Bigger is not necessarily better

I “favour” any number of things which I, nevertheless, would rank very low for the attention of my municipal council

Proponents of a single local government in the Greater Victoria area are advocating for a non-binding referendum question as part of the upcoming municipal election to gauge the position of voters.

Personally, I believe that the proponents have made a serious strategic error and the July Angus Reid/Global poll provides no relief.

There are some days that I favour amalgamation, however: The poll did not establish how vital and timely the issue is for those surveyed. I “favour” any number of things which I, nevertheless, would rank very low for the attention of my municipal council in the next four years; the poll did not establish the magnitude of the amalgamation that respondents might favour. I favour amalgamation with Saanich, but not with Victoria. I am skeptical about amalgamation that involves Oak Bay with the western communities. Clearly it is not possible for any predictive study to make any sense of amalgamation without knowing the proposed boundaries. Or a separate study could be done of each of the five or six most talked about permutations.

There is a much bigger issue that proponents fail to address.

Amalgamation within the framework of the existing provincial legislation would be nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Provincial government legislation effecting municipalities is concerned about efficiency and economy.

As a citizen, I am concerned about effectiveness. A study done under the aegis of the provincial government would not give me any comfort at all about the the future of local democracy and effective government in the communities that are important to me.

The proponents of amalgamation appear to be preoccupied with nominal efficiency, as represented by greater centralization and bureaucratization. None of their arguments reassure me that they understand the difference between bigger and better.

Personally, I would place a higher priority on a study that recommended changes to provincial legislation as it effects local government and citizenship, before a study that recommended amalgamation in the context of existing legislation.

David King

Oak Bay

 

Just Posted

Two popular Oak Bay art pieces to be installed permanently

Bodhi Frog and The Hunt stay thanks to public support and Oak Bay arts laureate Barbara Adams

Deadline looms for second annual Acorn Arts Award

Nominations for Oak Bay award must be in by Jan. 19

VIDEO: Murdoch to run for mayor

Two-term councillor Kevin Murdoch announces his intent to run for mayor’s chair in fall election

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Murdoch to run for mayor

Two-term councillor Kevin Murdoch announces his intent to run for mayor’s chair in fall election

Late charge in Portland sees Victoria collect third straight WHL win

Matthew Phillips leads the way with three-point night in 4-2 win, Giants up next

UPDATE: Police release new footage, launch website in hunt for 13-year-old’s killer

IHIT say no one has been arrested or charged in connection with Marrisa Shen’s death

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Fines and extra patrols not happening at this time as ban begins Monday

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Former B.C. fire chief gets seven months for possession of child porn

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty during a brief hearing last year to one count

Most Read