By now, most Canadians have heard the story of the Victoria city councillor who put forward a motion to city hall to ask the Department of National Defence to help defray the policing costs of Remembrance Day and related events.
This request originated from the city’s police board as costs predictably increased.
So far so good, right? How about asking this of city hall on D-Day itself..
Ooops. Very poor timing Ben Isit.
He was met with howls of outrage from folks across the nation; seeing this as a deliberate poke at veterans.
Hold on a moment.
I have no personal connection with Ben Isit, but I’m pretty certain that he does not have a hate on for our military veterans.
We, on the left, have deep admiration for those who gave so much in the defense of our freedoms. We will always honour their sacrifice.
But if it makes it any easier, pretend it was another topic for which this is based.
Ben has inadvertently opened up a discussion on superior government offloading to local government the associated, unfunded costs of a virtually mandated event.
Nobody seems to have caught on to this. Strange that none of the taxpayer guardian organizations spoke up.
Ben didn’t suggest that the city cancel it’s Remembrance Day events or drastically reduce its scope (funding); he asked a question.
I’m not suggesting that Ben was right or even smart to lay this egg on D-Day, but his right to pose the question at all is exactly the thing that our veterans fought to defend.
If it’s true that the unfunded part of the issue is well over $100k, then someone had to speak up for taxpayers. Otherwise, city hall would have had to find funds from elsewhere to cover this gap; and given the fact that local government cannot legally run a deficit, this means either funding cuts somewhere or tax increases everywhere.
I’m sure I’m in the minority opinion here, as some would brush aside questions over “who’s gonna pay for this” because it’s the *right* thing to do.
Asking who’s going to pay for things is also the right thing to do.
Edit: I’ve been told that the date when the above mentioned ‘motion’ wasn’t picked by Ben Isit, but as assigned by city staff. So there’s that.