I’ll be voting no on amalgamation
Dear Mayors and Councillors:
The inane yet democratic question of amalgamating Duncan and North Cowichan has reared its head again, as it does every decade or so.
According to a local Citizens’ Assembly’s findings, there are no real financial benefits of melding the two municipalities, so what would the long-term benefits really be?
I assume any duplication of staff and services has been streamlined long ago under budgetary constraints.
As city Coun. Sharon Jackson has rightly opined, the character and identity of both municipalities could forever be changed — homogenized really — if residents vote to amalgamate on June 23.
The currently bland direction of both municipalities would likely continue in a municipality whose name, flag and fabric would be up for grabs.
The fact is we already have an amalgamated governing body called the Cowichan Valley Regional District. Given the often dysfunctional nature of the CVRD, the city and North Cowichan, there’s no apparent reason to believe anything would hugely change for the better by blending Duncan and North Cowichan.
Let’s pray amalgamation isn’t some costly, misdirected experiment in Cowichan’s local government. I’ll be voting ‘No’ to amalgamation on June 23.
Peter W. Rusland