Policing: Waking Up To The Cost Of Being An ‘Official Community’

Former Councillor Guy Heywood (CNV) spoke at the January 12th Council meeting during the public input period.  The script is below.   This link Policing: Waking Up To The Cost Of Being An ‘Official Community’  has further detail as well as the attachments mentioned.  Quoting in part:

It Is Hard Not To Be Involved

I miss being part of Council. I find it difficult to stop thinking about the issues that challenge the City. While at times it has been hard not to take it personally, I believe that many of fundamental causes of the City’s dysfunction in government and its politics are related to the structure of our local governments and their historical origin. 


Two Minute Presentation:

I am here to talk about a serious complaint made by the District in a letter to the City last fall that does not appear to be resolved.

They relate to one of the reasons the City Manager gave in his report last June for why the Cityshould not to collaborate with the District in a Restructure Study:

“…the District owes the City … over $1.2 million… increasing by…  $400,000 every year”The allegation was repeated at later meetings and in the media.

In September, the Mayor of the District wrote a letter to say that these statements were:

“…not correct…in fact misleading and damaging to the District’s reputation.”

He attached an agreement signed by Mr. Tollstam proving he should have known that it was a false statement when he made it.

There were also RCMP reports supporting a District view that, rather than owing the City, they are paying $2 million per year more than their fair share.

They asked for a public statement of retraction but all I could find was Mr. Tollstam quoted in the North Shore News September 24th saying that:

“the numbers seem to indicate both parties are paying their fair share.” 

This is yet another misleading statement, since the numbers provided by the RCMP support the District’s view that it is subsidizing the City.

I believe there are literally millions of dollars wasted on duplicate local government bureaucracy and facilities in North Vancouver.  The lack of coordination and even conflict has negative consequences for social services, culture, recreation and the management of public safety.

But I had not been aware of the risk to City taxpayers in particular of a $2 million dollar shift in policing costs. That is $2 million dollars per year more incentive for City taxpayers to find out just how much we are all paying across North Vancouver to maintain two local governments in one community.

I have put this correspondence and other information I have collected on my blog –guyheywood.ca – as reference for citizens who have told me they wish to get on with their own study of how local government in North Vancouver can be made better.

I wish them success but warn them to be wary of the bullying and misleading tactics employed by those with a vested interest in the status quo.



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