Archive for Local Politics
Dave Killion — April 20, 2013
The election campaign for the British Columbia provincial government is officially underway -
“B.C. Premier Christy Clark has asked Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon to dissolve parliament, marking the start of the provincial 28-day election campaign”… “While the official start to the campaign has just begun, party volunteers were already out in full force Tuesday morning working to pick up voter support for the May 14 vote.”
So, voters who are tired of the horse crap they’ve had to tolerate from the Liberals the past years now have the opportunity to switch to bull crap from the New Democrats, and even to increase the amount of chicken crap from the Green Party. No matter the result, it is guaranteed that after the election, BC residents will continue to eat shit.
Dave Killion — April 13, 2013
One often hears city planning defended as the means by which citizens are protected from having a slaughterhouse built next door to them. In fact, it is quite the opposite -
“The CRD announced last week it had purchased a $17-million industrial property on Viewfield Road, just metres from the Ashes’ home, as a possible site for a sewage processing facility”… “CRD spokesman Andy Orr sympathized with the couple, but said government land deals tend to be done in secret to avoid price speculation”… “While truck traffic is already heavy in the area, (there are) worries about the likelihood of falling property values.”
In situations like this, residents who oppose attempts to force certain projects into their neighbourhoods are frequently derided as NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard), and criticized for defending their narrow self-interests against the greater good. But consider how different matters would be if this conflict was to be resolved by actors regulated by market forces, rather than a coercive state.
In the latter case, local residents bear a disproportionate burden from the noise, smell, traffic, unsightly buildings, and reduced property values, while the benefits are widely dispersed to others far removed from the project. It is perfectly rational for them to resist. But if those same residents had control over the land use for their immediate area, they would be in a position to receive direct compensation from the operators of the proposed facility. In a case like that, rather than facing local opposition at every possible location, it is likely several communities would actively encourage service providers to consider their neighbourhood. Get the state out of land-use regulation, and you will replace conflict with cooperation.
Dave Killion — April 7, 2013
The Frontier Centre For Public Policy has produced The First Canadian Property Rights Index. From the Executive Summary -
“Property rights are not absolute. In Canada, they are quite precarious and subject to government regulatory whim, especially since our constitution does not formally protect them as is done in other jurisdictions. However, the common law does provide compensation if land is taken”…. ”Canadians ought to care about property rights, because they are connected to our economic well-being and our liberal democratic rights.”
Written by the indomitable Joseph Quesnel, the index considers eight indicators: registering and/or transferring property, expropriation, land-use planning and constructive takings doctrine, municipal power of entry, civil forfeiture, endangered species, successions, and heritage property.
Overall, the state of property rights in Canada is deplorable, with top-ranking Nova Scotia scoring an anemic 68.25%, and beleaguered Prince Edward Island rating a near-totalitarian 47%. This sorry state of affairs suggests Canadians, lacking security in their property, will be poorly motivated to pursue the bountiful opportunities our future promises. But not all is lost. Early investors determined to improve the economic environment in lower-rated areas stand to profit significantly if they are successful in rolling back government regulation and entrenching property rights in their local constitutions. Look to motivated groups (such as participants in the Free Province Project) to dedicate a good portion of their efforts toward enhancing property rights in their regions.
Dave Killion — March 20, 2013
Those folks who promote amalgamating the thirteen municipalities that comprise Greater Victoria have still not forsworn their foolish ways, despite my efforts to show them their errors. Like most, they base their opinions only on what they see (the costs of decentralized governance), while neglecting to consider those effects that they do not see -
“… about two years after the West Shore community of 16,000 launched Solar Colwood — a $12-million plan to equip 1,000 homes with solar-powered heat and hot water — the program seems to be languishing due to a lack of interest.
The hope was to install 1,000 solar units — hot water heaters and ductless split heat-pumps — over three years. But by the end of 2012, only 34 solar hot water heaters and 75 ductless heat pumps had been installed.” “… total out-of-pocket municipal expenses to date, including in-kind costs, are about $42,000.”
What is it that the pro-amalgamaters do not see? They do not see how much money would have been spent on this unwanted and expensive program, had it been implemented region-wide. As it now stands, the City of Colwood gets to serve as a bad example for the other twelve municipalities, and fewer tax dollars will be expended on something in which taxpayers have no interest. The pro-amalgamaters literally don’t know how lucky they are. Hopefully, they will continue to be unsuccessful in their attempts to cause the rest of us to suffer for their ignorance.