There may be some push back against the big-ticket loan discussed by Prince George City Council last month.  

At their February 25th meeting, Council looked at a plan to borrow $32 million for various projects, which, if approved, will result in a 2.3% tax increase per year; on the heels of another 4.3% hike earlier this year.  

The group, called Enough Already! City of PG AAP., was started by Phil Beaulieu, who calls himself a “reluctant volunteer.”

According to him, the only way for residents to shoot down the loan, via the Alternative Approval Process (AAP), is designed to be difficult.

The AAP, previously known as the “counter petition method,” requires that a 25-page document, called the Electoral Response Form (ERF), be filled out and returned to be considered.

“I think this process is so wonky that somebody needs to kind of throw it out there and see where it goes. Hopefully, there will be enough like-minded people in the community to help drive a process that’s very skewed against getting a different outcome from what’s been requested by Council,” said Beaulieu.  

Residents can print out their own document from the City’s webpage or copies will be available from City Hall starting on April 18th. The deadline for submissions is May 31st.  

“It’s a negative billing. If the community doesn’t do this, then we are borrowing $32 million,” said Beaulieu.  

“It boggles my mind that I can send money all over the world with my email but we can’t figure out how I can vote on this from my computer or phone.”

According to the loan authorization report presented to council, borrowing is approved if the number of EFRs completed and handed in is less than 10% of the registered electors in the city, which is currently 55, 455.

Ipso facto, 5,546 signatures are needed to turn this thing around. 

“That’s how they create the process, it’s hard to prove motive, but in my head it’s because they don’t want our input,” said Beaulieu.

Around 24 hours after it’s inception, Beaulieu’s Facebook group has just under 150 members, however, he says he is realistic about what that means.

“I totally understand that it’s easy to be on your phone and like something. My goal in this group was to find people to help reduce the barriers to other people to look at the issue and help fill out the ERF.”