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Greater Victoria amalgamation question OK'd for 2014 election

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Victoria residents will be providing their opinion on amalgamation during next year's municipal election.

Council approved the non-binding question at a committee meeting Thursday (Nov. 7).

The question will be: "Are you in favour of reducing the number of municipalities in Greater Victoria through amalgamation?"

"This resolution is not intended to persuade you to support or oppose amalgamation in the South Island at all," said Coun. Marianne Alto before the vote. "I think we need to discover if there's enough interest in the concept before we start spending a lot of money (on any research)."

Coun. Ben Isitt said he believes municipalities like Oak Bay and Victoria are good potential amalgamation partners, but said the ballot question should be crafted by City of Victoria lawyers and staff before approval.

"You could end up with a buffoon like Rob Ford as the mayor of a mega-city, and this has to do with … fuelling resentments between suburbs and core areas, where there's very different political cultures," he said.

Isitt and Coun. Pam Madoff ultimately opposed the resolution.

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