Re: "Opposing RCMP building now futile and costly," editorial, Jan. 12.
Very few would dispute the necessity of the RCMP to have suitable facilities in which to conduct their business. However, the issue here is more about the projected $39-million cost and the lack of a referendum.
Your editorial wrongly concludes that the small number of electors taking the time to submit a response form to oppose the borrowing of $13.8 million (not $39 million) somehow equates to "democracy's voice speaking loudly with its silence" and widespread acceptance of the project.
Simply put, the "alternative approval process" was used because it's a very successful method of achieving the desired result when it is known there is a lot of opposition and that a referendum would be risky.
It's commonly referred to as "negative billing," a term coined in the 1990s, I believe, when a certain Cable TV company chose to provide and bill customers for services that were not requested.
Fortunately, the courts supported consumers and put a stop to it.
Taxpayers, it seems, aren't so lucky.
In this case, our city council knew that very few electors would make the effort to fill out and submit the response form, especially when the form was not widely available and most people were either too busy preparing for Christmas or on vacation.
The result was predictable and Prince George taxpayers will undoubtedly see this method used again to ram through expensive projects which might very well be opposed by the majority.
As I recall, Mayor Dan Rogers used the word "change" during his election campaign, giving the impression that he might put an end to the excessive tax, borrow and spending policies of previous councils, which have created a lot of debt for the city.
It appears that he has either forgotten why he was elected, or has fallen victim to the big spenders that surround him. Fortunately, next year there will be a civic election where Mr. Rogers will have to defend his record.
Perhaps that "approval process" will result in the election of an "alternative" mayor.
If re-elected though, then by all means let construction begin and the questionable approval process continue.