FVRD chair asks Abby to reconsider vote to leave

Patricia Ross, FVRD chair, is asking Abbotsford City council to reconsider its decision leave the regional district.

Patricia Ross, chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District, is asking Abbotsford City council to reconsider its decision to leave the regional district.

“Abbotsford’s withdrawal from the FVRD would prove costly and damaging to Abbotsford as well as the region,” Ross said in a Thursday news release.

“We’ve seen no sign that the Province is interested in dismantling the FVRD,” she said. “The Local Government Act is very specific on the function of regional district government and on the importance of coordination among municipalities.”

Abbotsford city council voted earlier this week to ask the B.C. government for permission to leave the FVRD, and to form its own single-tier governance, citing a staff report that the city could save close to $759,000 a year by the move.

The report said the city could provide all the services now delivered by the FVRD for $1.6 million, including 9-1-1 dispatch and solid waste management.

But Ross, who is also an Abbotsford City councillor, said the report contains “a number of inaccuracies.”

She said the report states the city had to “sacrifice” $300,000 in regional gas tax revenue to other municipalities in the region.

“This is not correct,” she said. “The money in question is allocated specifically to regional districts for regionally significant projects.”

“If Abbotsford wasn’t part of the FVRD, there’s no guarantee the city would get any revenue grant at all,” she said.

Abbotsford Mayor George Peary said in an earlier interview that city taxpayers can’t help but save, if the regional layer of government is eliminated.

Ross said Abbotsford taxpayers currently pay about $2.42 a month for FVRD services that include 9-1-1, regional fire dispatch, solid waste management, weed and mosquito control, data collection on homelessness and transportation, and “liaison” with the B.C. government planners.

She said Abbotsford has never made use of a “clear process” in provincial legislation to resolve disputes, and invited city officials to meet with the FVRD.

“It would make sense for the city to bring its concerns into a constructive dialogue with the FVRD, rather than taking a confrontational approach,” she said in the  news release.

Ross was the only city councillor who voted against the motion to seek withdrawal from the FVRD.

The FVRD includes Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Kent, Hope, Mission, Harrison Hot Springs and seven electoral areas.

Just Posted

Parents cross over painting job on 6 Ave. crosswalks

Crosswalks, not painted since September, are a safety concern for two parents

Yale First Nation project preserves elders’ memories and recipes

Community members are encouraged to share their traditional food recipes by Feb. 28

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

Driver of vehicle down 90-foot embankment rescued on Highway 5 near Hope

Rope rescue conducted on mutual-aid call with Chilliwack SAR, Hope SAR and Agassiz fire department

UPDATE: Missing Dawson Creek man found, RCMP confirm

33-year-old Jeremiah Alexander Smith’s vehicle was abandoned near Hope Feb. 14

VIDEO: B.C. superfans soak in 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Trio, including two from the Okanagan, have been cheering on Summerland Olympian Kripps among others in Korea

More snow expected on the Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says five to 10 centimetres will come down between Friday and Saturday mornings

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

Lane closures on Alex Fraser, Port Mann bridges considered to avoid ‘ice bombs’

Province spent $5 million clearing both bridges last years

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Most Read