An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
SOMETIMES GOVERNMENTS do things for strange reasons. Sometimes they do things for no reason at all.
Moving records from the Land Titles office in Kamloops to Victoria is one of those things.
That office has provided an important service to residents for many years. For legal reasons or for historical research, you can go into that office and view the status and history of any piece of property in the region.
You can look at the original titles and trace every boundary change, and find every owner through the years going back to the 1880s. Most people never have a need to do that but for those who do it’s a wonderful and essential service.
The NDP government claims nothing much will change, except original copies will now be in Victoria instead of here. Jobs won’t be lost, it says.
That remains to be seen but if there’s to be no change to the service, and no obvious advantage, why do it at all?
Doug Donaldson, the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, offers the excuse that Land Titles offices are independent of government and he can’t tell them how to operate.
He says the records will be kept in a climate-controlled vault in Victoria.
But the Kamloops office was recently upgraded at a cost of $1.7 million with the installation of climate control technology and security.
Our MLAs, Kamloops City council, Thompson Nicola Regional District and First Nations leaders are all expressing concern about the move. Donaldson brushes it off as “crocodile tears.”
He needs to take the politics out of it and answer the concerns of the community. This useless removal of historic records from the community needs to be stopped.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.