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NORTH WESTSIDE RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION
May 06, 2014
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be sure you see any updates.
North Westside Ratepayers Association (NWRA)
Proposed gravel pit has nearby residents worried
Kelowna Capital News - By Jason Luciw - April 02,
Residents say they are ready to “mobilize” against
the Westbank First Nation’s proposed gravel pit in the Fintry area,
just south of the La Casa subdivision.
The WFN and its partner, Canadian Aggregates Inc., have applied to
the B.C. Ministry of Mines to haul up to 249,000 metric tonnes per
year from a 50-hectare property, located 27 kilometres up Westside
Approximately 40 gravel truck trips per day would be required along
Westside Road to haul that much material from the pit, according to
a permit application made to the B.C. Ministry of Mines.
Hearing that, North Westside Ratepayers’ Association president Diane
Baldwin and North Westside Community Association president Ian
Kilpatrick say they are opposed to the pit because it will make an
already unsafe traffic situation on Westside Road even more
“There will be opposition from one end of our community to the
other,” said Baldwin.
“We won’t go down without a fight against this application.”
Baldwin was even more upset at learning the proposed life of the pit
would be 50 years, during which time up to 20 million metric tonnes
of gravel could be removed.
“That’s outrageous. We will certainly mobilize against this.”
Baldwin said members of her association have already started a
letter-writing campaign against the pit, sending letters to the
Central Okanagan Regional District board, the B.C. Ministry of Mines
and Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart.
As for Kilpatrick, his organization’s letter writing campaign is
And the only way he could see residents support the application now
would be if the gravel pit operators agreed to avoid use of Westside
Road all together and create another way out, perhaps west to the
Coquihalla or north to Highway 97 around Terrace Mountain.
“As it is now they’d have to go north to Vernon because those trucks
will not make it to Kelowna on Westside Road,” said Kilpatrick.
“No matter what, the trucks will destroy the road and a few of them
will probably end up in the drink.
“Certainly there are needs for gravel in this area, and I don’t want
to stand against that, but certainly they can’t make it down
Westside Road safely.”
Meanwhile, Central Okanagan Regional District rural director Jim
Edgson said he would be meeting with community groups in the coming
month to gauge their appetite for finding solutions to the traffic
He said he would be conducting a “straw poll” to determine if
residents would be more supportive if means could be found to haul
gravel away by barge on Okanagan Lake.
“I am willing to help in any way I can. I have no problem with
gravel pits in general. But on this one, I want mines (officials) to
take a look at every concern including Westside Road.
“And maybe one way to eliminate the use of the road is by barging.”
Edgson also said he would like the mines ministry to postpone
consideration of the permit until after the Central Okanagan
Aggregate Committee has completed its work to establish a green,
yellow and red system that would recommend to the ministry where
gravel pits should be permitted in relation to residential
No one from the Westbank First Nation or Canadian Aggregates’ agent
AC Eagle Ltd. returned calls requesting their comments.
jluciw "at" kelownacapnews.com
CORD reduces tax hit
Kelowna Capital News - By Jason Luciw -
March 11, 2010
The loss for parks proponents
will be a gain for other taxpayers.
The Central Okanagan Regional District board is poised to
scale back the Parks Legacy Program in order to give
taxpayers a break this year.
The board had originally proposed a tax increase of seven
cents per thousand dollars of assessment this year to pay
for parkland acquisitions. Instead, the board is now
planning to collect 3.5 cents per thousand.
What that would mean is tax decreases on the regional
district portion of property tax bills going out in Kelowna,
Peachland, Lake Country and West Kelowna later this year.
In Kelowna, the decrease would be $5.29 on average, when
compared to last year. The figure is based on a home valued
at $440,000––the Central Okanagan average.
By contrast, if the Parks Legacy Program had been funded in
full, taxes would have gone up in Kelowna $6.71.
Taxes on the regional district portion of taxes will drop
$6.16 in Peachland and $5.21 in Lake Country.
Regional District taxes will go down a whopping $117.90 in
West Kelowna. However, only about three to four dollars of
that is due to the board’s decision to scale back the parks
The majority of the decrease is the result of the transfer
of transit services from the regional district to the
municipality. The costs will appear instead on the municipal
portion of West Kelowna’s tax bill.
As for the two rural areas, despite the reduction in the
parks acquisition program
taxes will increase $52.61 in Central Okanagan West
and $58.97 in Central Okanagan East.
The added taxes will cover increases in costs of regional
district services in areas such as planning, building
inspection, fire protection and contributions to the
Okanagan Regional Library system.
The regional board is expected to pass its final budget on
Incidentally, even with cutbacks in the parks acquisition
program, the regional district said it would still have
$13.02 million in cash and borrowing capacity to purchase
parkland this year, compared to the $16.05 million it would
have had under the full program.
jluciw "at" kelownacapnews.com
|February 22, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan
Regular Board Agenda
Item 4.1 North Westside Fire Rescue Fire Boat Update.pdf
Agenda No: 4.1
Mtg Date: February 22, 2010
Regional Board Report
TO: Regional Board
FROM: Rod Miller - Manager Fire Services
DATE: February 22, 2010
SUBJECT: North Westside Road Fire Rescue Fire Boat
THAT a Mutual Aid agreement be established with the Okanagan Landing
Fire Department to respond to the NWS Fire Protection area for
Structural Fire Fighting and Interface Fire Fighting support for a
trial period of at least I year, to assist in training and boat
trials to better determine the resource needs of the NWS Fire
Department and the community.
AND FURTHER to audit the Regional Rescue program as it pel1ains
to Marine Fire & Rescue response to determine the appropriate
resources and their location on Okanagan Lake.
At the November 12, 2009 G&S Committee Meeting staff were directed
to provide a report on the mobile water supply vessel for the North
Westside Fire Rescue Department. This report includes the following
1. Can a Mutual or Automatic Aid agreement be established with
the Okanagan Landing Fire Department?
2. Training Costs
3. Technical Boat Specifications
4. Capital costs for the fire boat
5. Annual operating & maintenance costs
6. Boat house costs
7. Location for the boat house
8. Mutual Aid to the Regional District
1. Mutual Aid Agreement with Okanagan Landing F.D.
In discussion with the Okanagan Landing Fire Department there is a
willingness to provide Aid to the RDCO and to the North Westside
Community. They have a Fire Boat that is capable of providing water
in the event of a structure and/or interface fire along the North
Their boat is capable of pumping 500 GPM and could provide added
resources in areas where water supply is an issue; to the many homes
which border the lake. This response is conditional however. If the
department's assets are being deployed in their own district they
may not be able to respond.. Also there would be a time delay as the
boat would have to travel from their community across the lake,
approx. 11 km. This time delay would be increased due to weather
conditions, etc. In optimum conditions it would take 15 - 20 minutes
to reach the center of the NW Fire Protection Area; also response
time for the volunteers to respond to the boat could be 10 minutes
making the total response time at approximately 25 - 30 minutes.
Along with providing aid to the community it is recommended that
joint training sessions take place to:
• Familiarize the fire fighters with the equipment and procedures.
• To establish joint operating guidelines and understand the needs
of the area.
• To provide evaluation information based on the need for the boat
and if this method of response will serve the community.
One other aspect of the agreement is the fact that this boat is
not an asset of the City of Vernon but of the Okanagan Landing Fire
Department Society. It is the sole responsibility of the Society to
operate, manage, insure and maintain the boat. They do purchase
liability insurance for the boat and this would be a condition of
Entering in a Mutual Aid agreement with the Okanagan Landing Fire
Department Society would allow time to assess the need in the
community, to measure the ability of the Fire Department to utilize
the boat and integrate it into their fire attack for structure fires
and sprinkler protection efforts in an interface fire situation.
