Garbage pickup fee will eventually apply to western Newfoundland cabin owners

Cory Hurley
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Cabin owners in western Newfoundland should prepare to pay for garbage pickup.

Outrage from cabin owners on the east coast has mounted after Eastern Waste Management recently circulated letters to residents on the Witless Bay Line pertaining to a $180-per-year fee for garbage pickup.

“This is one time that I am glad we are way behind,” Don Downer said Friday when asked if cabin owners in this area can expect the same tax.

Although it hasn’t been implemented yet, it will be, said the chair of the western regional authority. Downer did not have a timeline of when it would be rolled out, but it is expected to be the same system as on the east coast.

“We are not close to doing it yet,” he said.

Other than a “tumbled down dump of a place, 10 kilometres up a road you put there yourself,” Downer said the fee will be non-negotiable and mandatory.

He said he would not expect the fee to be onerous on cabin owners, especially those luxurious properties in some of these settlements.

“This is a municipal service,” he said. “People have dwellings or buildings, whether they be part time or full time, and when a service goes past their door then you charge people for it.”

Downer expects the same sort of outrage from cabin owners in this area.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt,” he said.

Organizations: Witless Bay Line

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Laurie
    August 09, 2014 - 15:02

    Dear Don Downer, I do not own one of "those luxurious properties" of which you speak. I own a cabin. It took me years of hard work to pay for that cabin. You are wrong. This fee IS onerous. This fee will be more onerous once the Deer Park LSD raises the cost of road "maintenance" again next year, from $300 to $400. They will do this because, instead of hiring a contractor to maintain the roads, as they are mandated to do, they wait for the roads to fall into such bad condition that they must do major repairs several times each year. That is not road maintenance; that's road repair. But, of course, that's another issue, but it speaks to the fact that there are other unnecessary fees being forced on cabin owners by the minority who choose to live in cabin country year-round. It is this minority that is ruling the majority - with the government's blessing and enforcement. I reiterate, the fee IS onerous and it's high time that you stopped forcing people to pay for services that aren't needed. Here's a thought: if you don't find this fee onerous, why don't you pay the fee that will be imposed on me? I won't object to that. What? You don't need that service, so why should you pay my fee? Why indeed?

  • Jack
    August 09, 2014 - 14:45

    If a company tried to force me to pay for something that I didn't order - cable service, for example - I'm sure that the RNC or RCMP would be all over it. It is, after all, extortion, isn't it? Will law enforcement please look into this on behalf of cabin owners who did not request this service, but are being forced to pay for it? Isn't this also a case of bullying? I don't know about others, but I feel bullied, and I'm stressed out because of it. Please, someone, if you know the law and are willing, take this case and put a stop to this. Thank you.

  • Tracey
    August 09, 2014 - 14:35

    So, if you have a "dump of a place" (i.e., you don't care about cleanliness), you won't be charged, but if you care for your property, including taking trash home with you to be picked up by your municipality, you'll be charged a fee for someone to drive past your clean cabin to not pick up trash that isn't there. FYI, many people with cabins do not have excess money to pay for non-existent services. Why? Because they've sunk all they have into buying land and building a place to get away from it all (although it all seems to be following us anyway)! Some have even taken second jobs to be able to afford a basic cabin. Those "luxurious" cabins you speak of are not cabins; they're summer homes and or permanent residences where a small minority are able to live tax-free; unlike those of us who struggle to have a small place in the woods while paying considerable taxes to our municipalities. And, just what does being hooked up to electricity have to do with garbage anyway?!? (see Barb Sweet's article in the Aug. 8 Telegram). This is wrong - plain and simple. Sugar-coat it anyway you like - this is nothing more than a cash grab. Aren't there any lawyers out there who are interested in justice? Or is everyone afraid to challenge the government when it makes ridiculous demands like this one? Here's a thought: take down the $80 million canvas and scaffolding from Confederation Building and use that money to cover your tax schemes. Or sell off some of the expensive door knobs in the premier's office - they should fetch enough to cover garbage collection province-wide for at least a few years. Am I upset about this? You bet I am!

    August 09, 2014 - 09:06

    I DON'T GET IT. A garbage fee for cabin owners whether you have garbage or not. Whats up with that? In our site we never leave garbage around. We are the environmental Stewarts. We bring our one bag of garbage home every time. We go to our cabin infrequently. we consume the same garbage on a monthly basis whether at home or at the cabin. Mr. Downer believes this is a SERVICE we need whether we want it or not. I BELIEVE this is nothing but a money grab. I will pay garbage fees at home and fees for my cabin for the same consumption of garbage. I am sick of it. I am asking all cabin or cottage owners to contact their Mha on the West coast as this has to be challenged. I firmly believe this is an election issue. The Progressive Conservatives have unleased the Downers of the world on us and these boards are permitted to operate with no sense of fair play. How do other cabin owners feel about this?