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LETTER - Suggestion to cut spending over-simplifies government budget plans

Dear editor,
File photo of CVRD building.

Dear editor,

I learned a long time ago to avoid those who propose simple solutions to complex problems, also known as “magical thinking.”

The Feb. 1 “Under the Glacier” cartoon has depicted a CVRD director engaged in the five-year budget process, saying “Let’s freeze the budget and cut spending to help out the taxpayers.”

Oh, that it was so simple!

The CVRD provides services (water, sewer, waste collection, land use planning, and about 100 others) and those that pay for those services receive them.

The services almost always have personnel engaged in their delivery. These folks earn their pay within the details of contracts or collective services agreements. Is a five-year freeze on their wages being proposed? Is that even possible?

The provision of services also requires tangible things: fuel, electricity, vehicles, tools, and consumables. Who will impose a five-year freeze on those costs? Who could?

The provision of services often requires buildings and facilities. Who will impose a five-year freeze on those costs? Is that even possible if they are leased or rented?

Government, at all three levels, is a big target and our governments do need to be held accountable. That is not the same as simply mocking them and wishing away their legitimate problems.

Jon Ambler