Another group has formed to provide information for people to consider as voters in Duncan and North Cowichan prepare for the referendum on amalgamation on June 23.
But unlike the Cowichan Pro-Amalgamation group that was announced last week, this one is called Cowichan No Amalgamation and its members are decidedly against merging the two municipalities.
Cowichan No Amalgamation, which is registered with Elections BC, is spearheaded by long-time Duncan city councillor Sharon Jackson, and she and group members are working hard to get their message out to voters.
The CNA has begun a Facebook page and has made lawn signs and lapel pins for those who are against amalgamation to express their opinion.
Jackson said she’s been having lots of conversations with Duncan residents lately on the subject of amalgamation, and many are just not interested in merging with North Cowichan.
“Most don’t trust the process and don’t know what North Cowichan wants from us,” she said.
“They are finding that they are only been given half of the whole story. The government has agreed to give $11 million to help with the costs of amalgamation if it goes ahead after the vote on June 23, but it’s being predicted that the true cost would be closer to $22 million.”
Jackson said smaller local governments are able to react much quicker and more effectively to situations within their borders than a larger, combined municipality can.
“I’ve been finding that this issue has become very divisive and it is splitting our communities unnecessarily,” she said.