Sending notices by ad mail rather than letter mail part of flawed AAP

Many questions loom as deadline for submissions on police building objections fast approaches

The Municipality of North Cowichan has decided to borrow up to $48 million for a new police station. Many voters are not aware of the decision and others have questions. Have the decisions regarding location and building cost been wise? Are we getting a Cadillac when a Honda Civic would do? Is North Cowichan the right place for a regional station?

The money will be borrowed unless 10 per cent of the voters oppose the expenditure without a referendum. Voter opposition must be received by MNC by July 14. The process, termed Alternative Approval Process (AAP), is negative billing: you get the bill unless you object.

Have the voters been adequately informed of the AAP process and how difficult is it to call for a referendum? The local press has carried an article and the required legal notice has been published (a page of boiler plate wording). There has been the promise of a mailing to all electors containing information and a response form, by which an objection can be registered. More information is available on line.

Sounds good on paper but in reality the process is flawed. In our community, there is a large group that get its information by mail, not on the internet. The promised mailing was not letter mail, but sent as “Ad Mail”, same as a flier. Here we have a $48 million dollar issue but the municipality did not pay for letter mail, it paid the cheaper ad mail rate. If you have a block on delivery of “junk mail” you don’t get the info package and response form. Thus about 10 per cent of the households never got the package.

There is no provision on the response form for more than one voter to sign. So if the package did arrive and there is more than one voter in the house, copies of the response form must be made. How many of us have a scanner/copier at home?

Conclusion: A 10 per cent response is required to call for a referendum and about 10 per cent of the households (containing 15 per cent of the voters?) did not get the required response form in the mail. A flawed process and a flawed execution. What can the municipality do to correct the situation?

Don Graham,

Chemainus

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Historical moment

Lewisville Pub, a.k.a. Green Lantern, a landmark in Chemainus

Community pride always showed in Mansueti’s work

Retirement reflections revolve around so many projects and successes

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Cowichan RCMP warn of scammers pretending to be police

Callers identify themselves as police officers

Direct mail delivery to Penelakut Island a big benefit for residents

Service that started in mid-March has especially been appreciated since pandemic restrictions

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminatates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminatates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Ottawa jail inmates argue anti-COVID measures a breach of charter rights

The prisoners allege guards did not wear masks until April 25

Epstein pal arrested, accused of luring girls for sex abuse

Ghislaine Maxwell was in an intimate relationship with Epstein for years

B.C. repairs COVID-19 emergency order for local government

Ombudsperson shut out as his recommendations implemented

No doctor assisted death allowed at Hamlets in Duncan

Faith-based company that owns facility believes in sanctity of life

More than 50,000 Coronavirus cases reported per day in US

Coronavirus cases are rising in 40 of 50 US states

Most Read