Monday, March 23, 2015

Water Rates article from 2011

 Given that we have some extremely high water rates and some users have been getting a portion of their water for free I thought I would repost this guest editorial from nearly five years ago.......many people have wondered if faulty water meter data was used in formulating Tofino's water rates.......

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Guest Editorial on Tofino Water Rates by Jackie Windh

Confirmed: Tofino water rates highest in country, and residents pay more than businesses.

It is confirmed: Tofino water rates are the highest in the country, and residents do pay more per unit volume than businesses.

Well, I knew that already.

Two years ago I presented a huge whack of data (using the District’s own numbers as well as researching those from other communities) as council was reviewing water rates and voting in a new rate structure. I volunteered a huge amount of time and analytical expertise hoping that the information that I presented would help our council with their decision-making process, and to advocate for fair water rates, where residents (who use water to support life) pay less (or at least the same, and not more) than businesses (who use water for profit-making activities and can write off their water bills at tax time).

But council ignored the data and analysis that I presented, and so did most of the people in this town. Even though being silent costs you hundreds or possibly up to a thousand extra dollars every year.

Anyway, I got a very interesting comment on the old Tofino Residents blog today (where all of my old water articles and analyses are still posted). An independent group called WaterWatchBC has undertaken an analysis of water rates across Canada, and they have confirmed that:

- Tofino has the highest water rates in the country
- Tofino has the most complex water rate system (which is why our councillors don’t understand it)
- Tofino residents do pay more per volume than Tofino businesses

You can read my original article comparing Tofino’s water rates with those of other towns, with today’s comments by WaterWatchBC here: can read my analysis of how much residents pay relative to various business categories here:
You can read my article about how complicated our rates system is here: can review WaterWatchBC’s ranking of water rates here: at their chart - a $311 water bill in Port Alberni, my new home town, would be a $1098 bill here in Tofino, for the exact same usage.)

There are also lots of other articles on the Tofino Residents site that I wrote over summer and fall 2009 about our water rates, if you are interested.

And, if anyone is wondering, I gave up on that website (tagline: For people who care about community) because no one else contributed to it. I’ll leave the info on it posted, though - just like all the tsunami info I am leaving up there for y’all too. Maybe some day you guys will start standing up and speaking out, and these things might be useful to you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you for reminding us that this whole issue has been wilfully ignored by people who are allegedly paid to think about these things.