Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.

LETTER: Victoria byelection an unnecessary expense

You may be aware that Victoria taxpayers are paying at least $ 440,000 for a byelection this year. This is due to the very short tenure as city councillor for Laurel Collins, who resigned in 2019 after winning a seat as MP (NDP) for Victoria.

I am sure Ms. Collins is a very nice person and may make a good MP with some seasoning and improved planning and judgment. This was very costly to Victorians. I take exception to what appears to be irresponsible short-term planning on the part of Ms. Collins. I recall that Ms. Collins only served less than six months on Victoria council and was not present for much of that. I calculate therefore that we Victorians got absolutely no value from this ex-councillor. With the councillor learning curve, required mentoring and introduction to process, delays, absences and preoccupation with the federal election, we would have received negative value to say the least.

I am critical of this on two levels. Primarily that Ms. Collins has allowed her political ambition and short-term thinking to put a small city like Victoria to an expense of more than $440,000. I have not heard her apologize or show any remorse for this error in judgment, at our significant expense.

Secondly it appears city council got along just fine for over a year now with one councilor short. It is only two years to the next election – could we not wait and make do? Or could there not be an inexpensive way to appoint a runner-up from the last election (eg, the very capable and experienced Pam Madoff) to serve out this term.

Apparently the provincial Elections Act requires this byelection, so city council takes no responsibility nor initiative to change this. I asked them. So, change this for all B.C. municipalities to save them all from this unnecessary expense when a councilor resigns. I am a full supporter of our democratic system but let’s also pay attention to the costs of this bureaucratic exercise.

Norm Tatlow

Victoria

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

Just Posted

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich residents warned to watch livestock after bear kills llama

Officers with Conservation, Saanich police could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Local New Democrat Zeb King welcomed Premier John Horgan during a brief photo opportunity in Sidney Monday afternoon (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
NDP leader John Horgan predicts party will ‘flip’ Saanich North and the Islands

Incumbent MLA Adam Olsen calls Horgan’s claim ‘bold’

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

London Drugs at Colwood Corners is temporarily closed after a water main burst on Sunday afternoon. (Google Maps)
Water main burst temporarily closes London Drugs in Colwood

Staff say re-opening date yet to be determined after Sunday incident

West Shore RCMP say a single car crash into a power pole caused a power outage that affected over 1,500 residents in Colwood on Monday morning. (West Shore RCMP)
Vancouver driver cause of power outage in Colwood

Police detain 27-year-old man for impaired driving investigation

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Steven Michael Bacon pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder of Nanaimo teen Makayla Chang. (Photos submitted)
Accused pleads not guilty in Nanaimo teen’s 2017 murder

Steven Bacon appeared in Nanaimo court Monday via video link from Thunder Bay

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read