Sunday, May 27, 2012

Canary In The Coal Mine?


"Local residents are hotly debating a variety of issues, including spiraling town spending, a proposed $10 million water system and town governance."


The above statement comes from an article published by Integrity BC reporting on the situation in Lillooet where 336 residents requested that the provincial government conduct an inquiry into town affairs. One of the controversial issues is the decision by the city to proceed with a $10 million water system capable of serving 30,000 people in this community of 2300 while residents remain in the dark about its sustainability and long-term operating costs.

While the population has declined by 16% between 2000 - 2009 the per capita spending jumped by 83% during the same period. It is said town residents are hotly debating a variety of issues, including spiraling town spending, a proposed $10 million water system and town governance.

In a shocking move in January of this year town Mayor and one councillor resigned from office after only one month. At best the relationship between citizens and officials could be called dysfunctional.

The author observes that with more and more small BC communities facing uncertainty over their future, Lillooet could very well be the proverbial canary in the coal mine. 

Comment: It seems that Nanaimo is not the only place where officials are determined to keep on spending regardless if it can be afforded or is the best possible option. For example Nanaimo is being forced to spend $72 million to filter water which we also claim is as safe as filtered bottled water. A decision foisted on the Nanaimo taxpayer by a couple of high level bureaucrats at VIHA and city hall and accepted by a wishy-washy group of councillors. The difference between Lillooet and Nanaimo? In Lillooet it seems the citizens actually get involved with what their municipal government is doing.

allvoices

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