Tag Archives: Qualicum

Regional District of Nanaimo taxes to increase by 32%

It’s not every day that our local daily newspaper asks people to revolt – yes stand up and scream! Why?! Regional District of Nanaimo taxes are to increase 32% over the next five years.

The RDN directors will vote on the 2014 -2018 Financial Plan at the next  board meeting  February 25, 2014. The RDN is anticipating to collect $52.8 million a year by 2018; last year they collected $40.1 million.

What does the RDN do? RDN is responsible for administration, local governance, and local services such as transit, solid waste, recreation facilities, water and parks.

What’s the money for? Major infrastructure projects are for:

  • $18 million sewage outfall pipe in Nanaimo
  • $1.5 million for firehall upgrades
  • $15.5 million for transit expansion
  • $12 million to convert old landfill to a park

Where can the RDN save money? Cut the number of transit mangers. They don’t need a manager for every zone. Get more buses and more drivers. There is no bus from Ladysmith to Nanaimo. Also, does the City of Nanaimo need to have 7 representatives on the Board? There seems to be an over-representation from the City.

Who are the directors at the RDN? The RDN is governed by an elected Board of 17 Directors. They are the following:

Alec McPherson: Electoral Area A Cedar
Howard Houle: Electorial Area B Gabriola
Maureen Young: Electorial Area C Extention

George Holme: Electoral Area E Nanoose Bay
Julian Fell: Electorial Area F Errington
Joe Stanhope: Electoral Area G French Creek
Bill Veenhof: Electorial Area H Deep Bay

Dave Willie:  Mayor of Qualicum
Marc Lefebvre:  Mayor of Parksville
Jack de Jong:  Mayor of Lanztville

Cityof Nanaimo
John Ruttan – Mayor of Nanaimo
George Anderson
Bill Bestwick
Diane Brennan
Ted Greves
Diana Johnstone
Jim Kipp

Does Nanaimo pay taxes to the RDN? 9% of the taxes collected from Nanaimo residents go to the RDN.

Taxpayers of the RDN saw an increase of taxes this year of 5.2 %. Living on Vancouver Island there are many issues causing people to revolt; expensive and unreliable ferry service, closing schools in CedarParksville, and Qualicum, water worries, burning  Vancouver’s garbage.

This RDN tax increase comes at a very difficult time when residents of Lanztville are facing an approximate 11% increase in taxes and Gabriola is undergoing a mass exodus, as people are leaving because of deteriorating ferry service. Many of these RDN Directors seem to think that people have endless bags of money. The reality is those with the resources will just pack up and move. Is the RDN is banking on a new wave of people  arriving with deep pockets?

If you would like to give your feedback on the tax increases, send an email to corpsrv@rdn.bc.ca . Also, please request that the RDN meetings be recorded on video as they are at the City of Nanaimo and other communities.  Let’s hope the RDN will work towards being more transparent.

Remembrance Day – Vancouver Island Military Museum

Pause and remember those who gave us peace and freedom this Sunday, November 11th.  Stop for two minutes at the 11th hour and reflect on the following:

There is a story of a sixteen year old who was about to enlist for the First World War. At the orphanage where he lived, the school master told him he would show him how to use a gun. “We’ll go shooting some rabbits.” The teenager replied that he’d rather not, having a pet rabbit himself. The schoolmaster shook his head and replied, “you’re going to have to do a lot more than that, when you go to war.”

Two years later, the young man received a piece of paper commending him for showing valiant effort during 48 hours of continuous action. He was the only one in his unit to survive.

painting by unknown soldier
painting by unknown soldier WWI

This painting was by a soldier known only by his initials, J.M. He was a member of the Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery and probably witnessed countless scenes like the one above during the first World War.

November 11th is a day to renew our memories of our ancestors’ sacrifices during both world wars, the Korean war and conflicts and peace-keeping missions since then. It is also a day that we should remind ourselves of the hard-fought democracy we have here in Canada. Let’s hold the torch high.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead:
Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote those words on the battlefront at Ypres, Belgium in 1915.

Remembrance Day Parades and ceremonies are being held in Nanaimo, Lantzville, Ladysmith, and Qualicum Beach on Sunday, November 11th starting at 10:15am.  If you are in Nanaimo drop into the Vancouver Island Military Museum downtown next to the Port Place Mall which will be open after the service.