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

$11 million overdraw for McKenzie Interchange construction

The project has been delayed multiple times and is now estimating a budget of $96 million

Alzheimer Society calls for helpline volunteers in Greater Victoria

Charity is in ‘urgent need’ as calls on the rise

Council pursues water line extension for north Sooke

Properties affected by Highway 14 project may see water service

Juan de Fuca Marine Trail re-opens after lengthy repairs

The trail has been closed since February

Convicted drug trafficker asks Victoria courtroom for chance to ‘turn this around’

Horst Schirmer sentenced for convictions on five counts of possession related to trafficking

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

Most Read