Councillor wants public to know more about amalgamation

An Esquimalt councillor is hoping an upcoming public forum will give the public a fair chance to understand what amalgamation could mean.

  • Sep. 11, 2015 8:00 a.m.

Pamela Roth

An Esquimalt councillor is hoping an upcoming public forum will give the public a fair chance to understand what amalgamating with 13 municipalities in the Greater Victoria area would truly mean.

“I believe the public hasn’t had fair and equitable access to opposing the view,” said Beth Burton-Krahn, one of the organizers of the Rethinking Amalgamation forum at Camosun College next week.

“The average person on the street will have a much better understanding of what amalgamation really means, what the research shows, what the stories are from other regions, but also more importantly a much better understanding of our current system.”

The issue of amalgamating the region’s 13 municipalities has been ongoing for a number of years. Greater Victoria has a population of approximately 335,000 people, and the region is governed by 91 councillors and mayors.

During last November’s municipal election, Victoria, Esquimalt and six other municipalities had questions on the ballot about reducing the number of municipalities in Greater Victoria through amalgamation.

In Victoria and Esquimalt, the referendums passed with overwhelming support. Region-wide, about 75 per cent of people voted in favour, but Burton-Krahn noted that the municipalities were scattered with their questioning — only Victoria and Langford asked citizens directly if they were interested in amalgamating.

In Esquimalt, residents were asked if they were interested in having a study done on amalgamation and looking at options for better service alignment. If there had been an opposing view on the ballot, Burton-Krahn believes the results could have been much different.

“Certainly on the street people would have their opinions, so they have done their reading or research, but there was never any kind of opposition movement. It was probably because the gist was that this was driving towards a study. It wasn’t a binding question,” said Burton-Krahn, who’s opposed to amalgamation.

“It’s because of the loss of representative democracy. Let’s talk service delivery, let’s get our focus on doing better regionally and inter municipally.”

The public forum takes place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17 at the Lansdowne Campus. Guest speakers include University of Victoria Professor Dr. Robert Bish and Johnny Carline, former chief administrative officer of Metro Vancouver.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Colin Springford doing what he loved best, tending to his garden. (Linda Matteson photo)
Longtime farmer Colin Springford dies at age 75

‘He will be deeply missed, always loved and never forgotten’

A Seed and Stone rendering for White Rock, B.C. (Seed and Stone rendering)
Songhees Nation to open two Victoria cannabis stores spring 2021

Seed and Stone stores will open on Gordon Street and in the Bay Centre

Saanich has awarded the tender for a youth bike skills park planned for the lot next to the George Tripp BC Hydro Substation off Lochside Drive to Bike Track Ltd. for $242,000. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich selects company to build youth bike skills track at Tripp Station Park

More than $240,000 allotted for Bike Track Ltd. to design bike park

An architectural rendering provides a look at PC Urban’s proposal for three buildings on the former Galaxy Motors property at 1764 Island Hwy. in Colwood. (Rendering courtesy of PC Urban)
Commercial/industrial development planned for former Galaxy Motors site

Colwood proposal goes to public hearing Jan. 25

Members of the Victoria Police Department, some of whom are shown here observing a moment of silence for victims of a mass shooting in Nova Scotia, experience stress and potential trauma more than most other workers, says Chief Const. Del Manak. While the number of shifts lost at VicPD are soaring, he sees it as a sign people are taking their own health and wellness seriously. (Black Press Media file photo)
Skyrocketing number of lost shifts at Victoria police has a positive side, chief says

Chief Const. Del Manak says officers, staff being more proactive looking after their mental health

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Flags line the National Mall towards the Capitol Building as events get underway for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Joe Biden arrives at U.S. Capitol for inauguration

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society offers support for families in the community

New non-profit seeking directors in cities across Vancouver Island

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Updated: Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Most Read