The article Small town feel lost in amalgamation should be explored in a larger context, as the premise is not necessarily so.
As a Rotarian, I was chosen in 2001 to lead the Group Study Exchange, a program in which a Rotarian leads a group of young, non-Rotarian professionals, on a four-week cultural/professional exchange to another country. My team went to Finland. I learned a great deal about Finnish municipal political structures, their education system as well as all aspects of their economy.
Canada could learn much from Finland — a small, prosperous country with a 96 per cent literacy rate and excellent social programs.
Their taxes are collected at the federal level and passed down to municipalities where there are not separate hospital or school boards, but municipal councils. Councillors take on separate portfolios governing education, health, etc.
As the Principal of Community Education for Sooke School District for 18 years, I was very involved in community activities. From my experience and observation, the various rules/by-laws in the Greater Victoria communities sometimes conflict with one another, so it seems to make a lot of sense to explore various scenarios of amalgamation.
I suspect there would be a lot of money saved, not to mention time and energy on repeating processes and planning initiatives that could be better coordinated.
It does not mean that the “small town” feel will be lost.
It is time to have a dialogue about this whole issue with a cost/benefit analysis of different configurations on amalgamating various parts of the region. It should be on the ballot in the next municipal election.
Having lived on the Peninsula for 23 years — my feeling is nothing would be lost but everything to gain by combining the three municipalities on the Peninsula into one.