Amalgamation question to be asked in CS

District of Central Saanich: Central Saanich to ask non-binding question on amalgamation during November’s election

The District of Central Saanich will ask residents about amalgamation this fall.

Council voted on Monday night to include a non-binding opinion question in November’s municipal election ballots that would test the community’s appetite for amalgamating the three Saanich Peninsula municipalities.

The question would ask residents if they support the District petitioning the province to do a study to examine the feasibility of amalgamation of Sidney, North and Central Saanich.

“We’ve spoken about this at length and I think it’s time to pose the question to our electorate,” said Councillor Carl Jensen during Monday night’s meeting.

Council made it clear to staff in a motion that the question had to be obviously non-binding.

“This is only about informing the next council on the community’s appetite for petitioning the province to fund a study of the potential amalgamation of the Peninsula,” said Mayor Alastair Bryson.

Chief Administrative Officer of the District, Patrick Robins, said he estimated the cost of the opinion ballots at around $3,000 and the additional costs of things like advertising at around $1,000.

So far, neither Sidney nor North Saanich have decided to ask a non-binding opinion question during November’s civic election.