Three Rivers, May 28
To the Director,
A few words to inform you that the two referendums which were to have taken place, May 23 and 24, were cancelled last week by our town council, a few days before the date set for voting.
The purpose of the referendums was to ask approval of the property owners for two loans to the amount of $2,000,000 for the water system and the sewers.
When Social Credit property owners demanded a referendum they were charged with being unpatriotic and of retarding impending civic improvements. And now, all of a sudden, the urgency for these civic improvements has vanished! And the reason? The results of these referendums would have been overwhelmingly in the negative — and the councillors knew it!
We have just finished distributing 10,000 circulars in two days, asking the property owners to vote, NO.
As for the new evaluation roll, it has increased the value of property by an average of 37 %; but for small properties; those of one family, the increase has been between 65% and 115%. The water tax and the property tax have dropped only 25%. We have no information as yet on the school Tax.
For the town's business firms the taxes have been lowered by between $30,000 and $35,000.
It's the little fellow who is carrying the load...
Our circulars also requested the property owners to protest against the evaluation roll, and as result, both proprietors and tenants have been flooding their councillors with telephone calls.
We have persuaded two cooperatives to register complaints, each one on behalf of each of its individual members. We have already worked very successfully with leading elements of the Property Owners League.
At each meeting of the council we have tried to bring up the problem. However our councillors refuse to speak out.
Four out of eight have personally admitted to being opposed to the roll; one even went on record to this effect in a local paper.
We have persuaded the Property Owners League to have their lawyer study the matter. This lawyer told us yesterday evening that the roll is discriminatory and can be contested.
Several hundred complaints have already been placed with the estimator. It's going well!
Although the municipal council of Three Rivers has withdrawn and cancelled the projected referendums relating to its proposed borrowing, the Crediter's had already distributed 10,000 copies of their circular. This circular was well garnished with solid, compelling arguments:
Two million borrowed today means four million to repay in 20 years.
Are you agreeable to paying $4,000,000 for public works which costs only $2,000?
Are you prepared to let your property be mortgaged as a guarantee that you will pay twice the value of the services received?:
The loans of today are the taxes of tomorrow.
Public works — yes. Borrowing — no!
Finance should serve and not indebt a population working to improve its city.
Demand of the government a financial system which will serve; all that is physically feasible: should be made financially possible.
Spreading these circulars at large in the very home town of Maurice Duplessis was certainly not calculated to make good publicity for him. His friends in the city hall judged it more prudent to bury, for the time being at least, the issue of the referendum and loans. Otherwise there would have been a tumult. The Crediters had already made arrangements for a half dozen broadcasts over the radio on this question.
Congratulations to the Crediters of Three Rivers.