Smiths Falls Mayor Shawn Pankow headed to this year’s Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference with a mandate to lobby the Minister of Community and Social Services to have Smiths Falls considered as a site for a pilot study on a basic guaranteed income for residents of the province.
However, following some occasionally heated discussions at council meetings about the issue, that meeting with Minister Helen Jaczek never took place.
Following the Jan. 29-31 conference, the mayor told councillors at a Feb. 6 meeting that the meeting didn’t happen due to “poor communication,” and that the town is working with ministry officials to reschedule it.
Town representatives did have the opportunity at the Toronto conference to make a case for provincial funding to make improvements to Beckwith Street. Although sections of Highway 15 from Kingston to Smiths Falls and from Smiths Falls to Carleton Place have been upgraded over the past few years, the important section running through the downtown still needs attention, said the mayor.