2. Training Costs
Several quotes were received for training. The information enclosed
matches the Kelowna Fire department boat training requirements for
the Regional Rescue boat operators.
The amounts below could be reduced by training fewer members, but
the nature of a paid-on call department is such that there is no
assurance that one of the people trained will be immediately
Marine Personnel Regulations:
If the vessel is <5GT and carries not more than 12 passengers, the
following is required, as a minimum; according to Capt. Jimmy Watt
of West Coast Powerboat Handling (Director/ Chief Instructor). The
company is a Transport Canada approved course provider.
There is also ongoing training that would need to occur to keep
the skill level of the operators and land based firefighters
current. This would have to be scheduled at a logical frequency and
could be managed in the current training and education budget.
There would be additional equipment needed, as mentioned in the
Capital portion of the report; 4" hose, PFDs, extreme weather suits.
The equipment budget would be impacted as these items would need
replacement overtime for normal wear & tear.
6. Boat House Location
The location illustrated is Killiney Beach in the Regional Park.
There is already a boat launch, dock and a pump house that are
Regional assets in the park and available power if needed for the
boat house or equipment.
This location was selected for its ease of access, close
proximity to Fire Station # I0 I and facilities already in place.
7. Boat Moorage Costs
As there are no specific guidelines, other than the boat needs to be
protected from the environment, it was decided that a simple dock of
adequate length with an electric boat lift would be adequate. It
would also need to be secure from vandalism. Also some of the
construction could be done by the local Fire Department members
saving labour costs.
|Dock (64') in length
|5 ton boat lift
|Electrical for lift (est.)
|Permit, Licence, etc.
|32,000.00 (+ tax)
8. Mutual Aid to the Regional District
The boat will be available whenever it is needed in the Regional
District. It would provide resources to any fire along the lake
whether it is a structure fire or an interface incident.
Staff has considered input from the NWS Fire Department, Central
Okanagan Regional Fire Departments, NWS residents, Marine
Professionals, other Fire Departments that currently use Fire Boats
to provide resources as are being considered and from Boat building
companies throughout North America. Staff have found many
conflicting points of view, ideas and as to what should be
considered as best practises
for a project of this nature.
In trying to evaluate what is the best approach for the community
and the RDCO as a whole; consideration has been given to the
community wants and needs, also to how the service could be part of
the Regional Rescue program.
Due to insufficient water supply in parts of the area, the extreme
fire hazard rating and the approximately 190 + lake front homes it
was thought that a marine mobile water supply (fire boat) should be
That it should have the capability to aid in fire attack along
the shore, supply water to Engines and Tankers or directly to
firefighters attacking a structure or interface fire. It should also
have the ability to pump water to areas that could be easily
accessed by a Tender to relay water to the fire scene. It should
also provide a means of escape for people or firefighters trapped
along the shore due to the advance of a wildfire situation.
Once the boat is purchased it would be utilized in an overall
plan to achieve Superior Tender Shuttle rating, from Insurance
Underwriters, for the community. This would give the community the
equivalent of a rated water supply for fire protection. This could
possibly result in lower insurance premiums for those homes which
are not currently credited with a water supply for firefighting
Staff did meet with insurance providers and the potential savings
on a home with a fire department and a rated water system could be
up to 30% over one which had only a fire department. This could mean
potential savings up to 2 - 4,000.00 per year depending on its value
and other options selected.
It is not clear to staff that this resource is required at this
time by Northwest Fire. There have been only 1 or 2 structure fires
per year over the last 5 years. It is not apparent that a boat of
this type would have resulted in any different outcomes for the fire
department, and may have complicated the efforts due to manning
issues and the infrequency of these types of calls.
At any incident start there is always a level of confusion until
assignments are made and everyone is clear on the overall goals of
the incident commander. Experience in a city fire department for
many years and managing fire calls, is that it takes many hours of
training, repeated responses and strong leadership to keep the scene
controlled and everyone working to the same objectives.
This is a concern for several reasons, unpredictable firefighter
response to the scene, firefighters who may not be as familiar with
the equipment (boat), predetermined roles for apparatus response. To
make an offensive attack on a structure you need a minimum of 13
firefighters on scene filling the various assignments. Adding a boat
in the mix would require the need for at least 2 more on the boat,
plus firefighters to advance supply lines etc., this may be more
resources then are available also adding to the overall confusion.
To this point there has been no discussion of the boat as a rescue
boat. To serve the Regional District as part of the Regional Rescue
program a boat at the Northern end of the lake would be an added
benefit. A boat of similar design to the current boat (in Kelowna)
with a larger pump as specified in the NWS plan could benefit the
entire north end of the lake. It would not need to be situated in
the NWS area but would still provide the same benefit if it was
housed close to the area. There have been occasions when the boat in
Kelowna was unavailable to respond or the response time was to slow,
because of the distance, for it to be utilized.
Staff would like to review the entire Marine portion of the
Regional Rescue Program to determine if an additional boat would be
the best solution and if the same view was shared by the Regional
District and the Regional Fire Departments.
To read the rest of this .pdf document
click here on the Regional Districts website.
This letter from the North Westside Ratepayers Association in regards to
the increase in cost of the Sugar Loaf transfer station was posted to
the bulletin boards Feb 2010. Click on each part of the letter to
2009 Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Agenda
Item 4.2 Woodhaven Boardroom Audio-Video.pdf
TO: Regional Board
FROM: Mary Jane Drouin Corporate Services Coordinator
DATE: December 1,2009
SUBJECT: Video and Audio System for the Woodhaven Boardroom
THAT the Regional Board approve $40,000 in the 2009 budget for the purchase of
an audio sound system for the Woodhaven Boardroom.
At the October 26th Board meeting, the Board directed staff to further evaluate
and review the implications and costs of a visual component along with a sound
system for the Woodhaven Boardroom.
Staff took the opportunity to tour the District of West Kelowna Council chambers
as they have recently installed video and audio components for website access by
the public. Their system has multiple cameras and requires a person to operate
the cameras and technology. The City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country and
District of Peachland do not have a video component in their Council Chambers.
Shaw Cable tapes their meetings and broadcasts later. Shaw has been contacted
and they are not interested in broadcasting Regional Board meetings, but as
always, will cover specific issues of interest to the public.
Upon financial review of a video component, it is estimated that it would cost
at the minimum $30,000 for a video system similar to what has been installed in
West Kelowna's Council Chamber. As well, a staff member would also be required
to attend all meetings to operate the equipment, which would be an additional
cost. The wireless audio system is budgeted at $40,000 which has a portable use
in meetings outside the KLO Road building.
Due to budget impacts to the 2010 budget, staff recommend at this time the Board
support an audio system only. It is recommended that the audio for Board
meetings be provided for public convenience on the Regional District's website.
This option would encourage citizens to go to our website instead of linking to
other sites to hear the meeting proceedings. Staff would continue to monitor any
concerns the public may have and report back to the Board regarding any demand
for video (which could always be added in future years).
Since the October meeting, staff continue to receive queries from a few
residents regarding whether a sound system is to be installed as they have a
great deal of difficulty hearing all Directors during the meeting process. Staff
has not received any inquiries for a video component.
Should the Board wish to proceed with an audio system in 2009, funds could be
reallocated from the administration capital budget. In 2009, $12,000 was
budgeted for a sound system and $180,000 in the administration capital budget
(for renovations, carpet upgrade, etc) and to date $3,193 has been expended
[expenses have yet to be paid for the water repair damage to the building].
