A Victoria city councillor argues the Canadian military should shoulder the costs of policing events such as Remembrance Day commemorations and the Victoria Day Parade.

Ben Isitt introduced the amendment to a motion council was debating at Committee of the Whole on Thursday to provide extra funding for VicPD for this year’s Canada Day celebrations in the capital.

The amendment reads, “Council direct staff to engage DND  (Department of National Defence) and Veteran’s Affairs Canada officials to seek to recover costs associated with military events in the city.”

Isitt explained that with budgets far larger that the City of Victoria’s, both the DND and Veteran’s Affairs are in a better position to help fund costs such as policing.

“Responsibility for military commemoration honouring veterans is more properly the responsibility of those federal agencies,” Isitt explained.

A majority of council voted to approve the amendment including Laurel Collins, who has already won the federal NDP nomination in Victoria for the upcoming federal election, as well as Jeremy Loveday, Marianne Alto and Sara Potts.

Mayor Lisa Helps, and councillors Charlayne Thornton-Joe and Geoff Young voted against the amendment.

The whole issue erupted after the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board informed Council that budgetary constraints meant it can no longer afford to absorb  “unfunded special event expenditures” in three areas totalling $135,300.

That includes $15,2000 for VicPD service for military-related events in 2018.

Council are expected tackle the main motion and several amendments including councillor Isitt’s again at a council meeting on June 13th.

Alexa Huffman