let's call it 7.5 litres per 100 km, for the sake of ease.
I'll be driving four kilometres extra five days of every week from now to January, the projected completion of the project.
Five days a week for about 20 weeks means I'm driving an extra 400 km this year - burning 30 litres of gas (into the atmosphere, by the way, as are a few hundred other commuters similarly inconvenienced). Based on the current approximate gas prices, that's going to cost me about $40.
And here's the ultimate irony: the project will bring water past my house, but I won't be getting any!
Bob Groenveld is the editor of the Tri-Cities NOW's sister paper, the Langley Advance.
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