EDITORIAL: CRD number crunch a head scratcher

Taking a closer look at the Capital Regional District’s provisional budget and how it will affect tax payers.

An eight-per-cent jump in the Capital Regional District’s provisional budget is a straightforward statistic that’s easy to understand on some levels.

The population in Capital Region is growing, especially on the West Shore. Simple logic would dictate that more people living here means that the provision of services under the CRD’s control, such as water and regional parks, will cost more and those increases are going to be passed along to residents.

We also get that the cost of sewage treatment, the E&N Rail Trail completion, the Regional Housing First Program and the emergency response dispatch centre are big-ticket items driving this larger-than-usual increase. Where the waters get murky, however, is the disparity in the cost sharing.

Oak Bay, Saanich, Victoria, Metchosin and Highlands address payment through a formula that has the increase appearing to cost between $6 and $8 per household, based on average residential assessments.

By using a different formula for paying the piper, those numbers translate to $42.08 for View Royal, $38.22 for Langford and $36.31 for Colwood. At the end of the day, however, the increase means basically the same amount is being extracted from wallets across the CRD, one way or the other.

Call us dreamers, but we would like to see a uniform approach for the sake of taxpayer clarity by implementing a system where everyone’s payment is calculated using the same formula. Without, of course, having to do a couple of studies and hiring a consulting firm and a posse of bureaucrats to get to that point.

Another step in the right direction would be to consider Langford Mayor Stew Young’s suggestion to conduct a service review examining each regional function the CRD provides and whether those make sense for the municipalities being charged for them.

With the waters between West Shore municipalities and the CRD already muddy, Young, Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton and other council members voiced major concerns about diving into a regional transportation strategy that would invariably be controlled by reps from larger municipalities. This latest CRD news does little to mend those fences.

Just Posted

Tackling ‘one fear after another:’ ‘Spirit Orca’ swimmers ready for next challenge

Victoria swimmers with developmental disabilities preparing for ocean relay in Great Bear Rainforest

Verdict expected on July 22 in trial of care aide accused of sexual assault

Closing arguments heard Monday in Victoria courtroom

Victoria HarbourCats edge Elks in series opener

Claire Eccles’ jersey retired at Monday’s game

Easter Seal’s Drop Zone gives participants chance to rappel down 13-storey Victoria building

Event supports Easter Seal’s services, specifically their camp in Shawnigan

ArtsAlive voting begins Thursday in Oak Bay

Residents can vote for the 2019 ArtsAlive top prize

WATCH: Barbers battle it out in Victoria

‘Barber Battle’ saw stylists and barbers from across North America go head-to-head

Sexting teens at risk of harms including depression, substance use: study

Use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana were also found to be associated with sexting

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Most Read