In one of the most asinine decisions Nanaimo City council has made, the convention centre ranks right up there, a majority of council chose to reverse the decision for a referendum on borrowing millions for its proposed water treatment plant in favour of a process that is almost guaranteed to ensure their wish that the city go further in hock to money lenders than it already is.
For those who are unaware the process chosen is the Alternate Approval Process, a process where if you do not specifically vote no you are deemed to be voting yes. In order for a no vote to win 10% of voters, approx. 6600, must vote no. This is by means no easy task as it takes a huge commitment of time and energy and volunteers to collect that many signatures. A referendum on the other hand is won by a simple majority of those choosing to vote, those that don't so choose simply do not count.
Councillor Holdom and Mayor Ruttan keep reiterating that because we are being mandated to build the plant then we need to move forward with this. What they are not saying is that a referendum would in no way impact the building of the plant just how we go about accessing the money to do so.
After the news stories and letters below I have included a link to the council meeting. Unfortunately a fair part of my comment during question period was cut off when SHAW stopped recording. To hear my comment scroll to the end and then back a couple of minutes.
June 28, 2011
Loan referendum on Nanaimo water plant reversed
Paul Walton: VIHAs the risk not our water
Let citizens decide on borrowing in referendum
Risks to life and limb are costing taxpayers a lot
Council meeting Video.