Current projects show need for amalgamation

Re: Arguing about the “a” word (Comment, Feb. 18)

It seems that every time the word amalgamation is uttered anywhere in the Capital Region, the immediate response is “oh, that won’t work.”

What people mean is, “it won’t work here.” Well, news flash – having 13 separate municipalities and a couple of electoral districts vying for services and trying to be independent of one another isn’t working either.

It’s time to grab amalgamation by the throat and have a good close look at it. There are places where it’s been tried, and it hasn’t worked – that could be true. Or maybe, parts of it have worked, and others haven’t.

If you’re looking for what doesn’t work, it’s easy to find it. But it must have worked somewhere, or good portions of the plan have worked. So why not look for what went right? And look for what went wrong, figure out why, and not make that same mistakes.

We can no longer do nothing. That’s becoming more and more clear. Just as one instance, consider the ongoing struggles around constructing a good transportation plan that works for all. One of the reasons nothing is going forward is that we have two separate entities working on separate plans – the regional transit group and the E&N Rail group. What’s needed is one overall commission working on all types of transportation for the entire South Island, and that commission should work with another like body for the Central and North Island areas.  Too much is being done piecemeal.

The transit commission recently went to the Capital Regional District Board with its plan for the coming year.

In that plan, taxpayers would see a rise on their property tax bill of around $28 (per household), and the transit authority would be reducing the existing bus service by 10,000 hours. Their idea was to balance this year’s budget, then come up with a plan to increase ridership (which is down) in coming years.

That’s ridiculous. There is no guarantee there would be a plan (Transit hasn’t acted on developing a transit corridor in the City of Victoria), and offering less service guarantees less ridership. Plan first, then put your hand in the taxpayers’ pockets.

How much emphasis is being given to the future growth this area can expect? It’s growing now, and that will continue.

We need future planning, much like the City of Portland did for its transit links.

It comes down to good governance. As Don Denton pointed out in his column recently (“Politicians, pay attention now,” Feb. 11), we need people who are willing to govern, not political entities, and that goes for all levels of government. It’s sadly lacking.

We need a co-operative, comprehensive governing body that rises above the rivaling fiefdoms that exist.

And we need taxpayers and voters who not only recognize their rights, but also their own responsibilities.

Just writing that down sounds naive, but everything starts with a dream.

Judy Reimche

Central Saanich

Just Posted

Saanich Volunteer Services Society volunteers head out to deliver this week’s meals to local seniors. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
VIDEO: Weekly meal deliveries help brighten the day for Saanich seniors

Seniors are delivered nutritional meals by a group of volunteers every Wednesday

O.K. Industries is building a quarry next to Capital Regional District land, as shown in this map from the rezoning applicaiton. (Photo courtesy District of Highlands)
Millstream Quarry wins again in court against Highlands community’s appeal

Judges rule province not obligated to investigate climate change before issuing permit

Kidspace, which took over the YMCA-YWCA childcare centre at Eagle Creek Village, plans to reopen the Y’s fitness centre as the Eagle Creek Athletic Club in September. (Photo courtesy of Kidpsace)
Former Y fitness centre in View Royal aims to reopen in September

Kidspace taking over both the gym and the childcare facility at Eagle Creek Village

Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C. kicks off with a run at Swan Lake on June 6. The virtual fundraiser runs until June 20. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Torch run seeks to scorch previous fundraiser, targets $75,000 for Special Olympics

Global movement shoots for 40,000 km in honour of the 40th anniversary

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Most Read