LETTER: Better solutions to fighting climate change than raising taxes

Once again, Saanich is bulldozing its way into the pockets of taxpayers.

First, with a three-year $250,000 biodiversity study with an additional request clause asking for $110,000 for a three-day-a-week part-time position.

READ ALSO: Saanich seeks public input on ways to fight climate change

This is in addition to a more severe Environment Development Permit Area (EDPA) bylaw in the works. Taxpayers will never know the true costs of the rescinded EDPA bylaw that exceeded $1 million. It feels as if we are about to enter a three-year cellphone contract where apps, storage and roaming fees will just show up on our tax bill.

READ ALSO: Saanich councillor warns of ‘torturous experience’ as they consider replacing EDPA

The environmentalists have been hand picked by administration to spread the fear of the impending climate change emergency. The taxpayers should see it as fear mongering and a desperate attempt at job security that should be renamed a tax grab emergency.

READ ALSO: Key critic of Saanich’s EDPA loses status as professional biologist

The real fear should be the predicted mega-thrust earthquake and impending wildfire season that will quickly reduce our area to the way we were, for free.

There is another $50,000 taxpayer-funded study that is considering the pros and cons of amalgamation. Our Victoria neighbours are likely environmentally friendly yet they are proposing a rubberized soccer field at Topaz Park. Consider the costs of the field, maintenance and 15-year shelf-life of this unnatural turf.

READ ALSO: Saanich signals Victoria it wants to proceed with caution during assembly process

The rubber bits that don’t end up in your hotdog will continue down the storm drains and into the intestines of the marine life. The Hartland landfill will digest the rest.

We are also paying a carbon emission tax with GST added. One way to reduce carbon emissions and environmental degradation is to stop the free parking. Free parking can be found at municipal halls, Cedar Hill Golf Course, shopping malls, recreation centres, parks, schools and churches. High school teachers can explain to student drivers that carbon emissions and congestion must not be free. An inexpensive option would be to walk, cycle or use transit.

READ ALSO: Central Saanich councillor wants free transit for all

A $1-a-day parking fee would go a long way to help prepare the citizens for environmental climate change disasters without penalizing a limited number of Saanich residents.

Yes, the climate is changing. Nothing is free and we are not prepared. However, grab bags of tax-grabs should not be legislated in the Saanich. There are bigger issues that should take precedence.

Art Bickerton

Saanich

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