Rae added that he did not feel that cuts along the canal were a done deal and pointed out the political reality that, save for Liberal seats like Ottawa South, Ottawa-Vanier and Kingston and the Islands and the NDP's sole seat in Ottawa Centre, all of the waterway's other ridings, like Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington and Leeds-Grenville, are held by the federal Conservatives. Cuts along the canal would likely alienate traditional Conservative voters like small businesses, which could make Brown and MP Scott Reid's re-elections somewhat more difficult come 2015.Elsewhere on a related issue, Dean Del Mastro in Peterborough (and three other local Conservative MPs in that neck of the woods) has been getting some heat on $3 million in cuts that will be hitting the Trent-Severn waterway as well. In this August 22nd report the idea of user fees on "day visitors, cottagers and permanent residents along the waterway, boaters who do not use the locks but operate their boats on lakes in the system, and anglers" to generate funds for the waterway is raised as a solution by Del Mastro, but the Parks Canada CEO says that's a no-go for people who are not using the system (i.e., the non-boaters).
Sounds like Del Mastro and his Conservative MP buds are in a bind given that the cuts to the waterway are causing concern and are scrambling to come up with solutions. Can't imagine local residents are going to appreciate being slapped with user fees or, dare we say, taxes to replace cuts to Parks Canada funding that probably shouldn't be made in the first place. Sounds like a great issue to run on against Del Mastro and his whole gang there.