South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce president Tom Bachynski says the group, which presented to the Governance change invitation to the South Cariboo Joint Committee on April 23, was “taken aback with the information that’s been supplied.”
Noting it’s something the chamber has been working on for five or six months, he says the information coming out of the May 14 joint committee meeting is not the same as “what we have gathered” since they started researching the pros and cons of a governance change for the South Cariboo.
“We’ve kind of thrown the anchor out and said, ‘let’s go back to our sources because maybe we misunderstood this.’ We’re just waiting to meet again with the sources that gave us the information of how a regional municipality comes together, how it functions and operates to see if we’re completely off-base or if we’re on-base and maybe the information supplied was for the extension of a municipality and not the creation of a regional municipality.”
Noting they share the same word – “municipality,” Bachynski says they’re completely different things.
He adds the verbiage was changed a few years ago and morphed from county government to a regional municipality, and this is what the chamber representatives based their presentation to the joint committee on.
“Really our population doesn’t change; it’s just called a regional municipality.”
The chamber president says they may be wrong, and if they are, they will “drop it like a hot potato.”
“There is no way we were doing anything to come close to the proposed numbers of $1,500 per household for tax increases. That is not our intention.
“We originally started it because it was business driven to see if we could get the business vote.”
Bachynski says a lot of people are coming up to him and other chamber members and saying, “Great, it’s about time we looked into this on the serious side.”
Noting he’s been in 100 Mile House for almost 15 years, Bachynski says it’s the third time the regional style of government has come up and three times it’s been “squelched with this very high view and a narrow scope of let’s look at policing and roads, and then the model doesn’t work.”
However, nobody talks about the tax savings and all of the other benefits that go along with being a single body, the chamber president says.
He adds the chamber is going to “go back and reload,” and dive into the legislation a little deeper to make sure what they were claiming in the past is factual.
“Before we go any further, we’ll be going back to the joint committee and talking to them about what they have released and if it’s correct or if it needs to be updated.”
Bachynski says he hopes to have the chamber’s re-analysis done within a couple of weeks.