Alternately, the cost could be added to the 2010 budget (approved in March
This is for your consideration.
December 14, 2009 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional
Item 4.2 Woodhaven Boardroom Audio-Video.pdf
4.2 Video and Audio System for the Woodhaven Boardroom (All
Directors Unweighted Vote)
Staff report dated December 1, 2009
outlined the financial impact for both an audio and video system for the
Woodhaven Boardroom. The
Board had requested staff evaluate a video system but
due to the financial impact staff recommend only the installation of an audio
system at this time.
THAT the Regional Board approves $40,000 in the 2009 budget for the purchase of
an audio sound system for the Woodhaven Boardroom.
|October 26, 2009 Regional District of Central Okanagan
Regional Board Agenda
Item 4.2 Audio System and Cue Light System.pdf
Regional Board Report
TO: Regional Board
FROM: Mary Jane Drouin
Corporate Services Coordinator
DATE: October 20, 2009
SUBJECT: Audio System for the Woodhaven Boardroom
The Regional Board directed staff to investigate the costs for
installing an audio system in the Woodhaven Boardroom. At various
times during meetings and public hearings, it has become difficult
for the public to hear Board members speak and concerns have been
raised by the public. As well, at times it is difficult for Board
members to hear the public, staff and fellow Board members.
Staff investigated and tested a similar audio system that the
Kootenay Boundary Regional District, City of Kelowna and the West
Kelowna installed in their Council Chambers. Due to the
configuration of the Woodhaven Board room a wireless system is the
The pros of the wireless system is that it
is portable--no wires will be required under the Board table,
across the floor to staff tables and the podium. Due to public
hearings and community meetings occasionally being held off site and
audio required, a wireless system would be available for these
meetings as well. In the past, the Regional District has had to hire
an audio company to provide the sound system. The cons of the
wireless system is the cost (approximately twice).
The cost of the wireless system is $38,400.
Should the Board wish to proceed with an
audio system as soon as possible, funds could be reallocated from
the administration capital budget. In
2009, $12,000 was budgeted for a sound system and $180,000 in
the administration capital budget (for renovations, carpet upgrade,
etc) and to date $3,193 has been expended [expenses have yet to be
paid for the water repair damage to the building].
Alternately, the cost could be added to the
2010 budget (approved in March 2010).
In addition, staff were asked to confirm what it would cost to
setup a cue light/sound system in the Woodhaven Boardroom to assist
with timing delegations/input at public hearings, etc. The system
researched is the same unit the City of Kelowna has installed in
Council Chambers. This system would cost approximately $1,000.
This is for your consideration.
October 26, 2009 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional
4.2 Audio System & Cue Light System (All
Directors - Unweighted Vote)
Staff were asked to investigate the cost of a sound system for
the Woodhaven Boardroom. Staff recommend a wireless system in order
for the system to be portable. In discussion, the question was
raised whether consideration should also be given to implementation
of a video system whereby Regional Board meetings could be
broadcasted ie: webcasting, cable t.v., etc.
Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes
- October 26. 2009 (Pg. 5)
THAT the October 20, 2009 staff report on an audio system and cue
light/sound system be received;
AND FURTHER THAT staff be directed to review the implications and
cost of a visual component (for web casting, possible video
conferencing, etc.) along with a portable sound system.
THAT the Regional Board approve the purchase of a cue light system
for an approximate cost of $1,000 for the use of timing delegations
at Regional District meetings.
March 27, 2009 Regional District of Central Okanagan Special Board
Meeting Minutes (Pg. 3)
Added $12,000 capital for a sound system in the
Woodhaven Boardroom funded from reserves.
v) Boardroom Sound System
Staff noted that $12,000 has been budgeted in reserves for a
possible boardroom sound system. As the timeline for this request
has been limited, true costs are not available and staff have been
directed to research options for
a sound system.
letter from the North Westside Road Ratepayers
"JUST SAY NO" in regards to the
purchase of a fireboat
was found on the
local bulletin board and in the mailboxes
sometime around November 12, 2009
March 27, 2009 Regional District of Central Okanagan Special Board
Meeting Minutes (pg 4)
1.4 Public Comment on 2009 - 2013
i) Petition - North Westside Ratepayers Association (Diane
A petition from the North Westside Ratepayers Association
opposing the purchase of a fire boat was circulated to the Board.
Diane Baldwin addressed the Board stating their opposition to the
purchase of the proposed fire boat.
Several reasons for their opposition were stated: not the
region's responsibility to provide cheaper insurance to some
property owners, believe purchase will exceed planned budget,
specific training will be required, Fire Technical Committee in
previous meetings did not support the purchase of a boat, liability
and maintenance is of concern, fire boats are not meant to fight
land based fires.
Staff reviewed the status of the boat acquisition: money is
budgeted in reserves;
CGI study has just been received and will be brought forward to
the Board for consideration, Last year, the Board put a caveat on
the budget that no decision would be made on the purchase of the
boat until the CGI study is completed. It was further noted that
although the funds are in the 2009 budget, no purchase would occur
without the Board's final approval, community support and technical
fire advisory committee recommendations. The director has committed
to seek community input on the purchase.
THAT the Regional Board receive the March 21, 2009 petition from the
North Westside Ratepayers Association regarding the purchase of a
fireboat (mobile marine water supply unit);
AND FURTHER THAT the Regional Board supports including in the
2009 budget the funds to support an equipment purchase but defers
any decision with regard to the purchase of a fireboat until all
technical information is received, inclUding feedback from the Fire
Technical Advisory Committee and public consultation.
ii) Dave Robertson re: North Westside Fire Department
Dave Robertson expressed concern regarding the North Westside Fire
Department noting they should be given the resources needed to
provide the protection needed in the community. He is a volunteer
fire fighter with the department. He has provided alternate
equipment information to Rod Miller the Regional District's fire
coordinator. He further noted that there is no mention of Engine 102
replacement within the budget when he understood replacement was
needed. Suggested replacing Engine 102 with a proper designed bush
truck instead of a fire boat. Proper public input should be
completed and a strategic plan needs to be done for the department
for the long-term.
iii) Other Presentations
Joe Acres - North Westside homeowner - background is a fire-fighter
and is a volunteer firefighter with the North Westside Fire
Department. Does not believe there are many homeowners opposed to
the purchase of the fire boat nor do the petitioners have the
correct information. Concern was expressed regarding the water pumps
in the Killiney Beach area. Fire hydrant boat would be better than a
fire rescue boat.
The Chair reminded the gallery that the Board is not debating
whether to purchase the fire boat, the decision today is based on
budget only and whether to keep the funds in the reserves..
Mary Mandarino - Westside Residents Association (spokesperson for
Noted she was chosen by the five charter members as their
spokesperson. Concerned about the duplication of services between
the District of West Kelowna and the Regional District in particular
the issue of parks. Concerned about the costs for increased transit
services to the Westside. Does not believe it is the correct
economic time to purchase lands for parks acquisition. Concern was
noted about fiscal restraint during this difficult time.
Director Findlater noted that the District of West Ke/owna is
looking at service reviews between the municipality and the Regional
District. Chair Hobson noted that a strategic review of the Regional
District will be ongoing throughout 2009.
Bob Johncock - North Westside Communities Association - believes
the petition for the fire boat does not represent the true community
concerns. Believes the funds should be taken out of reserves and put
into the budget. Let the experts
make the decision about the fire boat.
