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Friday, October 30, 2020
   
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How local bureaucrats are hurting local government
U.S. President Barak Obama has branded him a corporate welfare bum --- town gossips claim he is a trillionaire --- the Old Timer lives in subsidized housing and spends his days dumpster diving

30-Oct-06 -

As far back as 2004 (we thought the Alberta Tories could lose the election that year over their high-handed treatment of local government) the Eye Opener complained that provincial bureaucrats have jealously blocked any devolution of tax powers to local governments. And we continue to complain, - see our articles of 17-Oct-06 - Dave Bronconnier and Dumbed Down Taxes; 11-Jul-06 - Fort McMurray - fiscal imbalance Alberta style. But local empire-building, turf-waring bureaucrats don't help. In the Victoria area - where only 340,000 people live:

  • there are 13 local governments, each sporting their own rat nests of high-paid bureaucrats who spew out their own local brand of red tape, "own" their own planning departments, overlapping police forces, fully-equipped fire departments, theatres, art galleries - together they elect 91 politicians - in Vancouver, where 600,000 people live, there is one local government, 11 politicians.
  • local governments around Victoria have set up another layer, a bureaucracy of bureaucracies, the unelected "Capital Regional District" - it employs another 900 bureaucrats.
  • individual local governments are so small they don't qualify for many of the "infrastructure grants" doled out by the provincial and federal governments.

John Les, B.C.'s Solicitor General (under B.C.'s hub and spoke political power system, Les can shut down all or any of B.C.'s police forces), says that Victoria's 15 (including the Capital Regional District and RCMP) police forces don't work together to solve murders and robberies or to fight gangs or to deal with other serious crimes. He threatens to "amalgamate" them.

Saanich mayor Frank Leonard has reacted by biting the backs of bureaucrats, politicians and cops in the neighbouring local government of the City of Victoria. The City of Victoria is plotting to take over our police force whines Leonard, "they don't co-operate on integration because they hope it fails". Leonard is "laughable" fires back Victoria police chief Paul Battershill.

A group of Victorians are petitioning the the provincial government to, at least, consider amalgamating the 13 local governments. To sign their petition click here.

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