By Claire Piech
Residents in Whistler and Squamish can rest safe in their homes.
Public security in the two communities will be bolstered next year, thanks to a landmark return of $500,000 in traffic fine revenues by the province under the Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing program.
“This record amount of funding will give a boost to the efforts of local government to improve public safety for residents of Squamish and Whistler,” Joan McIntyre, MLA for West Vancouver-Garibaldi, announced on Tuesday.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler will receive $246,228 in traffic fine revenue this year, an increase of $42,609 from last year. The District of Squamish will receive $245,993, an increase of $35,424 over last year.
“Our government is working co-operatively with municipalities to ensure they have the funding and flexibility they need to help make sure that every British Columbian feels safe in their community,” said McIntyre.
The returns will be used to assist the local governments in improving public safety through community policing, crime prevention, and education.
Last year, Whistler invested the money in a range of programs to improve security in the area, such as adding an additional police officer, increasing police coverage in the village on weekend evenings and long weekends, implementing a policing plan for the May long weekend and other events, and employing bike patrols for summer policing of parks.
The provincial traffic fine revenue comes from ticket fines and court-imposed fines on violation tickets and is fully returned to B.C. municipalities that pay their own policing costs.
The government expanded the grant program three years ago from a fixed $10 million appropriation to the different municipalities to a 100% return of net traffic fine revenues.