Sharon Scnurr - Valley of the Sun - have no water system to fight
fires and it will take three years for the water system to be put in
place. Existing water systems should be upgraded so fire departments
don't run out of water.
Ms. Landers - expressed concern about the economic downturn and
the tax base and increased taxes.
Joe Acres - provided further advice on what type of fire boat
equipment should be purchased.
Deborah Iglehart - member of the North West Fire Department -
noted support for the purchase of the fire boat. It will help save
homes and lives. The boat will provide the water that is required
and will be a tool to support the fire department.
Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Agenda
Letter dated March 21, 2009 from North Westside Ratepayers in regards to a North Westside Road
Fire / Rescue Dept. fire boat.
Item 1.4 i) Petition North Westside Ratepayers Association.pdf
"We, the undersigned, declare we are residents of the North Westside Road Fire
District (Westshore to La Casa). Further,
we the undersigned,
vigorously oppose and will not support the acquisition of a Fireboat for this
area. We prefer the One Hundred and Fifty Thousand dollar
($150,000.00) cost of a Fireboat be spent on more conventional Firefighting
"We, the signatories above, declare we are 18 years of age or older, and we are
Canadian citizens. We have lived in British Columbia for at least six months
before signing this form. We have live in the North Westside Road Fire
Protection area (Westshore to La Casa) for at least 30 days before signing this
March 19, 2009 Governance & Services Committee Meeting Minutes
3.2 Letter from Diane Baldwin, North Westside Ratepayers Association
Acoustics in Board Meeting Room
A letter of concern was brought forward regarding a problem some
residents have hearing board members and staff at meetings. A
request to install microphones at each seat at the boardroom table
THAT staff to do an analysis and bring back a report on costs for
adding a sound system to the Woodhaven Boardroom.
If this is put
through, Castanet.net said they would be happy to broadcast the
meetings on their website for free.
February 11, 2009 Governance & Services Committee Meeting Minutes
North Westside Fire Boat - It was noted that correspondence has been
received from the North Westside Ratepayers Association stating
concerns regarding the possible purchase of a fire boat. Staff noted
that the funds are in reserve fund and that no decision has been
made whether to purchase a boat. The Regional District is waiting
for the CGI Assessment study which has been undertaken for all the
RDCO fire departments and recommendations from same. Once the
information is received, the Fire Technical Committee will review
the study and it is anticipated to provide recommendations. It is
expected that the report will be completed by the end of the month.
Directors Shepherd and Reid left the meeting at 11:50 a.m.
THAT the January 29,2009 and the February 9,2009 letters from Diane
Baldwin and Allastair Fergusson of the North Westside Ratepayers
Association be received and referred to staff for a further
Financial Plan Budget 2008 -
Made easier to read than RDCO's .pdf
We have found some interesting
property tax as well as income tax statistics from the Okanagan that you may
want to have a look at.
Letter from North Westside Ratepayers re: March 27, 2009 Budget meeting Bob
Bob Johncox, Vice President of the North Westside Community Association
(“NWCA”), spoke on behalf of the NWCA at the Budget Meeting directly
subsequent to the NWRA's statements to the Board, in what can only be
described as an irrelevant attack on the NWRA and its members.
|Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Report Jan 26, 2009
Appointments to Advisory Commissions for 2009
The Regional Board has appointed two people to become members of its
Commissions. Vanda Mallinson will serve on the Central Okanagan East
Commission while Robert Johncox will join the Advisory Planning
Commission for the Central
Okanagan West Electoral Area. Both are two-year appointments.
Nov 2008 letter from
Allastair Fergusson (director and past president)
RE: FIRE BOAT PURCHASE $150,000
April 2008 letter from
Allastair Fergusson, president
RE: FIRE BOAT PURCHASE $150,000
Dec 2007 letter from Allastair
RE: THANK YOU LETTER REGARDING
ALTERNATIVE APPROVAL FOR KILLINEY BEACH HALL
The North Westside Ratepayers Association presented a two hundred and sixty name
peition opposing the acquisition of a fireboat for the North Westside Fire and
Regional district scales back jaw-dropping tax hikes
Kelowna Capital News - By Jason Luciw - Published:
February 12, 2009
A huge tax hike, courtesy of the
Central Okanagan Regional District, caused board directors to gasp
and wince when they first saw the numbers this week.
The proposed 21.2 per cent increase, contained in the 2009
provisional budget, was quickly reduced, however, to the detriment
of a parkland acquisition strategy.
On average, the original hike would have added $45.46 to tax bills
in the Central Okanagan. Increases varied by municipality.
Chief financial officer Marilyn Rilkoff quickly pointed out though,
that the preliminary budget presented the full gamut of proposed
programs and service improvements only for discussion purposes.
She added that she fully expected the board would pare down the
In fact, almost immediately after Rilkoff showed a slide proposing
one means of reducing taxes, Kelowna Coun. Brian Given moved
The first program to be scaled back will be the new Parks Legacy
Fund, which was being created to purchase additional parkland.
Originally, the regional district planned to charge seven cents on
every $1,000 of a home’s assessed value. That would have been about
$32 on a home assessed at $450,000.
However, Given said he felt more comfortable with Rilkoff’s back-up
plan of charging 3.5 cents this year, and 3.5 cents in 2010.
The board agreed.
West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater added that given the current
economic climate and slowed pace of construction, parkland
acquisition was a far less pressing matter these days.
“I know that there was agreement on all of this before but the
landscape has really changed quite radically since all of this
started a couple of years ago,” he said “It needs a fundamental
Findlater said the board should also have an in camera discussion to
review those properties being considered for purchase.
Given the downward adjustment to the parks legacy program, Kelowna
residents will now be looking at a maximum increase of $9.79 on
their tax bill for regional district programs and services like 911
service, Crime Stoppers, dog control, economic development and
regional rescue, to name a few.
On the other end of the scale, West Kelowna residents could
potentially face a much larger increase of $32.79 for added services
they receive, such as waste water treatment and transit. Increases
would be $29.32 in Peachland, $26.93 in Lake Country and
Taxes would drop 29 cents in Joe Rich and Ellison.
However, Rilkoff pointed out that the regional board will make even
further cuts to the budget between now and its final adoption on
March 27. She will present a second draft to the board on March 19.
Regional district taxes are charged over and above what
municipalities bill for their programs and services.
|RE: Singles subsidize families $515 on property tax this year
Being single is hard enough without having to help subsidize others:
Singles are required to pay:
- mortgage all by yourself
- telephone bill by yourself
- hydro bill by yourself
- tv bill by yourself
- internet by yourself
- etc. all by yourself
But why should a single person also have to pay the same as a family
of 5 on their property taxes?
- for the garbage
- for water
- for school taxes (what kids)
I am finding it very difficult to be able to afford to live. No I
didn't choose to be single ... it just happened that way. And no I
had no kids pop out by accident as precautions were always taken. I
was lucky that I wasn't one of the women to accidently get pregnant
being single! So I do have something to be thankful for.
I am a smoker and I can't just quit smoking because I want to. Most
of my money goes to pay for the tax on cigarettes. I smoke between 3
- 4 cartons per month at $67.49 per carton plus GST $3.37 = $70.86.
So 4 cartons per month = $283.44 per month. I call the tax on
A large portion of my money goes to things I don't fully use like a
family would. For instance the garbage, water, and school taxes.
My garbage bill is $90 per year and I think it should look more like
this = $90 divided by family of 5 = $18.00 per year
If I had water and didn't have to haul it, my water bill would be
approx. $375.00 per year divided by a family of 5 = $75.00 per year.
