Council asks province to restore library funds

CENTRAL MANITOULIN – Central Manitoulin council entertained a recommendation by the Water, Waste and Education Committee to pass a motion recommending the province restore funding to Ontario Library Service North and provide sustainable long-term funding for Ontario’s public libraries and that the motion be forwarded to the premier, the minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Municipal Affairs, Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Mike Mantha, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries.

The motion follows on the heels of the recent budget announcements made by the Ford government cutting the funding for the Ontario Library Service-North thereby forcing the closure of the interlibrary loan program.

“I was a little bit concerned we didn’t have all of the information when this came up at committee,” said Mayor Richard Stephens. “I think we all have had time to review and discuss that now.”

“I really think the removal of funding for the interlibrary loan program really impacts small libraries like our own,” said Councillor Steve Shaffer. “I think it is short sighted to eliminate that program; not every library has every book.”

“I would like to be optimistic,” said Councillor Dale Scott, “but when these governments decide something they have decided it a long time before they contact anybody. They made this choice, I don’t know that anyone will be able to move them off of this decision.”

Council passed the motion unanimously.