MUNICIPAL ELECTION: Esquimalt candidates weigh in on policing, shared services

Crowd of 300 attend township’s only all-candidates meeting

Tim Morrison held up a blank sheet of paper to the crowd of 300 at the township’s all-candidates meeting Wednesday night.

“That’s exactly what we know about the future of policing for Esquimalt,” he said, zeroing in on the Township’s refusal to release its reasons for choosing the RCMP over the Victoria Police Department.

The municipality has said it cannot release a police report it submitted to the province in June due to confidentiality clauses.

Josh Steffler was outraged Esquimalt residents did not have a say in the selection process. “Seven people chose out of 17,000. How is that representative?” he said, adding that a referendum should have been held on the issue.

Regardless of the township’s choice, many candidates touted the advantages of regionalized policing.

“Esquimalt and Victoria are fighting for dollars for these services, when they should be spread out throughout all of the four major municipalities (Esquimalt, Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay),” said Bob McKie.

Incumbent Lynda Hundleby said an amalgamated service interests her, though she noted other municipalities have not said they would share those costs, nor has the province initiated change.

The lone voice calling for Esquimalt to operate its own police department, and keep it open 24-7, belonged to Sandra Dixon.

Many candidates said consolidation of select services, such as policing, would serve Esquimalt best, rather than outright regional amalgamation.

Sewage treatment is a prime example of how municipalities have little say on regional projects through the Capital Regional District governance model, said incumbent Meagan Brame.

“Would our streets, parks, homes get the attention our residents want and need?” she said. “How would it affect the great services that we have in our community? Would it spread them too thin?”

“I do hear it’s not all about the ‘a’ word, it’s not all about amalgamation,” said Dave Hodgins, adding that integration of services could reduce redundancies, increase other service levels and save money.

Consolidation would work in other areas such as standardized building codes and garbage pickup, said David Schinbein, who gained previous experience with municipal amalgamation when he was an Ontario councillor.

“The key I think is that it’s done in an economic way,” he said.

Candidates’ answers to questions will be posted at esquimaltchamber.ca.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Man hit by vehicle while sitting on a curb near Our Place in Victoria

Emergency crews cleared the scene shortly before 11 a.m.

Tree downs lines on Highview Street in Victoria

Approximately 3,000 without power in the area

Electrical appliance failure likely caused apartment fire that killed one Saanich resident

Large parts of the Richmond Road apartment building remain uninhabitable following June 21 fire

‘Irresponsible’ cigarette tossing blamed for two brushfires on Pat Bay highway

Fires could have started from any of the “dozens” of discarded cigarettes, says chief

Artificial reef created off East Sooke

Divers are discovering plenty of new sea life

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Four-hour tarmac delay violates charter rights of Canadians with a disability: lawsuit

Bob Brown says new rules reduce the distance he can travel by air without putting his health at risk

UPDATE: Shrapnel narrowly missed firefighters in ‘suspicious’ North Island house fire

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Most Read