The 2008 school tax charged on my property tax bill = $143.00
Since I don't have any kids I believe I shouldn't have to pay any of
the school taxes
Savings per year on the three items mentioned above garbage, water,
and school taxes would come to the following:
garbage $90.00 - $18 = $72 savings
water $375.00 - $75 = $300 savings
school tax $143.00 = $143 savings
So in total I would have a savings of $515.00 per year
These days there are more than likely more singles than there has
been in the bolden days. I believe I subsidize families just a
little too much and I can't afford it! I want to be able to afford
I am sure that single people don't realize how much they help
subsidize families! As a single person I could sure use that $515
per year! If you agree that singles shouldn't subsidize families,
please contact your local MLA.
Single and could really use the money!
Public must get involved in budget
Vernon Morning Star - Opinion - Published: January
It's often said that the only thing in life that we can look forward
to is death and taxes, and there's not much you can do about either.
But that's not actually the case when it comes to taxes.
All local municipalities and the North Okanagan Regional District
are currently developing their budgets for 2009 and determining
whether residential and commercial tax increases are necessary.
As part of that process, jurisdictions must solicit input from
residents and this is the opportunity for the public to take an
active role in determining the level of services provided and at
Cynics will say that the politicians and bureaucrats will ignore any
input and do what ever they want, and while that may be true, at
least you could take satisfaction in knowing that you tried. And
providing your advice is your right as part of our democratic
system, particularly because it's your hard-earned dollars that keep
In Vernon, city hall has launched what may be the most extensive
public input process ever for a budget. As part of every committee
of the whole meeting, Mayor Wayne Lippert has vowed there will be a
chance for residents to not only observe the council debate, but to
have their say.
And the city deserves credit for this move because residents can
then familiarize themselves with how complex municipal operations
are and the balancing act that is required between taxation and
providing public services.
Turnout for such meetings has been low to date, but let's hope that
situation will evolve and residents will take an active part in a
process that hits them directly in the wallet.
|An example of money wasted:
BC Scrap It Program offers
qualifying vehicle owners incentives to scrap their older vehicle.
The incentive values are based on the greenhouse gas reduction that
occurs when an old vehicle is scrapped and an incentive is used as a
Incentives valued at $2,000 or more are offered for the incentives
with the highest greenhouse benefit. These
incentives include very low emission vehicles, transit passes, or
the transit pass / bicycle combination.
The Central Okanagan Regional Board has authorized the allocation of transit
passes as an incentive option for participants in the BC Scrap-it
program. Up to
year passes for the Kelowna Regional Transit System
(Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Meeting– November 24,
2008) would be available. The new province-wide Scrap-it program is
co-funded by the Provincial Government and the BC Scrap-it Society
and replaces the local Cash for Clunkers program, which provides
incentives when owners of older high emission vehicles permanently
take them off the road in exchange for more environmentally friendly
modes of transportation. The Society will pay half the value of the
transit passes provided to program participants that choose this
|Option 3: TransLink Monthly Passes
and Bicycle / Electric
Scrap your qualifying vehicle with the Scrap-It program
and receive one of the following TransLink monthly pass
12 months one zone
9 months two zone
6 months three zone
18 months concession
Your choice of one of the following:
$1,200 toward the purchase of a new bicycle, or
$1,300 toward the purchase of an electric bicycle
NOTE* Transit passes are $53.00 per month for an adult ... so $53
over 3 years an adult transit pass is worth $1,908.00
so 150 transit passes worth $1,908 =
They are only going to help 150 people out of how many people who
live in Kelowna? $286,200 or even half that, would have helped buy a few carpooler
vans for Westside Roaders or other rural areas who maybe want to
chip in and help pay for the vehicle to share to and from work
rather than paying fuel and wear and tear on their own vehicles.
It is a 45 minute drive for some and carpooling would have made a
bigger difference and would have helped more people. Maybe a special insurance system could be worked out by ICBC for
vehicles with say RDCO as the owner but the actual drivers have the
responsibility. Maybe just drivers with their own insurance on
their own vehicle would be permitted to drive and this persons own
insurance would cover damage to RDCO's vehicles if there were an
accident? Maybe people without vehicles and insurance could tag
along for the ride? Maybe the person driving pays less and the
person without insurance pays more?
cost of sharing a car from Zip Car Co-operative Auto Network in
This note below was posted on the Scrap It Programs website Jan 17,
|Due to the high level of public interest in the
Scrap it program we are
experiencing unprecedented call volumes.
We apologize for any delays in our service levels. We
ask for your patience and understanding as we work hard
to expand the program across the province.
Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Minutes Nov 24,
(from page 9)
i) Approval of Transit Passes for new BC Scrap-It Program (All
Directors - Unweighted Vote)
That the Regional Board authorize the Transportation Manager to
allocate up to
three-year transit passes over a three-year period, to
participate in the new vehicle scrappage program co-funded by the
Province of BC and delivered by the BC Scrap-It Society.
Politicians choking on auto industry pollution
By Mel Wilde - Lake Country Calendar - Published:
November 18, 2008
The power of the big three auto
industry and it’s union bosses is once again bamboozling our
politicians. Every political party, both federally and in the
province of Ontario is knuckling under the demand for huge piles of
our tax dollars to keep them afloat.
What our leaders are forgetting is that it is the consumer who has
decided to stop buying vehicles from the big three. Sales are down
because many folks are buying vehicles from other car manufacturers.
It’s the market place that should decide the fate of any company.
Make a good product and cost it fairly and it will sell. When a
company is poorly managed and it’s union bosses go hog wild in
demands, then that company will fail.
Sure we are in tough economic times. That doesn’t mean the taxpayer
should rescue every company that isn’t doing well. Have the high
salaried executives of Ford, Chrysler or General Motors taken a cut
in pay for failing?
Have the powerful union bosses volunteered t review the compensation
package to help reduce the price of these vehicles?
The Canadian public has been pouring huge amounts of tax dollars
into the big three coffers for many years. Now these failures, from
management and union, want the ultimate bailout from us—the
This same sort of scam on a grand scale has happened before. In
England some years back, the home grown auto industry went through
the same disgusting debacle.
Poor management and an out of control labour union ended the days of
the Austin – Morris automobiles. In that case the government of
Britain stepped in and nationalized the two companies into British
Leyland. After billions of tax dollars were wasted the companies
Today, no British owned car company exists. There are still cars
manufactured in England. It’s jus that the competition won out.
No amount of tax dollars can save a company if the consumer stops
buying their products.
The realignment of the British auto industry was painful. It will be
the same in Canada. But times change and sometimes it takes a harsh
dose of reality to smarten these guys up.
The Canadian taxpayer would probably approve of helping the big
three if these people had a track record of responsibly conducting
their affairs. Unfortunately, the opposite is true.
Management at these corporations have failed to do a proper job and
the total compensation package extorted by the union bosses has
killed the ability of the big three to compete.
Our problem is that the number of folks involved in the big three
auto industry in Ontario is huge. It is so large and complex that
all of our politicians from every party are very much afraid to take
The principal of the issue is simple; should the consumer decide the
fate of any corporation? If the answer to that question is yes, then
let the companies and their unions face the music.
If, on the other hand, we don’t live in a free market economy and
the taxpayer is forced to prop up failed corporations then at least
tell us the truth.
We should not be penalized for making choices when we go shopping.
A waste of money
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star -
Published: August 26, 2008
Last week, I opened the mail box and found a brochure with the
pictures of a tank and a soldier on the front, as well as the words
They Protect Us.
