Nov. 15, 2019

Reminder to city council, there is no free ride

Hey, you people, it’s not your money, you are entrusted to responsibly look after our money.

Before he was elected to city council, Don Bonner wanted city taxpayers to sponsor one or more refugee families to come to Nanaimo. When informed he could not do that, it’s not the city’s role, his response was “well we should do it anyway”.

The latest scheme calls for the city to provide and pay for free transit bus transportation for school kids, assuming up to and including university. The school district is already has a fleet of school buses funded for that purpose. Nanaimo Transit is managed by the Regional District under the control of the provincial government. He argues that free transportation at city expense would teach young people to take buses in the future when they grow up. That’s another education function, not a city role.

People who are elected to public office often lose focus of the office they were elected to – city council. They are not MPs, MLAs, school trustees and should not act as social engineers.

Bonner recently posted on social media that he rode a bus and was convinced free bus transportation was a solution to a city-declared climate emergency. There is no free ride, it’s always someone else picking up the tab. And there are other councillors with this type of thinking. 

We are left to wonder what programs or services councillors plan to cut from the budget to pay for this, or raise taxes above the five-year financial plan.