New police detachment should go to referendum

Questions are unanswered.

New police detachment should go to referendum

Re: AAP for new police facility

Most people agree that the police should have adequate facilities.

However, taxpayers deserve some basic facts to understand this nearly $50 million outlay and then decide via referendum. A referendum is required because the AAP is a negative process: government will spend the money unless a significant number of taxpayers initiate an objection. (Snooze, you lose.) Under the AAP process taxpayers will not have a chance to study, then approve or reject, the expenditure in a referendum. Sure, a referendum costs, but as my neighbour observed, “It’s our money and we want it spent on the referendum.”

Questions are unanswered. Why is a new building required, when there are other potential sites like the empty RONA store? If this is to be a regional police facility why locate it in North Cowichan? We will be reimbursed for a good portion of the cost but what is the reimbursement payment schedule and how certain is it?

RELATED: Rona building not suitable for new RCMP detachment

The required AAP published notice has so much boiler plate wording that the essentials of the objection process are all but hidden. A summary of the objection process, set out in an easy to read format would encourage taxpayer response, if that is what council really wants.

Bottom line: if the required number of taxpayers do not object to the AAP, those snoozing should not complain when the balloon tax bill arrives in the mail.

Don Graham

Chemainus

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