But it's what was inside that really caught me off-guard. There was
a phoney ballot asking me to vote on which national political leader
supports Canada's troops the best. And at the bottom was the smiling
face of our MP, Colin Mayes.
I was surprised because the one-page-two-sided brochure was such a
dramatic departure from what Mayes usually mails me. Instead of
updates on issues he is pursuing on behalf of constituents or how he
appeared in the Lumby parade, this latest offering was blatantly
partisan. Ultimately, I was left wondering who paid for it?
During an interview Tuesday, Mayes confirmed the brochure was part
of a taxpayer-funded program available to all federal politicians.
"All parties have the option of doing this. Every party does this,"
Mayes has brochures with about 12 different topics in circulation,
and besides the military, some of them deal with gun control and
crime. Other potential issues were apparently ignored.
"Some were too political for me. I don't like bashing other
parties," he said.
Mayes' office picked up the costs of printing while the postage was
covered by Parliament. About 60,000 were printed for Okanagan-Shuswap
at a cost of less than $10,000, according to Mayes, who insists that
this is an acceptable use of public funding.
"It's appropriate to get our message out and show what our
government is doing," he said.
And that is where I take issue with Mayes.
There is of course nothing wrong with the Conservative Party
promoting itself and trying to garner the support of Canadians, but
to do it under the guise of correspondence between an MP and his
constituents is questionable.
And for Mayes to brush the issue off by saying every party does this
is absolutely laughable. Keeping with that schoolyard logic, would
Mayes thrust himself off a cliff if Jack Layton or Stephane Dion had
Just because the other parties are willing to slurp from the public
trough doesn't mean the Conservatives have to.
In fact, wasn't it Stephen Harper and his gang that promised to
manage our dollars more wisely and to get away from the political
games of the past?
Mayes also appears to be out of touch when he explains that his
office paid for printing while the bill for postage was handled by
Parliament. That's all well and good, but
both places get their cash
from the same source — the taxpayer.
Mayes also insists that he doesn't like to bash other political
parties, but you'd never know it by looking at the brochure I got in
the mail. All of the federal leaders are pictured, but an arrow
encourages readers to select Harper as the great defender of the
troops. Elsewhere in the brochure, there are phrases like We Will
Protect Them and Real Action, Real Results. It's nothing but
shameless campaigning, and Mayes can't hide that fact.
In the end, a federal election could be called any day now so
obviously all of the parties are trying to get their message out.
After all, that is how democracy works in this country.
But if the Conservatives are so proud of their track record in
government, they should be willing to foot the bill for the
propaganda machine instead of placing it on the backs of taxpayers.
Tired of paying double the tax
Kelowna Capital News - Published: August 19, 2008
letter to Okanagan-Westside MLA Rick Thorpe:
Because most people probably don’t look at their gas bills in their
entirety, our governments are trying to slip more hidden taxes by
I would like to thank your government for constantly picking the
pockets of your constituents.
First, (your government) give us some income tax breaks—much to be
lauded—then it took them back and then some with service charges.
Now your government sees fit to add a carbon tax to gasoline, when
you already reaped in the rewards of gas nearly doubling over the
past six months.
Obviously this wasn’t enough of a windfall with the taxes gleaned
off the increase in gas prices over the last year but (your
government) still had to levy the carbon tax to add to the hardships
of those who can least afford it.
Not everyone gets paid a wage or a pension or can give themselves a
huge raise to cover these extra increases like the people who are
supposed to represent us.
Now, to add insult to injury, I notice that on our natural gas
bills, when it comes to taxes, the GST is charged on the full amount
of the bill, including the carbon tax and the clean energy levy
(just a polite way of saying another tax). And if it is clean
energy, why is it being taxed?
You should be giving us a discount for using this kind of energy.
I know the pat answer already. “This is a federal tax and we have no
control over that.”
Maybe it’s time that the two governments got together and amended
the laws so people don’t get double taxed for the same thing.
John D. Grant
Getting by is getting harder for those in “casual” jobs
Keremeos Review - Published:
August 19, 2008
Growth of ‘casual’ work is diminishing standard of living
Many experts are puzzling over a paradox in BC’s economy - why have
years of solid growth and low unemployment failed to translate into
improved earnings for those in lower end jobs? One piece of the
puzzle can be found in the growth in casual work. “Casual” means you
have a job but no job security - working without a contract or with
one that lasts a very short time (whereas people with permanent jobs
expect ongoing employment, barring unforeseen circumstances like
The likelihood of being in casual employment has increased more in
BC, compared to the rest of Canada - despite the buoyant economic
conditions in the province. In other words, even though a strong
economy is growing the pool of available jobs, the quality of those
jobs is deteriorating.
Casual (or temporary) employment often gets mixed up in the debate
about “flexibility.” For some workers, such as professional
consultants, the greater flexibility afforded by temporary work can
be both desirable and well-paid. But for most people, the
flexibility that comes with temporary work is good for the employer
and costly for the employee - costly in terms of personal and family
stress, and financial hardship.
Casual workers typically have lower quality jobs and fewer benefits
such as holiday pay, extended health coverage or pensions. They
usually also have lower pay. Casual jobs are found across both the
private and public sectors, particularly in teaching and child
care/home support occupations, as well as sales and services,
construction trades, and occupations in primary industry.
In a survey of casual workers we undertook in Vancouver and Prince
George, we found that most people do not choose temporary work. In
fact, 80% said they are actively seeking permanent jobs.
The overwhelming picture that emerges from our research is of the
double bind in which financial and time constraints affect all
aspects of casual workers’ lives and their ability to balance work
and family obligations. This is especially true for parents, but
extends to many others as well. There is a constant need for more
income, yet this is continually undermined by irregular hours, shift
work, short call-ins, minimal notice of work schedules, and low pay.
Comments by respondents in our survey reflect the stresses of being
trapped in involuntary casual work:
“I constantly have to move my kids to different care-givers.”
“I go to bed early in case I get an early call; plans are always
“I have missed many family events. There is a lot of stress and
Recent provincial policy changes have contributed to the growth in
casual work. For example, privatization and contracting out in crown
corporations, hospitals and care facilities reduced the stock of
public sector jobs - jobs that offered a measure of security and
Other policy changes have deregulated the labour market to a
significant degree, making work life tougher and undermining the
economic security of vulnerable workers in temporary, part-time and
For example, a series of changes to the Employment Standards Act
(ESA) weakened the already very basic minimums employers had to
follow. These include: reducing the minimum shift from four hours to
two; dropping the requirement that employers give 24 hours notice of
shift changes; excluding whole groups of workers from the ESA
altogether (such as those employed in agriculture and truck drivers;
and requiring workers whose employment rights are violated to
confront their employer using a “self-help kit” instead of direct
enforcement by the Employment Standards Branch. As a result,
vulnerable workers are left to fend largely for themselves.
It is time the provincial government recognized its responsibility
to make sure more British Columbians share in the good times. In
addition to reversing the policies listed above, the province should
enhance the economic security of workers in the lower end of the
labour market by:
Immediately increasing the minimum wage to $10 and indexing it to
Expanding the Employment Standards Act so that it covers all
workers, including independent contract workers and casual workers;
Establishing reasonable minimum shifts and contract lengths and
strengthening rules for termination/dismissal, to ensure work
provides people with a basic level of security and predictability;
Removing barriers to unionization;
Enhancing child care subsidies and lowering the income threshold at
which parents become eligible.
BC is often promoted as “the best place to invest.” But if it also
to be “the best place to live and work,” the provincial government
must rethink its approach.
