Letters: Fire protection is a necessity

Annexation of rural into Sooke shouldn't mean higher costs for residents

In response to the fire protection dilemma, it might be worth pointing out that large areas in “North Sooke” and those along/off Gillespie were previously part of East Sooke and quite content to be there.

However, in a land-grabbing annexation, initiated by the former council under Mayor Janet Evans, these areas became part of Sooke in order to increase the tax base of the municipality. It must be emphasized that this happened against the wishes and without the consent of those affected. Consequently, those same residents were hit with substantial property tax increases without getting anything in return, except fire protection.

If the latter is now in question, why should anybody in these areas continue to pay high taxes to Sooke? If any services are denied to one section of the population within the same jurisdiction, this amounts to nothing less than discrimination and exploitation.

Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the current mayor and council to provide a sufficient number of paid firefighters to protect the entire district, instead of hoping for volunteers to come forward.

Firefighters are required to be healthy and fit to cope with the hazards of the job, but they cannot sit at home waiting to jump to a fire at any moment’s notice, they also deserve to be employed in order to make a living. Hence, the District of Sooke is financially responsible to address this issue.

Gisela Kumar

Sooke