Common sense prevailed, rejecting amalgamation
Dear mayors and councillors:
I’m sure relieved logic and common sense prevailed in our June 23 vote that rejected amalgamating North Cowichan and Duncan.
Hopefully now we can resume frying far bigger fish, including economic development, affordable housing, homelessness, sprawl, climate change, tourism, water quality and much more.
Despite a deplorable voter turnout of about 30 per cent, Duncanites rightly said “no” to merging with North Cowichan where most residents who bothered to vote agreed to blend their municipality with the City of Totems.
Apathy aside, that low voter turnout signals amalgamation wasn’t really on the radar of many locals, some whom weren’t even aware the referendum was being held nor what it was about.
If reasons for amalgamating — such as service and staff duplication, tax savings, and economic growth — were glaringly obvious, the merge would have been a no-brainer for many folks.
That just wasn’t the case, even in the amalgamation committee’s findings about possible benefits.
Perhaps solid reasons for amalgamating will surface during the next decade or so.
Meanwhile, I’m glad the distinct character and identity of each municipality has been preserved through democracy in action.
Peter W. Rusland