Victoria is taking its first steps towards amalgamation this week.
On Tuesday morning the first meeting of a citizen’s assembly standing committee is taking place. The group, made up of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, Coun. Ben Isitt, Coun. Jeremy Loveday and Coun. Geoff Young, will work towards setting out guidelines for a Citizen’s Assembly which will explore the amalgamation between Saanich and Victoria.
In the 2018 municipal election, more than 66 per cent of Victoria residents and nearly 60 per cent of Saanich residents voted to spend up to $250,000 to establish a citizen’s assembly to explore the “costs, benefits and disadvantages of the amalgamation between the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria.”
Eventually, the assembly will be comprised of 96 members between both municipalities, selected from a citizen’s lottery after interested parties submitted their names. It will be made up of an equal proportion of men and women over 16 years of age, with five age groups represented: 16 to 29, 30 to 44, 45 to 65, and 65 and over. There will also be a proportionate number of renters and homeowners, and at least five members who self-identify as Aboriginal. Forty-one members will be from Victoria, and 55 from Saanich.
On Tuesday, the sub-committee will work through the draft copy of the Citizen’s Assembly’s terms of reference, which will be the guiding principles for the assembly.
The meeting will happen Tuesday morning at the Victoria City Hall at 8 a.m. and will be broadcast live at victoria.ca.
Saanich held its first citizen’s assembly standing committee meeting on Feb. 20.
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