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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bruce McLean, 91, has published his first novel, The Manana Treehouse, which is inspired by his wife’s experience with Alzheimer’s. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
91-year-old Saanich man publishes first novel based on wife’s Alzheimer’s experience

Former journalist Bruce McLean ‘on cloud nine’ after making fiction debut

View Royal Coun. John Rogers stands next to an unearthed home heating oil tank. As a way to prevent environmental disasters, he is lobbying for a provincial registration system and mandatory inspection for all above-ground tanks, as well as a requirement to remove any underground tanks not used for a prescribed period of time. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Efforts to regulate Greater Victoria home heating oil tanks continues

View Royal councillor part of movement to identify old tanks, prevent catastrophic leaks

Residents enjoy the annual Halloween Trick or Treat on Oak Bay Avenue. (Robert Harwood Photo)
Oak Bay to host series of Winter Markets

No Halloween, Christmas events in Oak Bay Village

A new roundabout has been completed at the intersection of Peatt Road, Brock Avenue and Larkhall Road in Langford. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
New roundabout along Peatt Road completed in Langford

Allows for better turning movements for Langford’s fire trucks, improved safety

The British Columbia flag flies at dusk in front of the B.C. legislature on election day 2020. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
NDP claims six out of seven Greater Victoria ridings after preliminary results

Mail-in ballots yet to be counted in provincial election

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Most Read