Faceoff: Why Roger Bruce says yes

“I am 100 per cent in favour of amalgamation”

Both North Cowichan and Duncan councils had agreed to remain neutral and not voice their opinions regarding amalgamation but some councillors from Duncan couldn’t help but speak their minds.

In opposition to councillor Sharon Jackson, who has made it known she’s 100 per cent opposed to the idea, Duncan councillor Roger Bruce is making a strong and vocal case for an amalgamated community.

“I am 100 per cent in favour of amalgamation,” he said.

Born and raised right across College Street from Duncan Elementary School, Bruce has strong roots in Duncan. He is also the only Duncan councillor that pays taxes in Duncan. It gives him a unique perspective on the issue.

“When dealing with roads, sidewalks, sewer, water, rivers, highway issues, homeless challenges, green initiatives, policing, the new hospital, the new high school, provincial and federal grant applications, equipment purchases…I believe as a united voice, the Valley will be much stronger,” he explained.

And then there’s the issue of policing costs. It’s no secret that the population of Duncan hovers just below 5,000 and as soon as it hits that magic number, Duncan will have to pay for its own policing costs. That’s going to happen eventually with or without amalgamation, Bruce said.

“With the two new condos in Duncan and the recent zoning changes to higher density, it takes little imagination to recognize our police costs will be going up with or without amalgamation.”

He said it will only take about 50 more people to move into Duncan to turn the tide.

Bruce wants to respect the Citizens Assembly’s four months of study, and to make note that “34 out of the 36 volunteers (our neighbours) recommended amalgamation.”

The lengthy Urban System report also “acknowledges the potential cost savings and illustrates $830,000 in annual savings with amalgamation,” he said. “One-time costs for amalgamation are important to recognize but they matter little when we are considering the next 25 to 50 years.”

Bruce acknowledges the difficulty surrounding the issue.

“For obvious reasons senior staff and all elected councils for the last 100 years have been in a deep conflict of interest…so I tip my hat to the current staff(s) and elected officials who have given the people the opportunity to have their voice heard.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: SAR reinforcements from up Island arrive Sunday to help search for Ben Kilmer

Family, RCMP ‘extremely happy’ with the search effort so far, search manager tells volunteers

VIDEO: Get your group together and plan an event for Culture Days

Culture Days events can include almost anything, but the more interactive the better for all

Robert Barron column: Nicole Lynch deserves a medal

It takes a great deal of courage to walk into a potentially dangerous situation

Drivesmart column: It’s motorcycle season

My experience investigating collisions reinforced that a rider must drive defensively at all times

David Suzuki column: Degree sparks necessary debate

Too often, though, the discussion has strayed from topics that need attention into personal attacks.

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Coming up in Cowichan: Spring fair; Christian Science lecture; market

Get ready for some family fun with the Drinkwater Elementary School PAC annual spring fair

Cowichan Coffee Time: New principal, and fundraising galore

• School District 79 introduced Nicole Miller, who has been appointed principal… Continue reading

Central Vancouver Island man dies in single-vehicle collision

Pickup truck with three occupants went off the road near Port Alberni

UPDATED: Grand Forks looks towards recovery as evacuation orders begin to lift

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

Most Read