Mission councillors, some in attendance and some participating by phone, discuss the district’s 2021 budget and five-year financial plan. / Video Image

Mission councillors, some in attendance and some participating by phone, discuss the district’s 2021 budget and five-year financial plan. / Video Image

Mission council green lights 2021 budget and 5-year financial plan

Councillors maintain voting positions with two against

Mission council green lit their 2021 budget and five-year financial plan, granting three readings to the new financial plan bylaw on Dec. 21.

The councillors voting positions had not altered since heavy debates during the last discussion on Dec. 2.

Mission property owners will likely see a two per cent net-tax increase in the coming year.

Coun. Carol Hamilton complimented staff on their ability to whittle down an initial increase of at least five per cent.

“We asked staff to do a really deep dive and sharpen their pencil and come in with a budget that we could agree with,” Hamilton said. “The next year or two are going to be just as difficult … To maintain services, we do need to have some tax increase.”

But not all councillors were in agreement.

Coun. Ken Herar maintained his position of a zero per cent increase, and while Coun. Jag Gill thought the former’s tax freeze was unrealistic, he restated his position that the district should not be spending $92,000 for a new administrative position for the Parks and Recreation Department.

“I’m not naive, I know that we have to carry forward [with tax increases] as we grow,” Gill said. “I know departments are suffering [with staffing], and eventually we’ll have to hire … But I think there has to be some metrics in place to know that the community is really getting a bang for their buck.”

Coun. Danny Plecas reiterated his support for the budget, along with his worry about draining district reserves.

During the previous meeting (Dec. 2) councillors agreed to draw $140,000 out of municipal reserves to further slash the net-tax increase.

“We have many, many projects forthcoming – both water and sewer in particular – and many projects at this point in time are not funded. We have about $80 million in unfinished projects on the table,” Plecas said.

Acting Mayor Cal Crawford acknowledged tax increases would bring hardship to some areas of the district, but said that previous councils had suffered “in spades down the road” for cutting back.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

/ Kevin Mills Photo
Hundreds participate in solidarity parade for transgender student who was bullied

Cars, horses and even planes passed by the Mission waterfront to show support

An amethyst rock was stolen from Swinstones Granite Shop’s showroom in Chilliwack on Yale Rd. West, and they are hoping it will be spotted and returned. They discovered their window smashed and the purple rock stolen on the morning of Jan. 17, 2020. Here a portion of it is pictured to the right. (Submitted image)
Amethyst stolen from Chilliwack stone shop’s showroom

Window smashed at business where purple rock has been on display for nearly 16 years

Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

Two people on a paddleboard take advantage of a calm Cultus Lake on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Forecast calls for lots of sun in Fraser Valley this coming week

Most of next seven days will be sunny for eastern Fraser Valley, according to Environment Canada

Mission’s Fraser Valley Music Award winners credit hometown with fostering musical talent

Rebecca Sichon won the pop-category award; Roads Unknown took home the roots-category award

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

Most Read