by Roger Stonebanks, citizen journalist
Community Minister Peter Fassbender has invited Greater Victoria mayors to meet him “on the topic of service and governance integration in the Capital region” later in November/early December.
Significantly, in a letter dated Nov. 5 to area mayors that was made public today (Nov. 16), there is no mention of “amalgamation” or a study of it.
Fassbender has already met area mayors and councillors at the Union of BC Municipalities last September. The previous community minister, Coralee Oakes, met local leaders in Victoria last summer.
“While individual interests and perspectives are diverse, there have been shared views on the common thread from the 2014 referenda results – namely, that there may be benefit to the region from local governments exploring further the question of how to better integrate services and governance,” Fassbender said in his letter.
“I know that informing the public and others about the current governance and services profile of the Capital region will be of continuing interest to many of you, especially respecting the number of services already undertaken in a shared or integrated way.
“Recognizing the range of ideas we have heard, I propose that we continue our conversation, with all local governments at the table, to consider how the region might wish to move forward and how the Province of British Columbia could support these efforts.”
Fassbender invited the mayors to the meeting and ” . . . we will build in future opportunities to engage your Councillors and Chief Administrative Officers.” He hoped that “you find this a reasonable path forward.”
Fassbender will speak Nov. 17 to the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce about “CRD Governance – the way forward.”
UPDATE: Here a recording of the Minister’s Nov 17th speaking event.