Letters: Budgets slashed for zero per cent

Cuts to District of Sooke departments riles letter writer

Like everyone else in Sooke, the thought of a zero per cent increase in property taxes initially seemed like a great idea. But then I took a moment to research exactly what was needed to accomplish it. We all know prices are on the rise, what we paid for something last year isn’t what we’re paying for the same thing today or a year for now.

Given these facts it is easy to conclude that a zero per cent tax increase doesn’t mean that budgets stayed the same from 2011 to 2012; in fact, the increase in prices means that budgets were most likely slashed in order to maintain that zero per cent.

Take, for example, Sooke’s volunteer firefighters. These firefighters train to the same standards and certification as any paid firefighter anywhere in North America. The fact that they are volunteer already saves the municipality thousands, if not millions, of dollars a year. Yet their training budget, the one the community relies on teach them the lessons they need to know to save lives was cut by $8,000, from $29,000 to $21,000, or roughly 26 per cent

A little known fact about volunteer firefighters: The average volunteer firefighter in Canada retires after three years of service. The current mayor and council have been elected to three year terms, so can we expect our firefighters to be 26 per cent less trained by the time of the next election? Does this mean they will be 26 per cent less likely to put out a fire or rescue someone from a car accident?

The fire department wasn’t the only area to take a budget cut. The mayor and council cut their own training budget from $38,000 to $26,000. That’s right, the mayor and council, seven people, have a larger training budget than 35 volunteer firefighters.

Jason Dixon

Sooke

Just Posted

Sooke students rally to stock food bank shelves

“For me, it makes the Christmas spirit come alive.”

Extreme case of poop-throwing gives Victoria bike community a bad name

Car centric roads and infrastructure invite cyclist-motorist incidents, says cycling coalition

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

Senseless vandalism rocks historic Sooke mansion

Neighbours plead for something to be done

Reducing harm with ‘I carry naloxone’ buttons

Victoria-based designer makes buttons with social justice messages

VIDEO: Two officers of B.C. Legislature escorted out amid investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Awards will recognize business excellence on Vancouver Island

Nomination period begins for Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards

Good Food Summit plants seeds for food security

The Good Food Summit runs Nov. 22 and 23

Shirtless stranger loomed over couch and started stabbing, bloody B.C. murder trial hears

Colin John pleads not guilty as trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder case

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Students protesting Starbucks’ supplanting local coffee at UVic

The Finnerty Express’s and their Salt Spring Island coffee supplanted by Fall 2019

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

COLUMN: Higher interest rates will slow B.C. economy after ‘unusually robust’ show

Jock Finlayson is executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC

Most Read