Say no to AAP for new RCMP detachment

The project has morphed into a large regional detachment!

Say no to AAP for new RCMP detachment

Say no to AAP for new RCMP detachment

North Cowichan’s planned RCMP detachment building is now more than double the expected size, and at $49 million, is well more than double the originally touted cost.

The project has morphed into a large regional detachment! The building design calls for a three-storey, 50,000 square foot building with 142 parking spaces to be built on Van Jaarsveld’s farm fields directly behind Walmart on Ford Road and Drinkwater Road with a left turn out.

North Cowichan taxpayers purchased the front three acres for $1 million in 2014. Three months ago in March, council purchased, for $1.2 million an additional two acres including Van Jaarsveld senior’s home to accommodate parking, bringing the total price to $2.2 million for five acres containing a house. Is that house for the homeless and is the additional land to accommodate a tent city?

This is historically productive farmland. Councillor Al Siebring, now mayor, was quoted in the News Leader Pictorial on March 7, 2014 as saying, “My main concern about the Ford Road site is agricultural use. It’s some of the best farmland in the municipality. This isn’t my ideal site but we have to move forward.”

There are more suitable locations and better available plans for the farm fields.

Why should North Cowichan taxpayers pay for an RCMP facility, of federal and provincial jurisdiction, that’s being expanded to include Forensics Identification Services, South Island Traffic Services, City of Duncan, North Cowichan, and Indigenous policing?

The municipality of North Cowichan has set aside taxes as an appropriated surplus of $1,050,000 from a $2 million RCMP Reserve Fund to add to a $48 million loan, if approved by the Municipal Finance Authority.

Referred to as the ‘Hub Detachment, Integrated Detachment’, as a regional detachment should it be financed and built by North Cowichan taxpayers to be repaid in part – 60 per cent — by the RCMP and the province?

North Cowichan’s debt as of 2018 was $20,407,420. In 2019 that figure reached $19,012,952 with debt interest at $1,014,571.

The $48 million loan request is on council’s June 3 agenda under North Cowichan/Duncan Integrated RCMP Facility Authorization Bylaw No. 3787, 2020. The June 3 council meeting is to approve the petition for an Alternative Approval Process (AAP). That AAP is the public’s chance to support or reject borrowing $48 million for the proposed new detachment.

It’s all happening very quickly. The 30-day AAP process spans June 12, to July 14, 2020.

Elector Response Forms are available at the municipal hall. Online responses are available starting June 4.

The total number of North Cowichan’s eligible electors is 26,916 of which 10 per cent, or 2,692, are required to defeat the proposed new RCMP detachment. Say No to the AAP to borrow $48 million for this now-regional, expanded RCMP detachment.

Joyce Behnsen

Duncan

Letters

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Principal Marie-Claude Carrier has overseen the opening of the Cowichan Valley’s first francophone school. (Citizen file)
Registration now open for Duncan Francophone school

École francophone de Duncan opened last fall with six students

Reggie went missing in Duncan’s McAdam Park on Jan. 3 and owner Brittny Bukva is hoping for his safe return. (Submitted)
Have you seen Reggie? Dog went missing in Duncan’s McAdam Park

Have you seen Reggie? Dog went missing in Duncan’s McAdam Park

Workers prepare to take down 28 large trees on private property on Mill Bay Road this week after they were intentionally poisoned almost two years ago. (Submitted photo)
Still no charges over poisoning of trees in Mill Bay

It’s been almost two years since incident involving 28 large trees

Cory Harrington has been found. (Submitted photo)
Missing Lake Cowichan man located

Cory Harrington was last seen on Dec. 11

Alistair MacGregor will have Pharmacare on his mind for a Thursday, Jan. 21 virtual town hall. (Photo by Lexi Bainas/Cowichan Valley Citizen)
Cowichan MP hosting town hall on universal pharmacare

“Pharmacare for All: A Prescription for Your Wallet”

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head prison inmates in receive first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A water taxi at Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man arrested after stolen water taxi raced up Victoria’s Gorge Waterway

Man is facing recommended charges of theft over $5,000 after leading police on marine chase

Most Read