Community News

BC Election – Whither Local Amalgamation / Governance?

May 10, 2017 Editor

by Roger Stonebanks, citizen reporter

While the dust settles on the BC election night results, what will it mean for amalgamation/governance in the Capital Region?

The subject received scant media and political attention during the election campaign. But the BC Liberal Party did issue this public statement “on behalf of all” its candidates in Greater Victoria constituencies (all of whom were defeated) in response to questions from the lobby group Amalgamation Yes. So did the BC NDP which won five of the seven local constituencies. The BC Green Party did not comment nor did its leader Andrew Weaver. But Adam Olsen, elected in Saanich North and the Islands, did. Also of note: the government’s point-man on the subject, Community Minister Peter Fassbender, was defeated on the mainland.

Here’s what the BC Liberal Party said: “Today’s BC Liberals believe the Capital Regional District governance structure needs modernizing to ensure that decisions are being made effectively, and that residents are getting the services and accountability they deserve. As we have recently outlined in our Vancouver Island Platform, we commit to undertaking a full review of CRD governance and work with communities on possible service integration or amalgamation, should residents support these initiatives. No community that does not wish to participate in integration or other governance changes will be forced to participate.”

The NDP, again the official opposition in the legislature, promised an amalgamation study in collaboration with “all 13 municipalities” and said that “a study on amalgamation would inevitably bring forward changes needed to the CRD board.”

Olsen gave this statement.

Meanwhile – a government-ordered review of shared services in the Capital Region is awaiting public release. Here is a link to the relevant SVO article.