Missed chance for government costs

I was listening intently to the budget speech and I believe the government missed an opportunity to reduce government operating costs

I was listening intently to the budget speech and I believe the government missed an opportunity to reduce government operating costs through the promotion of urban density.

Urban sprawl carries many costs that increase operating costs to all levels of government, but in particular the province.

• The province and municipalities will reduce costs for service provision as we move towards more compact communities.

For instance, out-patient health-care providers, social workers, transportation providers are now increasingly travelling further out to service clients under the current urban sprawl model.

If a service provider (e.g., social worker, health-care provider, policeman and so on) can attend two or three appointments within walking distance or short commuting distance by transit or even automobile this is a time saver and also a fuel cost saver.

• Also by freeing road capacity government will stop the vicious cycle of trying to catch up to the next subdivision (urban sprawl). This means existing road capacity is used more efficiently thus delaying or negating the need for further road investment for expansion.

Correspondingly, there will be measurable decreases in road maintenance and rehabilitation costs.

• Governments will also face the direct accident cost savings of decreased incidence of automobile accidents for those commuters that switch modes of travel, through decreased exposure.  A tangible benefit measured in million vehicle kilometres travelled.

• Countries with the highest levels of walking and biking also have the lowest levels of obesity. This preventative measure is very important as our health-care costs are projected to increase exponentially.

• The chairman of Dofasco addressed a group of Grade 13 students, of which I was one, at Dofasco’s steel mill about 30 years ago at a management ground level training program.

He indicated as per a European model, lower operating and transportation costs for individuals is good business for Dofasco. This is why Dofasco encouraged higher density in Hamilton, Ont. It prevents transportation headaches, creates punctuality, and makes their pay go further.

Labour accessibility is good for manufacturing, but is also good for all segments of the economy.

Density is not a panacea, but it helps make workers’ pay go further in the face of cheaper production costs globally.

The government may want to keep this in mind when it faces negotiating labour contracts.

Avi Ickovich



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

Just Posted

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Saanich farm stands can stay open

Council amending bylaw to allow for temporary use permits

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

Bike lane closed, traffic impacted by landscaping in Metchosin

Construction begins May 25, to be complete by mid-July

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

Most Read