Amalgamation question not on Sooke’s ballot

Residents of Sooke will not be voting on amalgamation.

On July 29, the  Capital Region Municipal Amalgamation Society (Amalgamation Yes) released the results of an online poll done in the Greater Victoria area.  The results were overwhelmingly clear. Residents of the Capital District are largely in favour of amalgamation.

Sooke, doesn’t fit the mold and there does not seem too much of an appetite for amalgamation.

“Sooke is geographically too far separated,” said Sooke Mayor Wendal Milne. “We don’t intend to put it on the ballot.”

Milne said there was some discussion in council about putting the issue of amalgamation on the ballot for the November election, but with one question already being asked of Sooke residents, it would be confusing to put on another. Sooke residents will be asked to give the district authority for long term borrowing of $1.5 million for a community  public space.

In the poll, 83 per cent of the Sooke residents polled stated that having the CRD organization with its staff and board members is just too much expensive government and 92 per cent of respondents stated the status quo is working, we should  leave well enough alone. In Sooke 92 per cent of the respondents supported holding a non-binding referendum.

Sooke residents stated in the poll that their most important issues in the Capital Regional District was transportation (58 per cent), sewage/waste water management (42 per cent) and cooperation between municipalities (42 per cent).

Sooke residents polled felt that amalgamation might mean the larger municipalities would dictate to the smaller ones.

In 2013 an amalgamation survey was conducted in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area and of those polled 50 per cent were satisfied with the present model of governance. The least favored options were amalgamating with Colwood, Metchosin and Sooke and the most favored governance options were to create a separate electoral area west of Sooke encompassing Otter Point, Shirley, Jordan River, Port Renfrew and the Rural Resource lands.

The 2014 poll was carried out by Angus Reid Global in order to provide greater insight into what residents of the Greater Victoria area felt about the governance structure of the Capital District and how they felt about amalgamation in general.

Every municipality was sampled and a strong majority in every district supported the idea of amalgamation, and highly supported having a non-binding referendum question on amalgamation on their ballots in the upcoming November election.

“What this poll demonstrates is that the people of Greater Victoria are ready to begin seriously considering amalgamation. This is what they want today,” said Susan Jones, Chair of the society. “A strong majority felt that amalgamation would improve the quality and delivery of a number of municipal services to our region. Clearly the taxpayers of this area feel that the day-to-day business of local government would benefit from reducing the number of municipalities through amalgamation.”

The society hopes that with such a clear indication of public support, the mayors and councils of the 13 municipalities will follow the will of the people and place a non-binding referendum question on their respective ballots in the coming November elections.

In the 13 communities that comprise the capital region, 441 adults were surveyed online between July 16 – 17, 2014.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre likely won’t be hosting a farmer’s market originally scheduled for Central Saanich after all after municipal staff in Sidney did not issue the necessary license.
Proposed farmer’s market for Sidney likely to be cancelled

Market was scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5 in the parking lot of Mary Winspear Centre

The Sooke Christmas Bureau, which serves over 400 hampers to families and residents in need, has extended their deadline to include anyone in need that has missed their Dec. 1 cutoff. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke Christmas Bureau extends deadline for hampers

Non-profit group says monetary donations goes further than non-perishables

The District of Sooke is another step closer to approving its 2021 financial plan. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Pandemic uncertainty looms over Sooke municipal budget

Council trims property tax increase to 3.3 per cent

Carmen Robinson was last seen getting off a bus in View Royal the evening of Dec. 8, 1973. Her case remains unsolved 47 years later. (Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Gone cold: Fate of View Royal teen remains a mystery, 47 years after her disappearance

Carmen Robinson, 17, was last seen exiting a bus in View Royal in December 1973

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

(Needpix.com)
Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Jon Lefebure went back to construction after losing the 2018 mayor’s post in North Cowichan to work on the Cottages On Willow. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Former Island mayor retools priorities with construction project

Fresh air a benefit and satisfaction results from building eight-unit housing complex in Chemainus

Janet Austin, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, not seen, swears in Premier John Horgan during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Horgan says he will look to fill gaps in the federal government’s sick-pay benefits program aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. premier says province prepared to patch holes in new federal sick-pay benefits

Horgan said workers should not be denied pay when they are preventing COVID-19’s spread

Most Read