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General News · 27th October 2019
Stephen Reid
I know some of these issues have been simmering since long before I arrived here back in 2005, but the last few years have seen intensified division regarding local politics. We all have different opinions right?
I'm the type who leans towards social programming so I support the hall tax, BUT, not without trying to wrap my head around the arguments against it.
From what I have heard, the most compelling argument against the hall tax is what I will call the "slippery slope" theory. This is the idea that as we invite more and more programs and services, taxation and mainstream trappings, we accelerate the assimilation of Cortes culture into mainstream culture.
Well I think this is a point that is worth consideration and taking heed of. I fell in love with this island because of the wild community here and I remember finding it strange when I first arrived that this was in Canada. I liked it, wanted more, and am STILL HERE!
I remember (15 years ago) an old-timer telling me that Cortes is just like Salt Spring was 30 years ago.
I do believe there is some truth to this, but in my humble opinion, the ferry is to blame much more than a new tax for our halls.
Well I dont want to live on Salt Spring! Or live without the ferry!
And I also dont want to fight against the evolution of Cortes.
And I also want to take a grain of wisdom from other opinions. And I wanna hold dear to, and honour, the roots and culture of this island as waves upon waves of "newcomers" find this place since colonial occupation began. Of course the Klahoose great great grandmothers were always here, she has seen every wave roll up the shore. Its important to consider how we got here and a lot of us "newcomers" may not be aware of all perspectives.
I am trying to say its not just black and white, yay or nay. Yes I want to see the hall tax, and I want to learn what I can from those in opposition.
Frankly, a lot of the opposing arguments dont make sense to me. At the same time, some proponents may only see good from inviting more scrutiny and involvement from the gov't. Salt Spring probably has building codes and other things we dont have to worry about....yet!
I have also heard that some in opposition remain silent for fear of backlash from tax supporters. That is also possible I think.
No its not just black and white, we are swimming in the gray area together. Lets stop pushing each other under!!! I trust the will of the majority, should this hall tax get voted down I will respect that.

I have been told that we do have some seniors on a fixed income that will feel the pinch if the new tax goes through. How can we find out more about that and if they need help or not?

Clearly not everyone believes we need a community association that can't take care of its finances by raising private money. Its an idea I am willing to consider, even if I vote yes to the tax. I hope the money is used with the utmost care.
I encourage those in opposition to try to see some of the good that might come about should the vote go "yes".
Another view on Seniors and Taxes
Comment by Ester on 28th October 2019
Do worry about those seniors on a fixed income. Not all of them know how to apply. Maybe this is something we can help them with.
Thoughtful narrative
Comment by Jennifer Stevens on 27th October 2019
Hi Stephen - Thanks for this thoughtful narrative.
Comment by Jack Wills on 27th October 2019
Nicely written and with sentiments well expressed.
Now that the voting is a done deal, let us put all the animosities behind us. Out there in the big world, things seem to be coming quickly unravelled and divided, we really are a small group here on Cortes with far more in common than than not. It is in our best interests to listen to each other and to co-operate for the benefit or all.
Seniors & Taxes
Comment by Irene Blueth on 27th October 2019
Don't worry too much about those seniors on a fixed incomes, they get a generous supplemental homeowner's grant if they live here.