This week the Revelstoke Review hosted an election forum for municipal candidates vying to fill the empty council seat.
Promises were made and candidates tossed around numbers and facts. So, the Review decided to do some fact-checking.
Any other claims of fact that you are wondering about, this is just a small selection? Let us know by emailing email@example.com.
Candidate Tim Palmer claimed the current city council is committed to discussing potential raises for mayor and council at the end of their term, before the 2022 regular election.
This is true. After voting to implement raises over the next three years on Jan. 21, 2020, which saw former councillor Steven Cross step down in protest, council backtracked Feb. 10, instead asking that staff come back with a report establishing a renumeration policy for the next city council. There is no date set for when this will happen.
Matt Cherry, candidate, claimed a 2018 report done by the city indicated a strong need for all sorts of housing except for single-family houses.
He was on the right track. In August 2018 the city published a Housing Needs and Demands Assessment report. The report used Statistics Canada data to look at the housing inventory in the city, household dynamics and income to create a chart outlining “ideal housing supply” as well as the anticipated housing supply for the next 25 years.
According to the chart, there were 430 more units than needed, for the “market owner” category, which is for people with household incomes of $60,000 and higher.
At the time the report was presented to council, then director of development services Nigel Whitehead said: “There is a strong need for all forms of housing in this community, except for single-family detached.”
Stoked Living Development
Cherry also claimed the developer of the recently approved residential development on Hay Road offered to pay for sidewalk construction and that residents in the area would have the opportunity to tie into the sewer line being brought to the property.
This is true. Cherry claimed the houses will be sustainably built and that the developer will be taking an environmental approach to building materials. The developer said he intends on building the homes to be net-zero or meet passive house energy standards, but we were unable to find mention of environmentally friendly building materials.
Recovery Task Force
Palmer claimed there are no city councillors on the Recovery Task Force.
This is true. The current members, according to the city’s website, are: Roberta Bobicki, Dawn Low, Ingrid Bron, Stacey Brensrud, Dylan Hardy, Daniel Kellie, Brady Beruschi, Linda Chell, BR Whalen and Anita Ely.
Candidate Alistair Taylor claimed the budget had been set for this year.
This is false. Though each department’s budgets have been reviewed by the city’s finance committee, which consists of Mayor Gary Sulz and councillors Rob Elliott, Jackie Rhind and Nichole Cherlet, the proposed budget has not yet been brought forward for council consideration.
Landfill leaking into Columbia River
“The CSRD acknowledged that there is waste that is polluting the Columbia River,” said Palmer.
This could be true. In a presentation to council on Jan. 12, Ben Van Nordstrom, team leader, environmental health services, for the CSRD, said that a recent compliance report from the ministry of environment indicated compliance issues when it came to litter on site as well as groundwater issues. The landfill, which was first created 30-40 years ago, is naturally attenuating. Unlike the site in Salmon Arm, which keeps all water on-site, there is runoff from the Revelstoke landfill.
The Review has requested a copy of the recent compliance report for more information.