North Cowichan candidate Jim Fane questions municipal debt

Jim Fane of Chemainus has been almost pushed into running for council "I can’t sit on my hands anymore. I just think taxes are out of control. They have no idea of common sense on council. Money is being spent here, there and everywhere. It needs to stop," he said.

He said he strongly supports the way the Taxbusters group is heading.

"The bottom line is when the piggy bank is empty, nothing gets done."

Fane wants to scrutinize North Cowichan’s finances "line by line to see what needs to be there and what can be eliminated."

He has been watching council meetings online and has sometimes been shocked at what he’s heard.

"About three years ago, when we were told we were $7 million in debt, it was said it was no big deal because Victoria was $23 million in debt," Fane said. "I don’t know why we’re in debt. Apparently they’ve got enough in reserves to pay it off so why are we spending $1.2 million a year to service debt?" Fane is worried that seniors may be forced out of their homes by rising rates.

"Our taxes have gone up 10 per cent a year for the last 10 years. A majority of people in Chemainus are retirees on fixed income. It’s starting to hurt.

"It’s unsustainable. We can’t continue to do this," he said.

Even the business community is hurting, Fane said, and then took aim at the municipal hall.

Even the business community is hurting, "We have too many employees in North Cowichan. In Langford where they have 30,000 residents, they have less than 100 employees. We have about 260. Other communities seem to be motoring along with less than half."