A standing committee chaired by Mayor Fred Haynes will continue to draft the terms of reference that will eventually guide the citizens’ assembly tasked with reviewing “the costs, benefits, and disadvantages” of the amalgamation between the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria.

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said stakes of amalgamation process

Eventual formation and funding of approved citizens’ assembly will require provincial support

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said the stakes behind the current amalgamation process are high because it could lead to the dissolution of the municipality.

“This is the biggest decision since the formation of Saanich,” he said after the first meeting of the citizens’ assembly standing committee. While amalgamation might be in the interest of Victoria, his job as Mayor of Saanich is to assess whether it is in the interest of Saanich, he said.

RELATED: Voters in Saanich and Victoria support creation of citizens’ assembly on amalgamation

RELATED: Saanich strikes standing committee to help create citizens’ assembly

Haynes comments came after the committee chaired by him held its first meeting Wednesday. Its membership also includes Couns. Judy Brownoff, Colin Plant and Rebecca Mersereau.

During their first meeting, committee members started the process of drafting the terms of reference that will guide the citizens’ assembly, which will see voters in both Saanich and Victoria tasked with exploring “the costs, benefits, and disadvantages” of the amalgamation between the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria.

Haynes said the committee was working off a document that the chief administrative officer (CAO) Paul Thorkelsson had prepared, drawing on the terms of reference that had guided comparable citizens assemblies in other communities like Cowichan and North Duncan.

“I would say the tone of the meeting was professional and collegial and we were very task-oriented,” said Plant. “Everyone contributed and we all listened and respected each other’s idea.”

The committee will resume the drafting process at its next meeting. The terms of reference will then go before council for approval, followed by consultations with the City of Victoria, and eventually, the provincial government, which will have to sign off on the process between Saanich and Victoria before giving its blessing and financial contribution.

RELATED: Saanich councillor says amalgamation motion has ‘failed’

“I would say that we need to get the terms right, this is a large process, based on ballot question ‘to explore costs, benefits and disadvantages’ of amalgamation of Saanich and Victoria,” said Brownoff, who had previously raised concerns about the process, including the eventual financing of the citizens’ assembly.

“You know that I have raised the question of costs, so I feel we need to establish the budget, within what we have.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Live wire repairs result in unplanned outage for 4,400 BC Hydro customers Tuesday night

Equipment issues results in larger, unplanned outage for Saanich, Oak Bay residents

Esquimalt Ribfest in need of volunteers

The three-day festival is happening from Sept. 6 to 8

Victoria car show’s ferry event a highlight for arriving hot-rodders

Grand opening event one of several planned for Northwest Deuce Days

Rickter Scale: The chicken’s ready when pigs fly

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column

Brentwood Bay brings $5 concerts every Wednesday

Variety of music on offer, picnics, good vibes and family friendly

VIDEO: Black bear caught climbing tree in Langford neighbourhood

Triangle Mountain residents on alert following bear sighting

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Most Read