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

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Victoria police are asking for witnesses who might have information about this tricycle that was stolen in downtown Victoria on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Police seek witnesses after downtown Victoria company’s tricycle stolen

The three-wheeler was taken from the 2100-block of Store Street on Thursday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read