We need more bang for taxpayers’ bucks

Dear editor,

Re: Rural garbage pickup and roadside recycling referendum.

Personally I would have saved money and I still voted no. Why?

Dear editor,

Re: Rural garbage pickup and roadside recycling referendum.

Personally I would have saved money and I still voted no. Why?

Because we need to become much smarter at  leveraging our tax dollars for the benefit of our community.

This contract would have hurt a local business. If we want to have a private sector here in the Valley, we had better support independent business ventures.

Perhaps our waste management and recycling programs could be provided by a social enterprise matching industry prices and service, providing jobs for locals and recirculating the profits back into community social services or infrastructure.

The Edmonton Recycling Society ran like this for years, employing barriered individuals and returning 50 per cent of the profits back to the city.

These are our tax dollars and, all things being equal, public sector institutions have a responsibility to spend the money with local organizations, especially when the price and service delivery can be matched by a local company or social enterprise.

The Olympics taught us lots about social impact purchasing, lessons which have influenced Social Impact Purchasing Legislation to be passed in Scotland and for Community Benefit Clauses to be included in contracts with the PanAm Games in Toronto.

With a small change in the wording of RFPs, future garbage collection contracts could require a 10-per-cent community benefit clause and a partnership which benefits a local charity; or an organization like Dawn to Dawn could fully own the waste management company, offering jobs to the homeless and applying the profits to fund housing.

There is also nothing to stop Island Health, (VIHA) stating that a set percentage, say 30 per cent, of all food served in the new hospital must be sourced locally, providing our farmers with secure market access to a local, commercial scale customer.

If you would like to see your tax dollars being spent more wisely, please contact your local politicians and public sector purchasing officers to ask if their current purchasing policy is maximizing the use of every tax dollar and helping us to become a more economically sustainable community — or are they merely asking for the lowest bid and sending our hard-earned dollars out of the Valley as fast as possible?

Sandra Hamilton,

Comox

Editor’s note: Sandra Hamilton is a business consultant who specializes in social enterprise and in advancing the social economy on Vancouver Island.

 

Just Posted

Y2K Spitfire comes home

Stocky Edwards guest of honour at banquet

Crown Isle acquires Longlands Golf Course

The Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community just got a little bit… Continue reading

Heliports certified at Comox Valley, Campbell River hospitals

Both sites should see heliports up and running by late summer

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Three small wildfires burning west of Courtenay

The blazes are the result of a brief thunderstorm last night

B.C. BMX kid wows GoPro with homemade video

Eight-year-old Rex Johnson wins award for inventive video

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

PHOTOS: Police rescue baby seal found on rocky B.C. shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

Man brandishes axe during robbery

Mounties were able to locate the suspect within two hours of the incident

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

10 feet from home: B.C. grassfire offers stark reminder how quickly blazes burn

Kamloops woman among first people in B.C. to be told to evacuate home this wildfire season

Most Read