Metro Vancouver, 2.4 million people governed by 23 local authorities looking after liquid and solid waste, drinking water and some parks. When billions of dollars are required for upgrades or new facilities, the public is well served and appropriate levies included in our taxes.
This massive infrastructure gets done without the public attention, political wrangling and massive duplication seen with police and fire services in the 23 municipalities. Regional services save taxpayers millions of dollars when they cooperate and invest in services the entire metro area needs.
A metro police force could provide more boots on the street without additional officers when the massive duplication in management and other standalone services are eliminated. A metro fire service would be even more cost effective given the massive duplication throughout the Lower Mainland.
The budget for police and fire in the greater Vancouver area is similar to that in Toronto except Toronto has only one police and fire chief while police and fire services in Metro Vancouver have dozens of chiefs.
When politicians state they are doing everything to reduce taxes, one only has to look at the hypocrisy of that statement and the massive duplication all around the metro area. Regardless of the service provided — transit, police, fire, water or snow removal — money to pay for these services, whether from the federal, provincial or municipal government, comes from one place: you and me, the taxpayers.
Geoff Taylor, Port Coquitlam