Charging not free

There are some misconceptions about Qualicum Beach charging program

I’d like to respond to two positions stated in John Harding’s editorial in the April 30 edition of The NEWS (‘Not fully charged’).

I disagree that “the whole notion that (governments) provide (this particular and most other) services is a good one.”

That perspective embodies much of what is wrong with our governments, of all levels.

Government’s mandate should be restricted to identifying and promoting policies and objectives deemed desirable for society, and the putting in place of the necessary environment or framework that will allow or encourage others — business, individuals, non-profit organizations — to achieve those policies and objectives.

It is not government’s place to actually undertake the activities themselves that will result in the achievement of the desired objectives.

In the specific case at issue, why should the government of Parksville install and operate electric vehicle charging stations?

Their mandate should include no more than the determination that the existence of the charging stations is a desirable end (and note that I take no position on the relative merits or lack thereof of that particular position), and then allow (or encourage, or require, as the case may be) the private sector to accomplish that end.

Government thinking that they actually have to perform these activities or work at the tasks involved in achieving the desired ends themselves, inevitably leads to government growth and deficits.

Furthermore, the charging stations are not free to use.

Whether actually built and operated by the government, or by the private sector with government subsidies (or even grants, which merely means the subsidies are an extra step or several removed from the taxpayer contributors), there is a cost attached to them.

Calling their use “free” ignores the reality that someone other than the direct beneficiary or user of the service is paying for someone else’s use of it at less than its true cost.

A complete and honest presentation of the issue would include a statement showing the true cost, and a clear statement that ‘x’ per cent of the cost is being subsidized by “society” (read, the taxpayer) because government has deemed their use a desirable objective and it is socially responsible for non-users to fund it.

Those two messages are increasingly ignored by government leaders and would-be leaders, and increasingly forgotten by the public.

Lotar Maurer

Qualicum Beach




Just Posted

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Passengers bound for Victoria say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

Island-filmed TV series gets third season

Crews returning to Parksville Qualicum Beach to film in the spring

Ladysmith marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Ontario licensed marijuana producer Aphria has reached an agreement to acquire Ladysmith-based… Continue reading

Sutherland steps down as SOS executive director

From receptionist to executive director

Views in The NEWS, Jan. 16

We asked: What is a necessity for you on a camping trip?

Did you get Hitched in Courtenay on Sunday?

The first annual wedding show saw big crowds and included two fashion shows

Premier offers condolences to family of boy, 15, killed in Vancouver crossfire

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Corfield Street work continues in Parksville

Delays, alternating traffic can be expected

Most Read