Prince Rupert city council tables budget discussions until next week

Rupert city council met again on Wednesday to discuss the budget, but decided to table any discussion until next week.

After voting against a bylaw to increase taxes by 1.2 per cent Prince Rupert city council met again on Wednesday to discuss the budget, but decided to table any discussion until next week.

The catalyst for the tabling of the budget was the absence of Coun. Joy Thorkelson, leaving six councillors in chamber as opposed to the full slate of seven.The motion was made by Coun. Gina Garon, but quickly found favour among others around the table.

“The reason I am voting in favour of this, when I normally wouldn’t if someone is away, but seeing how people have voted in the past means we would likely be deadlocked and it would be a waste,” said Coun. Anna Ashley, alluding to the mix of three members of council who voted against the 1.2 per cent tax increase on Monday and three who previously voted in favour of it.

“If everyone is here we might be able to pass something and move on.”

Coun. Barry Cunnningham said his vote wasn’t necessarily related to a deadlock, but was about ensuring everyone had a say in the finances of the city.

“It is a hotly debated item and I think we should all be here for it,” he said.

Council will now meet twice next week to debate the budget, with a special meeting planned for Tuesday and Wednesday. Mayor Jack Mussallem said he would be available via teleconference, but wouldn’t be physically in council chambers during the discussions.