Looking past a referendum

The weekly editorial for the 100 Mile Free Press

This past week, with the South Cariboo Joint Committee’s decision to go to referendum, we received phone calls, letters and comments about the recreation situation in the South Cariboo. Comments conflicted sharply from taxes being too high, to a pool not being on the table and excitement for proceeding to a referendum.

On the decision to go to referendum, the survey results show a real split on the currently proposed project. It’s definitely not clear if the support is there for a referendum to succeed. Certainly, the data so far shows it’s unlikely to be a referendum with an exceptionally strong yes vote (in the 60 to 70 per cent range) that would be preferred for a big project such as this.

The side opposing the project is largely split into two groups according to the data, between those opposed to a tax increase and those who prefer another project (i.e. pool).

One of the letters this week points out, there isn’t a formal proposal for a pool, adding that “an imaginary pool has nothing to do with what is actually being proposed.” For those who want a pool, this is likely a bit of a bitter note, as there was a formal pool proposal several years ago that didn’t go to referendum. Furthermore, while in the strictest sense a pool has nothing to do with the current project, comments on the survey and to the Free Press indicates that hundreds of South Cariboo residents see the issues as connected. Given that reality, the current proposal needs to be approached with that in mind. For it to succeed, the supporters are going to need to talk to and convince those who see the current proposal and the pool as connected; they’re the best shot proponents have.

On the taxation side, some 108 Mile Ranch residents complained that taxes would be too high (it would be $65 per $100,000 of assessed value). For 108 residents, this comes on the back of increases for a new well and manganese treatment plant. Added to that argument is that, while one of the hopes for the expansion is to attract more families, doctors etc., higher taxes could scare them away.

A secondary complaint was that areas such as Lac la Hache and Interlakes wouldn’t be sharing in the tax burden as they fall outside the South Cariboo Recreation Boundary (they would have to buy a pass). Support for a pool looked a little shy to succeed in a referendum a number of years ago. The current proposal looks pretty similar in terms of support (based on both surveys). Maybe with the pool proposal having stopped short of a referendum, should this project fail, the next step for recreation supporters would be to re-evaluate the South Cariboo Recreation Boundary which has been in place since the 1980s (outside of some chances in 2002). Large changes would require a referendum.

Regardless of what happens, we’re all going to have to move forward together.

Just Posted

A decrease in locally written letters to the editor is significant

The weekly editorial for the 100 Mile Free Press

Festival of the Arts to start April 23

“People should expect to hear a lot of young talent”

Kenny Hess performing in 100 Mile and District Women’s Centre fundraiser

The award-winning country musician is playing on April 28

Stemete7uw’I Friendship Centre holding painting fundraiser

Moose stew and bannock bread lunch to be provided

Aboriginal Hockey Tournament hosted in 100 Mile House deemed a success

Over 200 Aboriginal youth came to the South Cariboo Arena for a game of puck

Could facial scans and fingerprints make you unhackable?

New biometrics capabilities could be a game-changer for those trying to get on your accounts

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Cars lined up around the block as gas hits 109.9 in B.C. city

The gas wars continue in Vernon, B.C. with prices as low as $109.9 in North Okanagan

Trudeau ends 3-country tour with global reputation, alliances intact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finds footing on the world stage after China and India controversies

Province’s $6.5M will help women escape violence, Public Safety Minister announces

Mike Farnworth made the funding announcement in Surrey Friday morning

Trial for gangland slaying of Jonathan Bacon takes a turn

Charges for three men charged in the 2011 murder of B.C. gangster Jonathan Bacon have changed

Leafs’ Matthews has top-selling jersey, edging Crosby, McDavid: NHL

Austin Matthews jersey sales top Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid

Victims grant may miss needy parents due to eligibility rules: report

Only 29 of 50 applicants between 2013 and 2017 received the grant across Canada, a federal report says

Woman sends support bags to cancer patients across province

Chilliwack woman’s efforts inspired by late mother-in-law’s generous spirit

Most Read