Thomas Kervin is a recent political science alumnus from Simon Fraser University. He was born and raised in Port Hardy. He’s also a First Nations person who wants to address issues facing Indigenous communities today. Agree or disagree with Kervin’s Corner? Write a letter to the editor at and we will publish it online and in print.

Kervin’s Corner: Port Hardy mayoral race hinges on candidate’s intended use of tax dollars

The projected tax base is planned to raise at a steady rate for the next four years

Mayoral races are often what takes front stage in municipal elections.

An often posed question to mayoral candidates is one that is asked every four years – “if you win, how will you use my tax dollars for your term?”

Well, after the District of Port Hardy raised taxes by four per cent, it’s safe to say that finances are a big ticket item to discuss this year.

Elected mayor and council pushed a capital project (the multiplex) through without enough funding to even break the ground yet (Councillor Dennis Dugas was the lone vote against the project moving forward).

They weren’t able to receive enough grant funding. What that really means, no matter how you spin it, is that the financial burden was shifted away from government and on to the shoulders of Port Hardy taxpayers.

Our property taxes here continue to be one of the highest on the island, despite the average house value being one of the lowest in the province, according to findings compiled by Vancouver Island Free Daily Editor John McKinley.

And frivolous side projects are seemingly draining the municipal bank account – think, the windmill blade for example, though to be fair, no money has yet been spent on the project by the district, but the cost to remove it could be as high as $30,000.

The Fort Rupert Curling Club, G.E. Wilson Memorial Arena, underwent a major overhaul. In fact, the district agreed to replace the building’s roof, which was much needed, but what was originally a $130,600 project turned out to be roughly $260,000 in the end. What’s worse is that the renovation was completed without so much as a single grant to help out. The cost to demolish the curling club building would have been $560,000.

It seems with all these financial decisions made in the past four years, residents have got to think – how will my tax dollars be spent after the election? All we have to do is look at the candidates track record if they’re an incumbant. Take a glance at their pivotal decisions on major projects and if residents’ think that it was a good decision, then so be it.

But remember, there’s only so many times our taxes can be raised before it just gets to be too much strain.

It’s like the fable of the frog slowly being boiled alive. We won’t notice the tax raises much; a little bit here, a little bit there the next year, until it gets too much to bear all of a sudden.

Of course, no one is going to raise taxes to such an absurd rate without at least a justification, but we have to keep track of the raises each year. The projected tax base is planned to raise at a steady rate for the next four years, by the way. Well, at least until the multimillion-dollar capital project is paid off.

See for yourself on the district’s website under the most recent financial report. When you go to the voting station come this Oct. 20, just remember – how would you like your tax dollars spent?

Just Posted

‘Out of the Interior: Survival of the Small-town Cinema in British Columbia’ is coming to Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

On Saturday, June 8 at 7:00 p.m., ‘Out of the Interior’ documentary will screen at Gate House Theatre.

North Island Rising: Political polarization

This fall there will be a minimum of four candidates wanting your vote here on the North Island.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The last walk together

“I would give almost anything to be able to have another walk together”

North Island College holding information session on new culinary diploma

Get a sneak peek at the new culinary kitchen at the Campbell River campus

Council approves replacement of overhead heaters at Fire Hall

Port Hardy council has agreed to spend $11,000 on the replacement of… Continue reading

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read