Kudos to Sidney and Central Saanich councils for including a referendum on amalgamation of the Peninsula’s municipalities in this year’s election.
At the same time, it’s disappointing to hear the Mayor of Sidney is opposed to amalgamation because he believes it will increase municipal taxes. How he arrives at that conclusion is difficult to grasp.
We currently have three Mayors, three CEO’s , three Directors of Planning, three Chief Engineers, three Municipal Clerks, etc. not to mention three municipal council chambers.
Leaving the financial cost/benefit analysis aside, the significant benefit from amalgamation is a larger planning area that allows for better land use planning and prevents urban sprawl.
It stops the competition amongst municipalities for industrial and commercial development and assists in protecting valuable farm lands.
Let’s hope the referendum will stimulate a vigorous debate between now and the election .