The Amalgamation Yes Team writes:
“First, a followup on the Oak Bay and Saanich municipal council meetings that took place on May 25, 2015:
- Oak Bay Council voted 5 to 2 against joining with other municipalities in a regional governance study. Voting against the motion were Mayor Nils Jensen, Councillors Tara Ney, Eric Zhelka, Michelle Kirby and Tom Croft. Voting in favour of participating in the study were Councillors Hazel Braithwaite and Kevin Murdoch.
- Saanich Council continues to struggle with the mandate provided by 88% of residents towards a review. Consistently voting against measures to engage with the Province in a review are Councillors Vic Derman, Judy Brownoff, Vicki Sanders, Dean Murdock, Lief Wergeland, and Susan Brice. Those supporting measures to engage with the Province are Mayor Richard Atwell, and Councillors Fred Hayes and Colin Plant.
- On June 12, 2015, BC Premier Christy Clark issued a mandate to the (then) Minister of Community Sport and Cultural Development, Coralee Oakes. A relevant excerpt from the annual mandate directed the Minister to “Develop and present options to Cabinet on potential processes under which local governments could either amalgamate or integrate service delivery by June 30, 2016”
- In early July, Minister Oakes requesting individual meetings with each mayor and council in the Capital Region District. Most of these meetings took place in mid-July. Sidney, North Saanich and Central Saanich attended one meeting together. Colwood and Oak Bay meetings were deferred due to mayoral absences, and hopefully will be rescheduled for September.
“The upshot from those meetings as reported by various attendees was a willingness on the Minister’s part to engage the municipalities, to look at common problems and solutions and to develop a memorandum by September. We understand that each meeting had a slightly different focus depending on the municipality.
“Then on July 30, 2015, Premier Clark appointed a new Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Peter Fassbender. Accompanying that appointment was a revised annual mandate letter to Minister Fassbender that contained the same directive:
“Develop and present options to Cabinet on potential processes under which local governments could either amalgamate or integrate service delivery by June 30, 2016
“The full mandate letter can be read here.
“Amalgamation Yes is in the process of arranging meetings with the Minister and Deputy Minister. We have maintained excellent communication protocols with other senior staff in the Ministry and are anticipating that Minister Fassbender will soon be fully briefed on the Capital Region amalgamation file and prepared to meet with us to discuss progress.”
Amalgamation Yes goes on to urge readers:
CONTACT YOUR COUNCIL and PROVINCE OF BC
In the meantime, we ask that you continue to urge your elected council members to engage in a governance review. It’s only through the democratic process of hearing your voice and demonstrating citizen advocacy that so much has been achieved. Elected officials pay close attention to letters from their citizenry! And we are also aware that some current and past councillors and mayors are actively working to maintain the status quo, despite the results of the referendum question in their municipalities.
Contact information for all municipal councils and media:
Contact information for the BC Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
NEWS AND MEDIA:
Continue to follow along with articles on the topic of amalgamation by checking out the daily media page. If you don’t subscribe to the local major newspaper, all articles related to amalgamation can be read here: http://www.amalgamationyes.ca/media-articles.html. We aim to provide a complete local archive of local whether pro or con, so if you spot any articles we should include, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re always interested in feedback or suggestions for the website, or other relevant items for inclusion.
The Amalgamation Yes office at 577 Pembroke closed in May. We are so very grateful for the very generous donation of this office space for the past two years from Knappett Industries. The new mailing address for AY is 1830 Carnarvon St., Victoria, BC, V8R 2T8. Note, this is a mailing address only, while we continue to seek affordable office space suitable for a volunteer, non-profit organization.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING:
The annual meeting of the Capital Region Municipal Amalgamation Society (Amalgamation Yes) was held on Saturday, June 20, 2015. The meeting was well attended with new members registering. Full minutes of the meeting are available on the AY website: http://www.amalgamationyes.ca/annual-general-meeting-2015.html
DONATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS:
And finally, we continue to need your financial support. If you have not signed up for a membership, or just want to make a donation online, here’s how to do it:
http://www.amalgamationyes.ca/memberships—donations.html. Cheques can also be mailed to 1830 Carnarvon St., Victoria, BC, V8R 2T8.
Thanks to the residents of Greater Victoria and the volunteers who are helping us to achieve real progress!
Amalgamation Yes Team