Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Utility Bills reminder sparks petition calling for hold on water taxes in Prince Rupert

The rollout of the city's annual utility bills has certainly captured the attention of Prince Rupert residents over the last few days.

As we outlined last Friday, the annual call for payment arrived began to arrive in mailboxes across the city last week, the demand for payment making for roughly an additional thirty dollars on the bill from one year ago.

That add on to the bill, part of what have been incremental increases over the last number of years from the City's Financial office.

A social media reminder on Tuesday however, seems to have sparked some interest in the community towards a push back on that cash call from the City.

While the comments to the post serve as sort of an instant focus group on how the bills have been received, the main focus of percolating community activism is not the additional cash call from the city; but a call from petition organizers for a halt on the water elements of that taxation that seems to be gaining some traction.

Out of the comments for city staff to review, came a call for the public  to sign a petition created last night. 

One which highlights the growing number of residents who have chosen to purchase potable water owing to the last year of on and off again Water Advisories and notes that taxpayers are  being charged to pay for a service that they can't always use with confidence.

The petition had an original goal of fifty signatures quickly hit that mark with the current level of participation now at close to 100 signatures

Among the comments towards the city's social media message,  is a call for residents to take the issue to the next City Council session, though if the past attendance at City Council sessions is any guide, those number may be small. 

Though if even only a few arrive at Monday's Council session of February 26 to speak to the topic, it puts it into the public domain with some kind of response surely required from the Council members.

Whether the members of the public do or don't show up on Monday, the topic which is gaining some attention on social media,  is one that should be of note for council and staff; as for whatever their message may be on the level of taxation, there seems to be a weariness to the approach that council has taken.

More on 2024 Civic Budget themes can be reviewed here.

Our look at past Council discussion themes can be explored here.


  1. This petition would have mattered eight years ago, when the community suffered through 280+ days of boil water advisories.

    Residents would be better off forming a local tax payer association to hold city hall accountable for how they spend your money, the long leash they give to an underperforming Citywest, and the opaqueness of Legacy.

  2. OMG. The water is drinkable and even if you don’t drink it, you can use it for washing clothes, dishes, yourself, as well as flushing your toilet. The amount you use to actually drink is a very small percentage of what you use overall. Where do you expect the money to come from to remedy the water issues if we don’t pay??

    (This comment is directed to those signing the petition and not the blogger, whom I respect and appreciate receiving most of my local news. ☺️)

    Also agree with previous commenter - effort is misdirected. This petition will go nowhere.