This is not satire.This actually happened !
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Open letter from Dorothy Baert to Tofino News Blogspot readers.
Every once in a while I go to this blog site. I do this because even though it is often a cauldron of misinformation and innuendo, none of which could actually be verified in the light of open scrutiny, it is a place where issues and irritants are shouted out, and is therefore as good a place as any to find out what’s on peoples minds.
I am motivated to respond to the question raised about my not attending the Open House for the Liquid Waste Treatment Plan. I could not attend but this doesn’t mean that I am not paying full attention. We have a very serious situation here which is the excessively expensive cost which is untenable for a community of 2000 or even 3000 people. That it is being built for the use of 15000 people indicates a gap that raises such inequity and extreme burden that in my view it is essential that as an entire community we say, yes we want the plant but we will not, we cannot, pay full freight to put it in.
It is my view and my intention whether on Council or not, to lobby in every possible way to have the two higher levels of government pay 100% of the capital cost. I am cautioned that this can’t be done but I have been told that time and again since I got on Council and I say, you don’t know if that is true until you have tried, until there is absolutely no further possibility.
Some of the work that has been done, despite your platform of contempt for the work that Councillors have been doing, has been to lobby for the better deal for Tofino. This town punches well above its weight and we are seeing real movement. Recently at UBCM, that conference that some on this blog hate that we go to, meetings were had with Ministers but this time, there was a difference. They were listening when we said we need a tax tool on visitors to pay for infrastructure, even if it is only 1%.
They had listened to feedback we have given as a small community when we said repeatedly we can’t undertake capital costs AND operations costs on our own. Again, they heard and announced that communities up to 5000 residents can apply for 100% capital funding, a one time ask for up to 9 million, something that hasn’t been heard of for decades. Even though that money is there, getting it for the LWTP has another obstacle but those details are for a different forum.
The Tourism Minister responded to the great lobbying work of our Mayor and others in the Resort Municipality collaborative to ensure that the RMI monies continue to flow and come back to us as matching funds to the Additional hotel tax. This means there are now new opportunities to create amenities that residents, businesses and visitors can enjoy without it being a burden to the resident tax payer.
The bigger news is with the MRDT funding (and the new online tax fund) and the opening up of options that can be directed to housing and infrastructure. This will take community collaboration but the offer is on the table. We worked for that.
And finally, yes, I live here. Tofino is my home and has been for 30 years. I have also been affected by the chronic housing shortage and have had to respond to the needs of my business for housing. This has meant a temporary but happy exile that has allowed me to spend summers with my grand children. There, you have it.
I campaigned in the previous two runs that I would engage and support open dialogue and would reach out to the community where I needed feedback on issues and I have done that in a number of ways. My preference is to talk with people directly or to solicit their opinions by occasionally reaching out through Facebook or email, as I did when the RCMP building was being proposed. I go to the Tofino Vent and Praise forum where people do vent frustration and where there is dialog, information and engagement, none under the dark cloud of toxic trolling anonymity.
Anything else you would like to know, feel free to call or email. Like all the other hard working Councillors, past and to come, we want to serve our community and hear what is affecting peoples lives. As hard as it can be to do, we want to be part of the solutions that make a better community. How about you?
250 726 5565