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Burnaby’s first and favourite information source Delivery 604-942-3081 • Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Meet Cpl. Reid: An old school cop meets the new media How do the homeless fare at Christmas? PAGE 13 PAGE 3 Your source for local sports, news, weather and entertainment! >> What gingerbread dreams are made of CITY HALL Taxes may jump 2.9% Janaya Fuller-Evans staff reporter The City of Burnaby is considering increasing property taxes by 2.9 per cent next year. Burnaby council received the 2013 provisional plan at Monday night’s meeting, which included the proposed rate increase. “That’s not set in stone,” said Coun. Dan Johnston, chair of the city’s finance and civic development committee. The city is looking at what costs can be trimmed and assessing Burnaby’s financial situation before releasing the finalized 2013 annual financial report next May. Johnston mentioned the city’s increasing labour costs as the primary reason for the property tax increase. The city has recently been in negotiations with the Burnaby Civic Employees’ Union, Local 23, and the union is currently informing members of the details of a proposed four-year collective agreement, which is going to a ratification vote in the near future, according to the union’s website. The contract would cover the period Jason Lang/burnaby now Sweet treats: Grace Hodaly checks out a gingerbread tree house built by Cameron Recreation Complex staff. The house was part of a group of houses made by city staff which are on display at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts until Thursday. Taxes Page 8 New AG: waste of money or good governing? Janaya Fuller-Evans staff reporter The B.C. government’s newly created position of auditor general for local governments has drawn some local criticism and praise. Basia Ruta, a former assistant deputy minister for Environment Canada, will fill the new role. The position was created to oversee local government spending. But some municipalities, such as Burnaby, see the new role as unnecessary interference. Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan has spoken out against the idea since it was first introduced, saying it is a waste of resources. But Richard Lee, the Liberal MLA for Burnaby North, insisted in an interview with the NOW that the new auditor position was established to help, not hinder, local governments. “I think the idea is to help the municipalities, to do some sort of performance *, 76, 85+! ,0,6(-7( 3'## /)6'43"74 /21.*1$&%. #()(%(0- ",*/ -&!.(+$'' 6>/ !';)* !).00)1 40$ =0+)"'7+)0.1 52 ?>9 >2& 6(:-8@6->(&& <A.)$.',*)%0$0#0.+-<3" audit,” Lee said, adding municipalities will be given ideas of how to better spend tax dollars. “But it’s not binding,” he said. “They don’t have to follow it, but if they don’t, probably some questions will arise about why not.” Other levels of government already have auditor generals, he said. And in the end, financial oversight will benefit residents of those municipalities, Lee added. OLD ORCHARD MEDICAL CLINIC ◗ WALK-INS WELCOME ◗ WOMEN’S WELLNESS CLINIC ◗ BOTOX & FILLERS COSMETIC TREATMENTS #11 4429 KINGSWAY BURNABY 604-431-6585 ◗ Open 7 days a week DR. GIDON FRAME MD, CCFP, ABAAM, NAMS “The benefit will be to the taxpayer, because if the tax dollars are used effectively and efficiently, then the services will be better for the taxpayers,” Lee said. Corrigan said the provincial government should listen to its own auditorgeneral instead of shifting the focus onto municipalities. “We already have annual audits,” he said. “We’re required to produce a Corrigan Page 8 YOUR AGENT YOURBURNABY LOCAL AGENT BRIAN VIDAS 604.671.5259 2009-2011 Brian Vidas Personal Real Estate Corporation 3010 Boundary Road, Burnaby www. centre realty

Burnaby Now December 12 2012

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