Don’t sacrifice the uniqueness of Greater Victoria municipalities

We should ask more from local politicians rather than risk losing area's character through amalgamation

Re: Amalgamation would solve woes of the tradespeople (Letters, Feb. 21)

The concerns expressed by the contractor are actually a good example of why amalgamation is not needed. As he noted, Saanich has a great system for booking inspectors, while other municipalities are struggling to have an efficient system.

The need is therefore not to amalgamate, which would increase the tax burdens on citizens, but to expect better provisions of services from our municipalities. After all, if Saanich can do it, so can Oak Bay or Victoria. Bringing the faulty programs from other areas will reduce the overall quality of those systems that have been perfected by competent jurisdictions.

On the matter of building codes, if citizens are upset that some houses need rain screens and others do not, there is no reason why the affected homeowners could not apply to their municipalities to make the mandatory changes. With amalgamation, citizens would be forced into costly renovations as requirements could become the same across the Capital Region. That simply is not fair.

Yes, having multiple codes makes things confusing for some, but it adds to the overall characteristics of each municipality. North Saanich would not be the same with streetlights to lose the stars in. Oak Bay would not feel the same if an amalgamated government decided to cull the deer.

Let’s ask better of our municipal councils rather than giving up the feel of our communities.

Emma Kirkpatrick