OUR VIEW: Amalgamation done?

If ever there was a sign that amalgamation was at a standstill it’s the tone of Sidney Mayor Steve Price during an interview.

If ever there was a sign that amalgamation was at a standstill — if not dead — in the capital region, it’s the tone of Sidney Mayor Steve Price during an interview with the News Review recently.

The issue of amalgamation came up during the wide-ranging interview, following on to a story on a recent town hall meeting between Central Saanich council and district residents. Mayor Ryan Windsor said from his perspective, there still could be some study from the province on the issue here, but indicated that there were more questions than answers — even now, more than a year after the 2014 local elections.

Price, on the other hand, left us with the impression that since the province isn’t keen on forcing amalgamation on the region’s 13 municipalities, the discussion should be turned towards integration of existing services to make them more efficient across the south Island.

In fact, Price left us with the distinct impression that area mayors — at least those from the Saanich Peninsula — are in no rush to explore amalgamation further.

In essence, they appear to be falling back to a stance held by North Saanich and Mayor Alice Finall prior to the 2014 municipal election — that few people are interested in outright amalgamation (at least in her community) and that the sharing of services works today and will work better in the future.

North Saanich was one of the last communities to include a referendum question on the subject — of the eight municipalities that did. That vote flew in the face of Finall’s so-called conventional wisdom, and saw a majority of electors ask their public officials to seek a provincial study on what amalgamation might look like here.

Now, however, we may be seeing what that caveat “non-binding question ” really means.

While we do not necessarily agree that amalgamation is the best road to travel, we would hope that municipalities do take the wishes of their electorate to heart and work with the province on what a series of combined communities might look like. To abandon the results of the referendum on such a weak caveat would erode our faith in the public process.

Just Posted

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

False missile alert for Central Saanich councillor

While on vacation in Hawaii, Central Saanich Councillor Alicia Holman was awoken… Continue reading

Victoria airport nearing billion-dollar mark in economic impact

Airport has nearly doubled its passengers and its impact on the economy since 2005

More buoys allowed for Brentwood Bay

Proposed number rises from 40 to 60

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Sidney’s Salish Sea aquarium to close for maintenance

First extended closure for the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea since it opened in 2009

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Cash still needed for Stelly’s Cross Path

MLA Olsen wants more specifics first

Injured parachutist wants stolen backpack back

Bag contained important video files of 2017 parachuting incident

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Gas plants verdict coming down today; ex-premier’s top aides to learn fate

Verdict to be delivered on senior staff to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

Most Read