Speak up in AAP on new RCMP detachment

No alternatives are provided for discussion.

Speak up in AAP on new RCMP detachment

As a property taxpayer in North Cowichan, I have great concerns about the way the municipality is attempting to fast-track the approval for loading an additional $48 million of debt onto property taxpayers within the region for a new RCMP building that it wants to build at the corner of Drinkwater Road and Ford Road in Duncan.

I suspect few taxpayers have read the small print on the municipality’s recent flyer, and many will not even have seen it. If fewer than 10 per cent actually fill out the form on the flyer and submit it to say, “No” to such a grand building, by 4 p.m. on July 14, the municipality will take that as a “Yes!”

No alternatives are provided for discussion. The flyer states that the building “will bring Forensic Identification Services and South Island Traffic Services under the same roof with the North Cowichan/Duncan Detachment and Indigenous Policing forces.” According to the municipality, the cost of borrowing for the building will necessitate “about a 4% tax increase” or $71 per year to the average homeowner (assuming no cost overruns presumably).

While I believe our police do need our support, is such a grand building affordable in an area with such a small tax base? The method of gaining approval by the municipality is worrying — rather analogous to Amazon sending you a notice that if it doesn’t hear from you it will assume you want a luxurious new couch and will send it in the mail and bill you for it — no action is required on your part! Wouldn’t some further information and discussion be appropriate?

There is no explanation in the flyer of why the municipality must borrow the $48 million, though the RCMP will pay back 60 per cent. Would the RCMP also cover any cost overruns and extra interest charges, or would that be loaded onto taxpayers? How much interest are we already paying on existing loans? Are there other sources of funding for the 40 per cent above the RCMP contribution? It seems that more and more taxes are being passed down from federal government to provincial, and then to municipal taxpayers.

Finally, what specific benefits will we actually see for this new building here in Chemainus or in Crofton. If anyone else thinks that more questions need to be answered before our municipality adds $48 million onto our debt, be sure to speak up and respond by filling in the form. If you didn’t get a flyer in the mail, please go onto the North Cowichan website to respond, or it will be assumed that you are in favor or have no questions.

Philip Boyle

North Cowichan

Letters

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Summer wilderness photo contest opens

Mosaic Forest Management launched its annual photo contest on July 1.

Drivesmart column: What does a traffic cop do?

I think most people see a traffic cop as someone who writes speeding tickets

Lake Flashback: Logging history, leaks, the EN and more

Do you remember these stories from back in the day?

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Most Read