AUGUST 15 2014
The County of Haliburton is disappointed in the announcement on OPP Billing Reform.
Although members of Council are pleased that Commercial, Industrial and Institutional (C I & I) properties are included, policing costs in Haliburton County are going to more than double over the next five years with no change in service.
There is concern with some comments made by Minister Yasir Naqvi: The Minister’s statement that there are policing enhancements in cottage country during the summer is incorrect. In fact, while call volumes increase due to a greater number of people in the County, there are no extra officers assigned to this area.
Secondly, due to the inaccessible nature of many private cottage roads in the winter, seasonal properties cannot be patrolled year round.
Finally, Haliburton County’s current cost per household is due to low crime rates. The pooling of costs across the province suggests that Haliburton County will be paying for officers and services it will never receive.
The specific financial impact on taxpayers will vary by municipality, will be based on assessed value, and will be made available by the OPP to municipalities this fall.
Billing is only one issue identified by the Auditor General affecting the affordability of the OPP and we look forward to the government addressing these other important issues.
Dave Burton, Warden