LETTER: New low in relationship

The relationship between local governments and the province reached a new low with the “leaking” of a so-called public sector review.

The relationship between local governments and the provincial government reached a new low with the “leaking” of a so-called public sector review last week.

Undertaken by Ernst and Young as part of the BC Liberals’ core review, it claims that salaries and wages in local government are now higher than within core provincial government services.

Ernst and Young, in a note at the end of their report, state that it is “confidential” and that they “have not sought to establish the reliability of information given to us.”

Despite that, using 2006 Census of Canada data, Ernst and Young create a series of bar graphs purporting to show that salaries and wages are higher in certain local government sectors.

Since census data is self-reporting, nowhere does it compare education/training, years of experience and complexity of task. Managers in Vancouver, for example, have a higher and more broad range of population to deal with than, say, a manager in the Ministry of Agriculture.

Further, according to the latest MLS listings and BC Stats, a house in Greater Vancouver now costs on average $767,765, as compared to $276,535 in the Kootenays, and yet one of the proposals is for Vancouver, Nelson, Salmo and Silverton to sit at the same table to bargain union wages in a province-wide agreement.

Further, if local governments do not agree to this, the report recommends going as far as changing legislation, so as to force municipal and regional districts into line.

Having spent the last nine years trying to prevent provincial and federal governments from implementing more and more expensive regulations, rules and required services for local government to provide, I find it highly hypocritical that the provincial government would now come along and propose placing a cap on how much we can increase taxation.

That said, Ernst and Young, in Appendix B, page 49, indicate that there are approximately 57,980 employees in the regional and local government sector, as compared to 31,220 in the core provincial public service. It would be interesting to know what that ratio looked like 20-plus years ago, before many responsibilities were transferred and/or downloaded.

At page 50 they then determine that the per capita cost to the taxpayer for the core public service and regional and local government is equal at $524. Therefore the exact cost per employee in regional and local government is in fact $282 per capita to the taxpayer, as against $524 for the core provincial public sector.

In this context the cross comparison done in Appendix C-1 at pages 51 to 54 is highly problematic statistically, because Ernst and Young’s own data shows that, on a per capita basis, regional and local government employees cost less overall.

It is a sad day in BC when the provincial government feels that it has to “leak” a report that was written without a single local government being consulted about the collection of the data upon which it was based.

Andy Shadrack

RDCK Director Area D

Just Posted

Flood threat increases at Nelson’s waterfront

Peak expected between May 30 and June 1

MP Cannings’ long-awaited wood-use bill passes in House vote

The private member’s bill is his first to pass the House, a rare feat for rookie MPs in opposition

LETTER: Causing any species to go extinct is a crime

‘The earth is not dying. It is being killed’

COLUMN: A look back at May, 1968

Greg Scott: Touchstones of Nelson

L.V. Rogers grads shine spotlight on talent at annual fundraiser

Show set for Tuesday, May 29 at the Capitol Theatre

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Boots and Suits lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

Suspected scammer attempts to use Black Press newspaper to dupe woman

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers tips after Langley resident received suspicious call

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

COLUMN: Women’s breasts really aren’t that big a deal

A follow on some Princeton, B.C., students gained considerable exposure when they dropped their bras

Most Read