Last week Dale Read described the notion of a separate regional district for the western communities as “a needless caper.”
He based his opinion on the belief that this would increase taxes because of duplication of services. Goodness knows taxes are onerous enough and this is a serious consideration.
We do know that amalgamation usually results in rising costs as has been shown in Halifax, Winnipeg and other consolidated areas. But finding the “right size” need not be an additional cost.
The experience of the split in Comox-Strathcona Regional District is the best evidence of this. The regional district had become dysfunctional with strong differences of opinion on the future of the region, largely on a north/south split.
The various administrative functions of the newly divided regional district were continued under contract and no new staff were required. Costs remained the same. The difference was that both areas could now pursue their own vision without creating winners and losers in the same body.
There may be many reasons to oppose the concept of a separate regional district for the western communities but costs are not a persuasive argument.
Association of B.C. Landowners