by Mz Penny
Over the past year, I have listened to a lot of debates at Council meetings over the issues of the jail, development and other very important issues. But one that has stuck with me the most was when one Councillor put forward a motion to ban cats from roaming outdoors unless on a leash. Cats can be a nuisance, digging up neighbours’ yards and leaving behind little presents and doing other such dangerous things to people’s yards. This councillor was pretty passionate over the issue and the need for people to keep their cats from roaming. Thankfully, the motion was overturned by the Mayor saying there were far greater matters at this time, and this could be brought forward at another time.
This got me thinking of the jail and how people gathered together to fight its impending construction. There was a lot of anger, mistrust and passion in these meetings.
Passion is my thought. We have all heard about the affordable housing crisis in most communities. Rents have reached an incredible high since COVID, making it very hard for working class people, especially in the service industry, to afford rent in this area. We know for a fact that most businesses around town are finding it hard to find and keep staff. Everywhere you look, there are Help Wanted signs.
Kemptville is green and growing. All kinds of housing is being built, housing that will be unaffordable for most of the people I mentioned. Thinking of renting? A two bedroom? Now going for way over $2,000 a month, something that most of these workers just don’t have. So where do they all go? I don’t know, I really don’t, but it scares me. Lack of affordable housing leads to lack of people to work in the service industry, which leads to? And these same people are not the ones whose voices are heard. They are just too busy trying to make ends meet to be able to fight for themselves and bring awareness to the community. They are the silent voices that I meet with weekly and hear about their plight. When Council was contacted over a condemned apartment building a month ago, we were told that we would hear back from them on the Monday. The silence has been deafening since then.
Where are the passionate people who care more about humans than pristine gardens or if a jail comes to town or not? I know this issue is weighing heavily on Councils’ shoulders and I am sure that they are aware of the outcome if we don’t come up with a solution. We are in a crisis, dealing with humans.
Surely this issue is far more important than any other, whether we are green and growing, or your neighbour’s cat poops in your garden, or the jail gets built, or if a developer is going to build in your neighbourhood.