LETTER: City council needs frugality lesson

“Often, business interests and public interests are not the same.”

We have a problem in government at all levels in Canada, a problem I believe we also see in Castlegar’s city council, past and present.

We have financially comfortable, middle and upper-middle class people in positions of decision-making power who do not experience the daily financial struggle of the poor, working class/blue collar, or lower-middle class. They do not understand the reality of having no money to throw around on non-essentials, and they spend taxpayers’ money accordingly.

Castlegar city council needs a lesson in frugality, and lower-income residents could teach this. You don’t spend money on extras when there is no expendable money available. Spending on parks or aesthetics or big advertising campaigns, attempting to lure tourism and big money residents, is non-essential spending.

Even with essential spending, as with infrastructure, you replace or upgrade things over time, not all at once, and only when it becomes necessary. The stated vision of this council includes “raising Castlegar’s visibility” and “advertising Castlegar’s centrality” in an effort to attract tourism and big money residents.

I have to ask why council is going courting on the taxpayers’ dollar in order to attract certain “types” of people while simultaneously making it harder for the people who already live here?

Often, business interests and public interests are not the same. Major tourism and upper-income residents would most likely drive the cost of living up in Castlegar to the point where many of the existing residents could no longer afford to live here.

Major increases in property taxes like the ones proposed will drive rents up, make the affordable housing and homelessness crises even worse, and stretch already-stretched homeowners perhaps to their breaking points. Steamrolling the most vulnerable members of society in order to achieve “progress” and “advancement” is neither progressive nor advanced.

I implore council to take a much closer look at the “needs” list versus the “wants” list versus the “someday later down the road” list and to scrutinize these lists with true frugality — one of the backbone characteristics underpinning Castlegar society since its beginning.

Jillian MacPherson


Just Posted

Choir leader’s selfless work wins her Castlegar Citizen of the Year

Christina Nolan has grown the community choir into a strong and vibrant asset for the city

Water main maintenance ongoing in South Castlegar and Blueberry

Project will take two weeks — city says there should not be any service disruptions

Downtown businesses want you to love them this weekend

Third annual event encourages people to shop in their own community.

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

GALLERY: First responders in Fernie return baby owl to its nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

Most Read