Damage to citizens from district’s PSIT bylaw needs to be undone

Editor, The Record:I attended the last two meetings on the PSIT bylaw with the intention of supporting council. I expected council’s position to be that clearly major mistakes had been made, to discuss such mistakes to the degree possible without discussing legal issues, and to set in motion processes to redress any injustices. Above all I confidently expected transparency.
I was disappointed at the first meeting with the desire to get as much discussion as possible, as soon as possible, in-camera. I was even more disappointed with the position of several council members to defend the indefensible, and apparently to support only minor fine-tuning of a deeply flawed process. At the second meeting I was shocked to discover council had hired a media company to spin their decisions with the media before announcing those decisions to the public.
Certain facts are incontrovertible:
The fees charged are indefensible. They do not reflect, in any meaningful way, the actual costs. They effectively fix targets for the inspection team whose jobs depend on levying sufficient fees.
Innocent people have suffered. The mere fact of an inspection with a marked police cruiser in attendance combined with the invasion of privacy punishes those who are entirely blameless.
Remediation requirements have, on occasion, been excessive (even punitive) and unsupported by science.
Perhaps the most alarming feature of the program has been the expressed view of some staff and council members that some people should be charged fees because they are “obviously guilty but there isn’t sufficient evidence.” This is totally unacceptable and alarming in the extreme.
In going forward there are certain principles which I believe must be followed: No innocent people must suffer; fees charged must reflect only actual costs, and; remediation requirements must be supported by science.
Clearly damage has been done to citizens of Mission and needs to be undone.
Every single case where action has been taken should be reviewed. These reviews should be undertaken by those with no financial or other interest in the outcome.
Council’s original intentions may have been honourable, but it is time to admit that the unintended consequences are unacceptable, and to do all that is possible to remedy the ills inflicted and to inflict no further harm. Hiring a spin doctor meets none of these tests.Ron TaylorMission