Fiona MacPhail and Paul Bowles are Professors of Economics at the
University of Northern BC, and co-authors of the Canadian Centre for
Policy Alternatives study Improving the Economic Security of Casual
Workers in BC.
Complete disclosure required
May 28, 2008 - Kelowna Capital News - Letters
Open letter to the Premier of B.C. and the Minister of Highways:
During the Okanagan Lake Bridge opening on Sunday both of you made
statements which apparently contradict each other.
We, the taxpayers, have been told that the bridge costs were $144
million and that they came in “under budget.”
The premier said in a media interview that because the bridge was
opened over 100 days early the taxpayers would save $25 million over
the next number of years.
Where do these savings occur? Please quantify it.
The Minister of Highways said in an interview that since the
engineering company SNC-Lavalin completed the contract ahead of
schedule that they would be paid (“earn”) additional bonus funds for
He did not elucidate how much that amount was.
These two statements appear contradictory.
Since you are committed as a government to transparency and full
disclosure of this public-private partnership (P3) contract, and
because we also do not know the costs of the long-term maintenance
contract for this bridge to be paid to SNC-Lavalin, what are the
exact costs and the exact savings?
SNC-Lavalin’s chief executive officer publicly admitted in the Globe
and Mail last week that maintenance contracts would be high margin,
Full transparent public disclosure of these costs and non-documented
alleged savings are necessary in view of your contradictory public
Second, would the provincial government reconsider the cost of this
self-admitted expensive maintenance contract and renegotiate this
on-going cost to the taxpayers to a more moderate level?
This is a long-term contract.
John O. Powell,
Vernon Morning Star Letters - April 11, 2008
Rich or poor, no mater we all need to pay for what we get. Our
government enjoys it when we waste our time pointing fingers at each
other as it keeps them out of any troubled light.
It’s not the taxes we pay, it’s how they are used.
This is what we need to be looking at. We do not need to be trying
to drive a stake between the people with our commentaries, rich
When it comes to taxes we need to stick together and try to get
control of the waste. Make politicians and their ministries
accountable for our tax dollars and how they’re spent.
Your comments should not have been tax the rich, they can afford it.
It should have been, let’s get rid of the waste and abuse of our tax
dollars and then maybe we could feel good about our tax dollars and
how they are being used.
Just think, if that politician in that ministry didn't buy that
solid cherry board room table and chairs but instead just used the
one that was in surplus at government storage, that extra money
could have gone to saving a sick child, shortening the wait time at
hospitals and so many more things.
And that's just one board room table.
Taxes I don't mind, abuse of our system I do mind and it is out of
Here here to the Republic of Canada.
Valley of the Sun, Kelowna, B.C. - Property Tax Notices
click each notice to read larger print
In addition to taxation, local services such as sewer, water
and garbage are funded through utility billings.
Tax revenues are used to fund a wide range of regional
services of benefit to everyone within the boundaries of the region, such as
parks, 911 services and recycling. Tax revenues are also used to provide
local services such as sewers and streetlights to residents and businesses
within the electoral areas of the Regional District. The Regional District
also coordinates funding for the Regional Hospital District to fund capital
projects. Financial statements for the fiscal year are published by March
31st of the following year. The 5-year financial plans are adopted by the
Board by March 31st of each year.
RDCO Finance Dept
Tax after tax after...
Vernon Morning Star - March 30, 2008
Between rising wheat costs, $1.26 per litre gas and the looming
carbon tax, the average consumer is likely feeling the strain on
their bank account.
So when you add into the mix municipal taxes, knowing your
assessment has skyrocketed (the taxable value of the entire 2008
B.C. Assessment Roll increased over 16 per cent from 2007), you
might start to wonder if the food bank would accept your
application. Unfortunately, since you actually own a house in this
exorbitant market, it’s not likely.
But if you live in the City of Vernon, luckily the politicians are
doing everything they can to keep taxes to a minimum. It’s now down
to a 2.25 per cent hike from the original 6.9 per cent.
In Coldstream, politicians there are finally taking note of Vernon’s
Originally Coldstream residents were facing one of the highest tax
increases around at 9.17 per cent. A good chunk of that (four per
cent) is to pay for the two shiny new firehalls currently being
Thanks to staff and council efforts, that number is likely to be
slashed to somewhere around six per cent after a special budget
meeting Monday. Some extra funds from 2007 are enabling the cut.
There is also an opportunity for Coldstream taxes to drop thanks to
$162,368 from the North Okanagan Regional District, but no
discussions have been had on that yet. The district also shut down
its Community Policing Office, so there’s another $120,000 in
savings each year – but it’s likely those funds will remain with the
service to pay out severances and office costs.
Nevertheless, it’s great to see Coldstream is trying to do
everything they can to help out residents, especially now, when
taxpayers are crying for relief.
Article from the Vernon Morning Star March March 21, 2008 page A6
North Westside Road residents may get a break as part of the Central Okanagan
Regional District's budget. CORD expects to have the 2008 budget finalized
by the end of March, and it would include a general tax hike of about $11 for a
North Westside home assessed at $456,000. But the fire department tax
requisition will decrease between $50 and $60. "Overall, taxes will be
down for the North Westside," Jim Edgson, director.
Special Budget Meetings
From Board Report March 17, 2008
In accordance with the Local Government Act, the Regional Board will
on Friday, March 28th, 2008 at 9:00 am
in the Woodhaven Board Room at the Regional District
office, 1450 KLO Road. This will allow for public consultation
before final adoption of the proposed 5- year financial plan for
2008 – 2012.
March 28, 2008 - Board Report Highlights
Regional Marine Facilities Study
From Regional Board Report Highlights
March 28, 2008
The Regional Board has approved a
consulting services contract for preparation of a Recreation
Marine Facilities Study for the three major lakes in the Central
Okanagan. Three qualified bids were received and after an
evaluation, it was recommended that the contract be awarded to
the team of GHD Solutions, JF Group and Summit Environmental for
As well, the Board approved spending
$26,700 to complete a statistically valid
region-wide survey to gauge public support and opinions
regarding present and future amenities for the boating
Central Okanagan Hospital District Budget
From Regional Board Report Highlights
March 28, 2008
The Regional Hospital District
Board is comprised of the members of the Regional District
Board. It meets as required for decisions on tax
requisitions and funding of major health-related capital
projects and equipment. The Regional Hospital District
contributes 40% towards these approved projects.
At the March 28th special meeting, the Regional Hospital
District Board approved the Five Year Financial Plan,
including the 2008 Budget of $15.7 million. For a home
assessed at $456,000 ($316,000 in 2007) the
contribution to the Regional Hospital District is $110.96,
up $5.23 from 2007.
|Five Year Financial Plan Approved
Regional Board also adopted the Five-Year Financial Plan
for the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District.
Ratepayers within the Hospital District contribute 40%
of the funds for approved health service and equipment
services. Hobson says, “The Financial Plan outlines
revenue and spending of $15.7 million during 2008
including $1.5 million towards the much needed hospice
facility for the Central Okanagan which is presently
under construction. This year we’re also contributing
more than $1.5 million towards the construction of the
new Ambulatory Care building adjacent to Kelowna General
Hospital, over $750,000 for the Adult Psychiatric
facility and half a million dollars that will be used
this year for improvements to the Data Centre.”
