EDITORIAL: Council showing its petty side
There was a time, back in the early days of the province’s Local Government Act, when a counter-petition process required five per cent of voters’ signatures to force a referendum or kill a project.
The fact that threshold has since been raised to a difficult-to-attain 10 per cent is tough enough.
That city council has thus far refused to make petitions available at various city facilities is simply mean and unnecessary.
City council plans on borrowing $8 million to build a parkade on a parking lot next to Riverside Park.
There is opposition to the plan, which is why a group called the Friends of Riverside Park (some members of whom are linked to the Kamloops Voters Society) want to kill the project through the counter-petition proposal.
With the signatures of 10 per cent of eligible voters needed to be collected in only one month as of Aug. 31, and with about 6,500 signatures needed to be secured, the task is daunting.
When the group asked city council to make petition forms available in city facilities across Kamloops, council refused.
The Friends of Riverside Park will ask again at the Aug. 30 council meeting.
If city council again refuses, it will expose itself as being a petty, vindictive group.
The majority of council favours the parkade plan.
We get that.
But, the counter-petition process is democracy in its rawest form, albeit a form designed to fail by the powers-that-be in Victoria.
There is no reason petition forms should not be on the counters at city hall, at the Tournament Capital Centre, in arenas and anywhere else the public accesses city buildings.
The cost will be limited to the paper on which petitions are printed. The cost in November to a council seen as arrogant?
Could be substantial.