Langford will seek residents’ views on amalgamation study

Council changes mind in waiting for other municipalities to commit

Arnold Lim

News Gazette staff

Langford has said “yes” to adding a question regarding amalgamation on the ballots for Nov. 15.

Residents will have an opportunity to vote on a non-binding question gauging interest in a study on amalgamation, after Langford council approved placing the question to municipal election ballots for the fall election.

“We looked at it in the past and thought there is no harm in asking the question and letting people give their opinion,” said Langford Coun. Denise Blackwell. “I would be interested in seeing the results. (But) from my look around the region, I don’t know how we would lessen people’s taxes in Langford, which would be the only way we would (support it).”

Blackwell said Langford actually supported looking at amalgamation with Colwood about seven years ago, but in the end Colwood said no.

Earlier this year Langford council announced it would put a question on the ballot if there were 75 per cent of the 13 municipalities in the Capital Regional District planning to do so. Council decided to take out the “caveat” and put an as-yet undetermined question on the ballot, in an effort to gather as much information as possible, Blackwell said.

Capital Region Municipal Amalgamation Society vice-chair John Vickers applauded the move.

“I think to show the leadership they are showing is absolutely terrific. At the end of the day it’s the people that win when they are extended an opportunity to express how they feel about wanting a study on amalgamation for the region,” he said. “With Langford and Central Saanich last evening (Sept. 2) approving a question, we (hope to) see other councils follow.”

Currently three municipalities – Victoria is the other – have approved putting a non-binding referendum question on the ballot. However, the wording for the questions could be different on each ballot. Central Saanich, for example, will ask residents if they support asking the province to do a cost-benefit analysis on amalgamation of the municipality with Sidney and North Saanich.

Vickers said Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen has expressed some interest in putting it on his municipality’s ballots if there is enough support from other jurisdictions.

July figures from an Angus Reid poll commissioned by the society showed that 89 per cent of the CRD voters polled supported having a non-binding question on amalgamation as part of the municipal election in November.

“All we have really wanted right from the outset is to allow people to express their view, and if they are not interested that is okay and if they are, they are,” Vickers said.

“With all regional issues from sewage and transit, it is about coming together and hopefully the citizens from across the region will have an opportunity to express their view.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Check out the bells and whistles added to Westhills Stadium

Rick Stiebel/News Staff Clusters of tradespeople buzzing around busy with last-minute preparations… Continue reading

‘Listen to your body:’ Saanich woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

Police find shoes, backpack of the man found dead in Saanich

Officers credit public’s help, continue to seek information

Saanich approves new eight- and 11-storey residence buildings for UVic

Residents also supported the environmentally friendly residences

Ravens Crossing breaks ground on happy Hygge cohousing project

Speeches, music and a blessing as 80 people attend start of Danish-style development

VIDEO: Come along for the ride on Tour de Victoria

Reporter captures video footage of his Tour de Victoria ride

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read