The owner of a home assessed at $456,000 in 2008
($386,000 in 2007) will contribute $116.19 towards health equipment and capital
improvements. That works out to just over
43 cents a month or $5.23 more than last year.
source RDCO website under "What's
New" found on April 4, 2008
click article to read larger print
Letters article from the Vernon Morning Star
click article to read larger print
Letters article from the Vernon Morning Star
Tax me, I’m Canadian
By Tyler Olsen - Vernon Morning Star - March 07, 2008
I know this will sound like heresy. I know that most would rather swim
in Swan Lake than give the government an extra cent, but here it is: I
like paying taxes.
In fact, when I hear about an extravagant new government program, I
actually think I’m getting a good deal. Heck, I’d probably welcome
government-funded haircuts. We’ll call it hair-care.
So right now, you’re probably rolling your eyes, labelling me a
socialist, and saying I just don’t get it, that my taxes are probably
relatively low and that I don’t realize that all the tax money goes down
a black hole, or rather un trou noir.
And part of that is probably true. My taxes are probably below average
and I do try to avoid looking at my pay stub for the same reason I shut
my eyes when I pay for for my car to be fixed. If I don’t see it, I’m
not paying for it and thus it’s free, I guess the theory goes.
But don’t throw me in the (government-funded) loony bin quite yet.
I like taxes because the more unequal they are – that is, the more you
rob from the rich – the better chance that babies born into poor homes
will have the same shot at success as their richer peers. Yes it’s very
idealistic (perhaps naive?) So sue me.
Look at the United States, which boasts some of the lowest, and most
equal, tax rates in the developed world and where they continually cut
taxes for the rich on the pipe dream that maybe, just maybe, the money
will trickle down.
According to a study by the Brookings Institute, a well-respected think
tank in the U.S., “a growing number of economic studies have found that
the United States stands out as having less, not more, intergenerational
mobility than do Canada and several European countries.”
In the U.S. and U.K. it would take, on average, six generations for a
family’s economic advantage to be erased. That compares to three
generations in Canada and Sweden.
So, you ask, where do taxes come in?
Taxes on workers making decent money may, or may not, go to supporting
the homeless, the unemployed and those who should be working, depending
on your political stance. But they also clearly give low-income families
the tools needed to lift themselves and, crucially, their children out
The Globe and Mail’s Doug Saunders points out that, as in the U.S., tax
rates in Britain and France are relatively flat. And just like the U.S.,
it is difficult for poor kids in those countries to become richer
adults. In Canada, meanwhile, a redistributive tax system has helped
ease the generational burden of poverty. In the Brookings study, other
countries with a highly-skewed tax system join Canada as nations where
it’s easier for children to rise above their parents’ pay, Saunders
In less abstract terms, high taxes pay for good schools, help fund
students and (hopefully) help single mothers find the time to raise
their children and pay the bills, rather than having to choose between
But money goes astray, voters get bitter and politicians try and buy
votes. Now Saunders is warning that, by doling out constant goodies to
the middle class, the Canadian “American dream” may be in danger.
Whether conservative or socialist, the idea that a kid should have the
opportunity to pursue his or her goals is something most can agree on.
But it costs money. Specifically, it costs the money of those with some
The hard truth
is that you get what you pay for, even with taxes.
To live in a country where every kid, poor or rich, has a chance to earn
a decent living – a point we’re not yet at, and getting further away
from – is something I’m willing to pay a little more for, even if that
means not being able to buy myself a big screen TV right away.
Vernon Morning Star - April 11, 2008
On your editorial page of March 9, Tyler Olsen wrote an excellent
article on the joys of taxation.
I was very impressed to hear the comments from a younger man about
being happy to pay taxes!
In my work in early childhood education and early childhood
development, I see the effects of tax cuts on our most vulnerable
population. It may seem like a good idea to put more money into the
pockets of the general population, but in reality, tax cuts result
in cuts to much-needed programs. I am not an economist, but I do
know that in countries with relatively higher taxation there is much
greater commitment to social programs.
One only has to look at countries such as Sweden to see the outcomes
of a strong commitment to social programs.
Although Canada is one of the richest nations in the world our
financial commitment to early childhood development is the very last
of the 20 wealthiest countries.
It's been said many times but it rings true - it takes a village to
raise a child and it takes a nation to raise a generation.
There is a correlation
Our country made a commitment based on the United Nations Convention
on the Rights of Children to eradicate child poverty by the year
2000. In 2008, B.C. has seen an increase in child poverty and we
have seen cuts to our national child care plan.
There are many examples in other countries of good programs that
support families and children's opportunity to reach their potential
without taxing the citizens to death. When children and their
families do not have the opportunity to reach their potential, we
all pay the price.
As Tyler points out, Canada has a much better track record than the
U.S. when it comes to intergenerational mobility. Thank you for
making this point and let's keep moving in the right direction.
Opinions differ on budget
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - February 29,
It should come as no surprise that the federal budget is garnering high
praise from Okanagan-Shuswap’s voice in Ottawa, while opposition parties
are ripping it apart.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tabled the third Conservative budget
Tuesday, and MP Colin Mayes believes it is financially pragmatic while
providing some tangible benefits to Canadians.
“It’s definitely a cautious budget because our biggest trading partner,
the U.S., is facing a slowdown. Revenues will be down,” he said.
There are no major tax breaks and Ottawa is forecasting smaller
surpluses in the coming years.
“We were trying to be reasonable in terms of the market. The economy is
strong in the west but there are challenges with manufacturing in the
east,” said Mayes.
For Mayes, a high point is a new program that will allow people to place
up to $5,000 a year in a registered account tax-free.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to save money,” he said.
Mayes also supports spending $25 million on a new scholarship program
geared towards top doctoral students.
“It will help us retain the brightest and best in Canada so we don’t
have to worry about the brain-drain,” he said.
But Huguette Allen, Green Party candidate, believes the budget has
little to prevent climate change.
"Once again this Conservative government fails to put money towards
prevention and real solutions," she said.
"While other countries are growing their economies based on new green
technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Harper government
continues to ignore the greatest threat that faces humanity, and the
Liberal government lets them do it."
Among the environmental items in the budget are $10 million for research
on biofuel emissions and $66 million for a process to establish air
Liberal Buffy Baumbrough sees few original ideas in the budget.
“It adopts many of the measures the Liberals have championed,” he said.
“Among them is making the gas tax transfer (for municipalities)
permanent, and improving transportation. In terms of improving resources
for police, we committed to that in March 2007,” she said.
Alice Brown, with the NDP, would have preferred to see more spending on
social programs in the budget.
“It didn’t make a difference to people overall. If you are hungry,
you will still be hungry. If you are homeless, you will still be
homeless,” she said.
Brown believes a clear sign that the Conservatives’ priorities are wrong
is the $25 million for the 2010 Olympic torch relay.
“There is no relief for seniors and there’s a lot of hungry children in
Canada,” she said.
Road repairs needed - CHBC TV Video
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
The Okanagan's newest community is facing a huge bill for road upgrades.
If you had $20,000 out of your yearly income to buy GST chargeable items, how
much G.S.T do you think you would be paying in the year?
$1,200 per year you would pay in G.S.T. @ 6%
And @ 5% GST you would be paying $1,000 per year G.S.T
Think about it, if you paid G.S.T. on everything (which we can't think of much
except maybe food and rent that we don't pay GST on) and you earned $20,000 clear in one year after
you paid rent and bought groceries; 20,000 x.06 GST = $1,200.00 G.S.T. you pay per year.
Then there is the P.S.T.!
2006-07 and 2009-10, the Conservatives expect to take 12 percent more from
individuals, but 14 percent less from corporations.
Like mushrooms, we are kept in the dark and fed poop!
Never doubt the ability of a small group of concerned
citizens to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.
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