Consult the electorate

Ms. Brash is correct in that current provincial legislation allows for consensual municipal amalgamations.

Re: Elected officials should consult the electorate before proceeding to investigate Amalgamation.

Ms. Brash, in her letter to the editor on Sept 10, is correct in that current provincial legislation allows for consensual (not forced) municipal amalgamations.

Any form of amalgamation must be initiated either by municipal councils or through a bottom up, citizen driven process.

Any council would be foolish to proceed with a study on amalgamation without the consent of the electorate.

Clearly the way to do so is to put a question on the November 2014 municipal ballot. This is exactly what AmalgamationYes is proposing: a non-binding question on amalgamation which will give direction to elected officials on whether to start the conversation and study the options. If councils do not feel that the question proposed by AmalgamationYes is the right question they can pose their own question and a number of them have done so.

AmalgamationYes believes the time is now and the public is ready to look at the possibilities for governance in this region.

Petitions, letters to the editor and a recent Angus Reid poll shows that many local residents want an examination of options to collect sufficient information for them to make an informed decision on possible future mergers.

AmalgamationYes has not lobbied in favour of any particular model of municipal mergers as more information is required.

It merely requested that each council solicit the views of residents through a non-binding vote to see if they support a request to the province to fund a study of current municipal governance within the CRD.

Five councils understand the need to consult the electorate, hopefully the rest will do the same.

No actual change in municipal structure can occur unless a second binding referendum is held in the future, after a thorough provincial investigation of alternate possibilities by way of a future (and binding) vote by effected residents.

Tony Heemskerk

Saanich (board member, Amalgamation Yes).

 

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