Victoria councillor suggests billing military for events like Remembrance Day
Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt put forward a motion that would direct city staff to ask military officials to pay for military events in the city. June 6, 2019. (CTV Vancouver Island)
On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, a Victoria councillor is suggesting the city seek federal money to pay for military events such as Remembrance Day.
The discussion came up at a Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday as council debated whether it should step up funding for Canada Day policing costs.
During the meeting, Coun. Ben Isitt put forward an amendment to the motion seeking to recoup costs for military events including Remembrance Day and the Victoria Day parade.
The amendment read: "That Council direct staff to engage DND/Veterans Affairs Canada officials to seek to recover costs associated with military events in the City."
"Those entities have substantially greater resources," Isitt told council. "I think responsibility for military commemoration and honouring veterans is more properly the responsibility of those federal agencies."
The motion was carried with the support of councillors Laurel Collins, Sarah Potts, Jeremy Loveday and Marianne Alto.
Councillors Geoff Young and Charlayne Thornton-Joe and Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps voted against it.
"The DND has a much larger budget than we do and I do think that policing costs could also be covered by them," Collins said.
The city said it costs $15,200 to police military events.
As for Canada Day costs, council voted to cover a $78,000 shortfall in the Victoria Police Department's budget to police the annual celebration.
The city would allocate $135,000 from the 2019 contingency to cover the costs.
A final decision on the motion and its amendments will be made on June 13 after city staff receive a detailed outline of police expenses.
A motion was also carried asking Helps to "work with other mayors from CRD municipalities to secure support for policing events that serve the regional community."