Editorial: The ‘A’ word comes back to haunt us

Amalgamation is being talked about all across the CRD

It appears few, if any, of the folks on council want anything to do with amalgamation. A letter went to the CRD board asking municipalities to consider putting the question on the ballot for the November elections. It would be non-binding but it would guage the public sentiments. Mayor Milne brought it before council for comment.

The best comment came from the mayor himself who stated he was tired of everything going into Victoria which was like a vortex sucking it out of Sooke. This was in regard to things like health services. He also felt if Sooke amalgamated the larger municipalities of Victoria and Saanich would run the show.

Councillor Maja Tait said she would like to see some of the other municipalities amalgamate while Coun. Haldane likened it to the CRD which he said doesn’t want things to happen in Sooke and they “circled us with a moat.” He has control issues with the CRD. Coun. Berger agreed with everyone but stated shared services were needed. Coun. Reay didn’t have a problem putting the question on the ballot but didn’t support the idea of amalgamation.

The best possible solution to seeing the public’s response came from Coun. Kasper who said a hamburger poll was what was needed and it would be more fun.

So what is the public sentiment on amalgamation? Is Sooke better off on its own? Perhaps it should be the public who decides which way they want things to go rather than council, who may or may not be sitting at the council table in December. Putting the question on the ballot would be non-binding.

Amalgamation would get rid of a whole lot of fiefdoms but would create a rather unwieldy ruling body. In the end council agreed to receive and file the letter with no further action. What action would the public like to see?