Next to sewage, amalgamation might be the hottest topic in town.
As the subject of many debates, some contentious, it continues to promote conversation across the Capital Regional District, especially in the core municipalities.
While only Langford placed an amalgamation question on its ballot last fall among West Shore jurisdictions, the Association to Protect Rural Metchosin is sponsoring a discussion on the topic June 17 with guest speaker, Metchosin resident Johnny Carline.
“(Amalgamation) is an issue that is alive and pretty important to the way (municipalities) are governed,” he said. “After 15 years being head of the regional district in Metro Vancouver, my frustration level was higher in the regional role, so I am going to have some views (on that).”
Carline has a long history working in local and regional government dating back to the U.K. Department of Economic Affairs as a research officer in 1967. His long resume includes time on Toronto’s planning department where he rose to manager of planning policy and the City’s chief negotiator in the process to establish the Metro Toronto regional plan.
“A lot of the examples I am talking about are planning issues, and it has a passing relevance to the ongoing discussion on wastewater treatment the region is struggling with,” he said.
“The major local political issues people get exited about are fundamentally influenced by the structure of government. So if you are interested in those types of things, you should go.”
Carline also served as Vancouver’s associate planning director, Richmond’s deputy city administrator and city manager, and Surrey’s director of planning. He retired to Metchosin in 2012.
The free talk happens next Wednesday, June 17, at 7 p.m. at the Metchosin Community House, 4430 Happy Valley Rd.