Victoria-area lobby group wants a conversation on amalgamation

On Feb. 24, volunteers will be hosting a conversation on amalgamation.

  • Jan. 23, 2015 5:00 a.m.

By Andrea Peacock/Victoria News

The Greater Victoria Conversation on Amalgamation group wants the amalgamation conversation to continue, despite the election being long over.

“One of the frustrations over the last few municipal elections is that leading into the election, [amalgamation] is a number 1 topic. But immediately following elections, it gets dropped,” said Rod Phillips, Greater Victoria Conversation on Amalgamation volunteer. “After all the work we’ve put in to get the question put on the ballot so we can once and for all get this question answered, we thought we can’t just let it go at just having government doing it the way they typically do it.”

On Feb. 24, volunteers will be hosting a conversation on amalgamation as an opportunity for residents to find out more information and ask questions.

“We want to ensure that we [bring] the community together as much as possible to bring together all of the various opinions for and against, and more importantly, all those who don’t really know what it’s all about,” said Phillips.

Expert panelists will give three-minute fact overviews of eight topics, including transportation, emergency services and governance of municipalities.

The group will then disperse into groups to discuss those topics including questions and possible solutions.

All questions and ideas from participants and panelists will be recorded and packaged together.

“The goal is to provide effective aggregation of ideas and thoughts and questions so that it can be provided to government in an appropriate way,” said Phillips.

The amalgamation conversation takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 24 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. at the SJ Willis Education Centre, 923 Topaz Ave.

For more information, go online to greatervictoriaconversation.ca. To RSVP, go online to eventbrite.ca/e/greatest-greater-victoria-conversation-tickets-15128438567.

— Victoria News/Black Press

 

North Saanich to ask province to be involved in study

Amalgamation Yes representative Colin Nelson praised North Saanich council for including a non-binding question on its civic election ballot in November, helping set in motion a provincial study into amalgamation issues among the 13 Greater Victoria municipalities.

Nelson encouraged the council to consider his lobby group’s suggestions for the terms of reference for the provincial study, including at least three options in the Capital Region and completing the report in a timely manner.

North Saanich council agreed and also passed its own resolution — to ask the province to include municipalities in the creation of the study and that CRD municipalities lead the study using provincial funds. — Steven Heywood/PNR

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