If Martin Barker gets a second term on Duncan city council, he’s already got some goals in mind.
"For my next term, I would like to see us continue with near rate-of-inflation tax raises, step away from activists’ activities outside of our control and concentrate on civic responsibilities, and most importantly, ensure that amalgamation has a fair chance, should the non-binding referendum question pass," said the incumbent, who is running again this fall.
Barker was a driving force behind the amalgamation question, which voters in Duncan and North Cowichan will be asked when they head to the polls on Nov. 15, and he remains vocal in encouraging voters to agree to study the possibility.
"There are many questions that arise
with the question of amalgamation," he said. "However, my belief is that we are already one community. A resident of Chemainus will use the local pool, and I have often attended the Chemainus Theatre; we already share many resources. It is time to acknowledge our true community and support a study for amalgamation."
Barker has tended to provide a unique voice on council with regard to many of the major issues they’ve addressed.
"The last three years have been exciting, with lots of hot topics," he said. "We started by discussing the first raise for council in a number of years, discussed legalized chicken coops, community murals, banning [genetically modified] products and lastly the working of a non-binding referendum question on amalgamation, on top of all the normal budget and operational responsibilities."