Thousands wave Canadian flags for the camera during the formation of living flag on the lawn of the BC Legislature in 2019 . (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Victoria ponies up for police costs for Canada Day 2020

Council voted five-to-one to increase the budget by $107,000

The City of Victoria will pitch in for police costs for next year’s Canada Day celebration.

The 2019 celebration came under fire when the Victoria Police Department requested more funding in order to cover costs for the event. Due to recent changes in the Victoria Police budget, as decided by council, VicPD no longer had the resources available to cover the costs.

In June council voted to allocate $135,000 from the contingency fund to cover the costs, but needed to vote on how to proceed in future events. Council agreed to boost the budget on Thursday.

READ MORE: Victoria Police Department requests cash to cover Canada Day

Victoria city staff recommended that council increase the cost of Canada Day event operations by $107,000 for the 2020 financial planning process, citing that the event is continually growing and that police needs will remain high.

Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe was in agreement of the suggestion, noting her work in organizing the event with the Intercultural Association for more than a decade.

“We buy insurance with the hope that we never need to use it, but it’s there. That’s the peace police officers bring,” she said. “My feeling is the event will continue to evolve and improve with the times; if we were to reduce the scope I’d be concerned with how to reduce the scope… everyone has a different favourite part.”

Coun. Ben Isitt was opposed to the idea, saying that costs were too high for an event that was wasteful and not fully participatory, and that investing in a daytime event like a folk fest would be more suitable.

“I do think I would favour a very serious consideration of reducing it to a truly daytime event where basically the drunkenness is largely addressed, in terms of unruly general younger people, coming often from the suburbs,” Isitt said.

ALSO READ: Victoria agrees to fund Canada Day, special event policing – calls on feds to cover military events

Isitt questioned the spending on portions of the current Canada Day event, including the $12,000 used to produce one-time use T-shirts for the living flag display.

Senior cultural planner Jeff Day clarified that the T-shirts come out of the pocket of sponsor Coast Capital Savings, which ties the need of the T-Shirts to the rest of its sponsorship funding.

Day also noted that 35 per cent of costs came through public funders, 58 per cent through corporate sponsorship and six per cent through vending and on-site kiosks.

Coun. Sharmarke Dubow was also vocal in his support of Canada Day, recalling that he gained his Canadian citizenship o n July 1, 2017.

“Getting my citizenship meant stability, safety and belonging, and rights and responsibilities, and finally a place to call home,” Dubow said. “I recognize that I am a guest on this beautiful land, that a lot of us are… So how do we celebrate now that we’re all here?”

Council voted five to one to support the extra funding for police costs, with Isitt being the only one to dissent.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook Send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

Canada DayCity of Victoria

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

Just Posted

Oak Bay deputy police chief and family cut Guatemala vacation short to return home

Belize border, punctured gas tank part of the adventure

West Shore businesses bring fitness online during COVID-19

At-home workouts offered to help community keep fit

Program makes a connection with isolated Victoria seniors

Phoning Seniors Together program lines up volunteers with seniors at Luther Court

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Most Read