The push for a vote on some unknown form of amalgamation continues. There is no need for every municipality in the CRD to answer the ambiguous question on a referendum with no parameters (which ones are to be reduced, which are to be combined? a. Victoria and Oak Bay, b. Victoria and Saanich, c. Victoria, Oak Bay and Saanich, d. Victoria and Esquimalt, e. Victoria, Oak Bay, Saanich, and Esquimalt).
Citizens in the Capital Regional District should know provincial legislation already allows for any municipalities to amalgamate should they want to. The government cannot, under current legislation, force any amalgamation. However, that same current legislation says if a vote has been taken in accordance with Section 8 of the Local Government Act separately in each of the existing municipalities, and for each of those municipalities, more than 50 per cent of the votes counted as valid favour the proposed incorporation, the amalgamation could proceed.
Simple then; municipalities, individually and with their potential willing partners can study the reams of research available on amalgamation. Then, if a group of citizens and/or politicians can get more than 50 per cent of the voters of each of the municipalities choosing to support amalgamation, it can be done.
In other words, the impetus must come from the citizens of individual municipalities on a clear question (Do the citizens of A want to amalgamate with B and does B want to amalgamate with A?)
This proposed referendum has an unclear question that does not further the debate nor is the referendum necessary given current legislation.