Duncan Councillor Roger Bruce is a very vocal advocate of Amalgamation of the City of Duncan and the Municipality of North Cowichan.
In support of Amalgamation, Roger Bruce has recently released this video and posted it on Youtube:
We disagree with Councillor Bruce’s pro-Amalgamation position and we urge Duncan residents to Vote No in the Amalgamation Referendum on 23 June 2018.
In the interest of clarification we would like to make some comments on another issue Councillor Bruce has raised while arguing in favour of Amalgamation.
In making various pro-Amalgamation arguments online – on Facebook and other platforms – Roger Bruce has repeatedly made statements to the effect that he is the only member of Duncan City Council who pays City of Duncan taxes.
He has also made this statement in the video shown above.
With regard to other members of Duncan City Council, we note that Councillors Michelle Bell, John Horgan and Michelle Staples are not residents of the City of Duncan and therefore do not pay residential property taxes in the City of Duncan. As far as we are aware, they do not own businesses in Duncan and do not pay City of Duncan business taxes.
Councillor Sharon Jackson was a Duncan resident until December 2017, when she sold her house in Duncan and moved to the CVRD. It can therefore be argued that she is not paying City of Duncan taxes at this time although we note that she was a City of Duncan taxpayer at the time of the last Municipal election in 2014 and she remained a City of Duncan taxpayer until December 2017. She has stated to us that she intends to move back into the City of Duncan as soon as she can.
Mayor Phil Kent and Councillor Tom Duncan apparently rent residential accommodation in the City of Duncan so, by Councillor Roger Bruce’s argument, Mayor Kent and Councillor Duncan do not pay City of Duncan taxes although they are City of Duncan residents. We will not address this argument here; readers can form their own opinions on that.
Councillor Bruce’s statements that he is the only person on Duncan City Council who pays City of Duncan taxes have given many people the impression that Councillor Roger Bruce lives in the City of Duncan. Apparently that is not the case; we have been informed that Councillor Bruce actually lives in the Municipality of North Cowichan.
But Councillor Bruce does pay City of Duncan taxes. He owns commercial property, on which he pays City of Duncan taxes, at the south east corner of Cairnsmore Street and Government Street. This property contains the buildings currently occupied by the 49th Parallel Grocery and the Fishbowl Cafe.
Here is a Google Street View image of this property in May 2015:
Councillor Bruce also owns adjacent properties to the south on Government Street between Cairnsmore Street and Herbert Street. In the past he has sought to develop these lots and has applied to the City of Duncan for variances for that purpose.
Here is a Google Street View image of these properties in May 2015:
So there is no doubt that Councillor Roger Bruce is a City of Duncan taxpayer. He pays City of Duncan taxes on the commercial properties shown above.
But it seems he is not a resident of the City of Duncan. We have been told that he resides in the Municipality of North Cowichan. We have asked Councillor Bruce for clarification of this but, as of this date, we have not received an answer.
So for Duncan taxpayers and residents who have heard Councillor Roger Bruce’s statement and arguments in favour of Amalgamation and that he is the only member of Duncan City Council who pays City of Duncan taxes, be aware that, while Councillor Roger Bruce is in fact a City of Duncan taxpayer, he is apparently a resident of the Municipality of North Cowichan.
This is in no way meant as a personal attack on Councillor Roger Bruce. We are simply seeking to clarify his repeated statements that he is the only member of Duncan City Council who pays City of Duncan taxes.
We urge City of Duncan residents to Vote No on 23 June 2018.