Prince Rupert trying to hike taxes on the islands

  • Mar. 21, 2005 3:00 p.m.

Submitted by Carol Kulesha, regional district director-Friday night at the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District meeting, with the cooperation of the other Island and electoral area directors, I shut down the meeting before the new budget could be approved.
We are now without a budget. This is serious and what it means in the end to the regional district is unknown. I believe that I had no choice but move to adjourn the meeting as Prince Rupert and Port Edward had rejected the finance committee’s budget in the 11th hour and with their weighted vote would have pushed a budget forward that unfairly targeted Queen Charlotte and to a lesser degree the other electoral areas.
The budget produced by Prince Rupert had the greatest impact on the most vulnerable community, Queen Charlotte. It arbitrarily upped our water and sewer administration fees over 200% from $16,000 per year to $50,000 per year! There was no back up documentation or survey of staff time to corroborate the increase.
The finance committee has recognized Prince Rupert’s difficult economic times by both substantial budget cuts ($127,000 less this year for Prince Rupert – more than a $580,000 decrease over the past five years) and a new “user pay” philosophy. The board also agreed to undergo a staff analysis to see if the unincorporated areas are paying their fair share. This was not enough. When financial matters are on the table, Prince Rupert has half the votes and with Port Edward cooperating can pass any budget they want.
We run our own office, have our own public works staff but depend on the regional district because of our status as an unincorporated community. $50,000 administration is a figment of Prince Rupert’s imagination, an outrageous money grab and an abuse of power.
To allow this budget to go through means raising our sewer and water rates and using our equipment reserve. Stopping the meeting is a delaying tactic and is only a short term move while we look for other solutions.

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

On the Wing: Interpretation of the natural world

By Margo Hearne It’s summer on Haida Gwaii. A quieter time for… Continue reading

More parks, trails and protected areas reopen for local day use on Haida Gwaii

Council of the Haida Nation announced more reopenings on Friday, July 3

PHOTOS: Haida Gwaii residents mark Canada Day with mini parade and more

Rainmakers also performed on Canada Day, but singer Julia Weder said they call it ‘occupation day’

Skidegate celebrates 2020 grads with button blanket ceremony

Graduating students celebrated with Haida singing, drumming, speeches and custom button blankets

VIDEO: Port Clements bumper golf course in full swing

Volunteers, rec staff transformed soccer field into small, social distancing-friendly golf course

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

Most Read