Qualicum councillor wants cyclists to be paid for mileage

Qualicum councillor wants cyclists to be paid for mileage
WatchA Qualicum councillor wants the same mileage paid to politicians using cars to travel to meetings, given to those going green, by bike, foot or electric scooter. Skye Ryan reports.

Rain or shine, Teunis Westbroek cycles everywhere he can to get around Qualicum Beach and beyond.

The Qualicum Beach councillor is supporting a motion that went before the Regional District of Nanaimo to compensate for mileage, made by foot, by bike or electric scooter to meetings. People required to attend the meetings are already compensated when they use cars and trucks.

“If we pay them to drive a pickup truck or a fossil fuel burning vehicle of some kind, we pay them mileage,” said Westbroek.

“But if you come on a bike or something like that, you don’t and I think you shouldn’t be disqualified for taking the responsibility.”

Cyclist Dianne Sharp loves the idea.

“You know he’s just exactly bang on you know,” said Sharp.

“If you’re going to give allowances. I think it’s not a bad idea to try it.”

The idea just hit a roadblock at the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) though, when it was voted down by directors.

“I’m not sure of any other jurisdiction in Canada that pays mileage for people to cycle or walk,” said RDN Board Chair Ian Thorpe.

“Not saying we couldn’t be the first but I think overall, the directors felt that that really just wasn’t the intent behind paying mileage,” said Thorpe.

According to Thorpe, the idea could be revisited. But it would need a new designation, that isn’t named mileage.

“Depreciation on a vehicle is the basis for the mileage,” said Thorpe.

“Otherwise it’s really just an increase in compensation package.”

“We’re sending the wrong message if we’re saying we’ll pay you mileage if you come by a truck or a car,” said Westbroek.

“But we won’t if you come any other way.”

For Westbroek, just sparking the discussion is a win.

“All I wanna do is plant the seed,” said the Qualicum Beach councillor.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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