Oak Bay council willing to talk ‘integrated services’

Council less-than-impressed with discussion framework

The province proposes a framework for discussion that less-than-impressed Oak Bay council.

Following up on meetings with area municipal councils in December, Minister Peter Fassbender, of Ministry of Community Sport and Cultural Development, wrote to local governments in the region seeking feedback on a potential framework for a planned Capital Integrated Services and Government Initiative.

“Although opinions varied, I believe a number of common interests were identified which could benefit from further collaborative discussion,” Fassbender’s letter read.

Council considered having the issue discussed during a committee meeting, allowing for public input, but consensus around the table is the majority of the community is not interested in amalgamation. Oak Bay was the lone community, of eight that posed a referendum question during the 2014 municipal election, where voters rejected amalgamation. Residents opposed the notion by 62 per cent, 3,594 to 2,184.

Some on council share a concern talks of integration would indicate otherwise.

“We have a mandate from our electorate to not amalgamate,” said Coun. Eric Zhelka.

Coun. Kevin Murdoch dismissed the purpose outlined in the letter to council:

“The proposed initiative will help facilitate a discussion among local governments in the Capital Region toward identifying any potential opportunities to enhance the efficient delivery of service that citizens need. The initiative will provide the opportunity for individual perspectives to be heard and may lay the groundwork for local governments to pursue options for greater integration of services and governance.”

“It’s not a goal, it’s an aspirational statement,” Murdoch said. “We’re not going to get meaningful discussion out of it.”

Jensen plans to respond with a letter to the province showing interest in participating in discussion and voicing concern over lack of clearly defined goals in the proposed framework.

“We are open to be involved in discussions with our regional partners so that we can build on existing networks and introduce incentives that optimize efficiencies in services and governance,” said Coun. Tara Ney, after the meeting.

“What’s really important is that we balance the creation of efficiencies while respecting regional autonomy.”




Just Posted

Shaving minutes off commutes among the goals for Victoria bus lanes

Work on southbound Douglas Street lane between Tolmie and Hillside getting underway

Backyard of $2.2M Uplands property bulldozed for BMX jump track

34-year-old financial advisor fulfills childhood dream

VicPD nab distracted driver with expired licence

On the phone while in motion, man had overdue fines from driving while impaired

Gallery: Turnout good for Oak Bay’s inaugural volunteer fare

Oak Bay showcased non-profits and more with inaugural volunteer fair

Vic-Alert faces tidal wave of registration after tsunami warnings

City of Victoria system is free and provides early warnings of disaster

Mature Garry Oak falls on Beach Drive

150-year-old tree blocks access in front of Oak Bay Beach Hotel

Castlegar homicide victim identified

The victim was 38-year-old Jordan Workman of Castlegar, B.C.

B.C. Liberals get one last prime-time pitch

Leadership campaign to be decided in Feb. 3 vote

How high is safe from a tsunami? Four metres above sea level

Be disaster ready with food, water and clothing for seven days

Victoria Film Festival set for triumphant return to the big screen

Two decades on, diverse film lineups keep movie-goers coming to the box office

Victoria’s most wanted for the week of Jan. 23

Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to $2,000 for information that leads to arrests or the seizure of property or drug

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

Bell Canada alert prompts RCMP, privacy watchdog to probe data breach

Company spokesman: ‘Fewer than 100,000 customers were affected’

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

Most Read