Service integration discussion set for Langford

Council to hear from consultants about potential for regional integration

Langford council members will convene for a special public meeting next Tuesday (Sept. 6) to receive information about and provide comment on the possibility of integrating some services within the Capital Region.

Back in June, the province announced two consulting firms, Urban Systems and Circle Square Solutions, would facilitate a fact-finding and discussion initiative with the 13 municipal governments within the CRD.

These consultants were engaged under the Capital Integrated Services and Governance Initiative to identify common interests and gather facts about service delivery, increase the understanding about service delivery practices and explore opportunities to integrate service and governance in the Capital Region.

“Local governments are accountable to their taxpayers, so a serious consideration of service and governance integration in the capital area just makes sense. The provincial government is helping to facilitate the discussion among local governments. Following the completion of the consultants’ report, local governments in the region will decide on next steps,” said Peter Fassbender, community, sport and cultural development minister, in a release.

However, the province has previously stated it will not impose an outcome when the study is completed. The study is also said to focus very little on the possibility of full amalgamation of jurisdictions within the CRD.

During the 2014 municipal elections, eight municipalities within the CRD posed a non-binding referendum question to voters. While the question was different in every municipality, it essentially asked whether voters would support the exploration of amalgamation. Roughly 75 per cent of voters agreed. In Langford, the “yes” vote carried by a slim majority of 13 votes, less than a per cent.

Next week’s special meeting happens at 4:30 p.m. and will be followed by a regular council meeting, at the new starting time of 5:30. Both take place in council chambers, on the third floor of city hall, 877 Goldstream Ave. Meeting agendas can be viewed online as of Friday at cityoflangford.ca under the City Hall tab.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com