Council’s authority stripped under TILMA

Dear Editor:

I would like to elaborate somewhat on Vicki Lightfoot’s letter that appeared in the Review on April 7.

I researched our municipality’s new waste disposal company, BFI, and have learned that BFI Waste Services is partly owned by the Blackstone Group, the fifth largest investment group of its kind in the world with more than $90 billion in investments. It is no wonder that no local company could underbid BFI.

With the awarding of this contract to BFI, it is only now that the details of the TILMA agreement are being revealed tot he public. 

I don’t think too many people knew that our municipally elected officials no longer have autonomy over decisions concerning our tax dollars. 

The agreement, signed by former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell and the premier of Alberta basically strips our municipal governments of their democratic right to determine who provides our services.

It is shocking to learn that all our municipal services could potentially be provided by multi-national corporations whose offices are outside our borders.

When it comes to tax dollars, I believe that we, the people, have the right to determine who gets them. With TILMA, we no longer have that right. Since when did two premiers get to decide who runs our municipality?

I thought we voted for a mayor and council and then they, and they alone, with the public in mind, get to decide how to spend our tax dollars.

I think most Summerlanders would like to see our tax dollars stay in our municipality to further enhance our local economy.  With BFI now getting a chunk of our tax dollars, our money will be invested outside our municipality and outside our country. What a shame. 

And what a shame that this was done so secretly without much publicity.

Reinhold Prochnau

Summerland