City of Vancouver Needs an External Independent Financial Audit.
Vancouver Mayor Stewart recently pleaded with the federal and provincial governments for $200 million to help with the City of Vancouver budget during this pandemic crisis.
He says the City is going “bankrupt/insolvent” and that property taxes will have to increase by another 14%. This is on top of the current already planned tax increase of 7%!
With a $1.6 billion budget, how can the City be nearly insolvent? Surely there is room to trim expenses in this time of crisis? The announced layoffs and meagre 10% salary cuts for Mayor and management is not enough.
The City is doing little to tighten its budget while businesses and residents are suffering. Young people are disproportionately out of work. Seniors’ pensions have been decimated. Small businesses can’t pay rent. Owners are seeing their livelihoods evaporate. The city must stop pushing their out of control spending onto tax payers. These expenses affect everyone: renters, owners and businesses.
A growing movement of concerned citizens is alarmed and outraged.
This petition calls on the City to undertake an external independent financial audit of its books. Reduce costs to what we can afford.
Timeline for action is short. Council instructed staff to “review the budget and make recommendations” within 6 weeks, as to where funds could be found to support the City’s shortfall.
The City needs to save $4.2 million/week or $50 million in the first quarter. Here are some initial suggestions:
Put all capital projects on hold
Each Dept must find appropriate % of target savings in their budget
Mayor/Council must prioritize a post COVID Back2Basics budget
City should publish an itemized, transparent, line item budget of Revenue/Expenses
The City of Vancouver performs an annual internal audit. That audit is checked by an accounting firm thus confirming the numbers are correct.
Last fall Council supported a Motion for the City to appoint an external Auditor General; something most large Canadian cities already have.
The Auditor General is charged with assessing where taxpayers’ dollars are being spent and how the funds are used.
Although discussions are currently underway about this position, the Back2Basics:Vancouver petition is intended to ensure a review of the City’s current spending now.
We urgently need an external independent audit to determine if our tax dollars are well allocated and to identify where spending cuts can be made to keep the City solvent.
We need your help! Please sign this Back2Basics:Vancouver petition, and forward to your friends and neighbours.
If you can, please make a contribution to help defray expenses so we can spread the word and compel the City to undertake an independent financial audit.