Faceoff: Why Sharon Jackson says no

Known for a strong internet presence, she has posted her list on her website.

Duncan councillor Sharon Jackson has 21 reasons “why we should not amalgamate”.

Known for a strong internet presence, she has posted her list on her website.

Under “Community Reasons”, her list includes: loss of community identity — no logo, no flag, no Duncan, City of Totems, no pride of place; a bigger entity means less community engagement; our City Hall ceases to be City Hall.

In addition, North Cowichan does not have a Chemainus Christmas kickoff with fireworks etc. to bring together the community and promote business, does not bring community together with a summer festival filled with events, and does not have a moss basket program for beautification and attracting tourists.

On top of that the two municipalities have “completely different civic cultures,” Jackson says. “North Cowichan is remote, professional, corporate. Duncan is professional but very much small town: neighbours serving neighbours.”

There are also governance and service reasons why amalgamation is not a good plan, according to the Duncan councillor.

“There will be little to no Duncan representation on the new council. This is why Duncan seceded over 100 years ago. What was true then is still true now…and [there could be a] significant drop in service levels for businesses and residents of the city.”

There are several important financial reasons as well, she said.

“The number of call-outs for both the South End and Duncan Fire Departments is about 700. If we amalgamate, we will require a fully or partially paid fire department…and Duncan will immediately have to begin paying for policing.

“Duncan loses our Small Community Grant of $500,000…and will be paying into the building of the multi-million dollar new police station.

“Other amalgamations have cost millions and taken 20 years. [There are] no proven cost savings. Previous amalgamations have resulted in higher taxes for all [plus] large costs to rename everything and rebrand, and to amalgamate every single one of our bylaws (although the province helps fund these steps) .”

Finally, when it comes to money: “The new municipality would get our 13 million in Reserve Funds for Water, Sewer, equipment and vehicle purchase as well as our yearly Police Bridging Capital Fund. North Cowichan is often criticized for its spending and debt; Duncan has always been frugal,” she said.

In addition, “North Cowichan is presently involved in troubling law suits which will become ours; Duncan has never had a boil water advisory and was voted Canada’s best drinking water in 1999 [while] North Cowichan chlorinates its water.”

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