What’s the point of amalgamating?

Making decisions is often onerous enough for both current councils

What’s the point of amalgamating?

Dear mayors and councillors:

Here we go again with another taxpayer-sanctioned and paid amalgamation vote that rears its head every decade or so.

Trouble is, without many savings on duplicated services and staff, what’s the point of amalgamating?

North Cowichan and Duncan are distinct communities with different histories, with Duncan arguably the Cowichan Valley’s de facto centre.

Voters must carefully examine cost savings in wages, staffing and services before agreeing to blend our two municipalities.

Many questions remain about amalgamating such as what to call a twinned municipality, where city hall would be, and how many councillors would run it — seven? Nine? More?

Making decisions is often onerous enough for both current councils, tasks that won’t necessarily be any easier for a larger, combined council.

Besides, we now have a large council called the Cowichan Valley Regional District sporting 15 directors from across the valley discussing and ruling on our growing, complex web of issues. How would an amalgamated North Cowichan-Duncan be any more effective at the CVRD board table?

The fact is, unless our politicians finally share a common vision of how best to grow Cowichan’s job pool and tax base — without sacrificing our environment, trees, heritage, water, farmland, services and lifestyle — amalgamation is simply akin to a dog chasing its tail.

Peter W. Rusland


Just Posted

Huge lineup of international and First Nations acts coming for Islands Folk Festival

From Begonia and Alex Wells to Fränder and The Unfaithful Servants, you’ll love Folkfest 2018

Former Capitals invited to NHL development camps

Three ex-BCHL players join Duncan product at summer training sessions

Cowichan papers are national award winners

Reporter Sarah Simpson was recognized twice for her efforts

Drought alert posted for Koksilah and Chemainus Rivers

Around the Cowichan region hot, dry weather is drying up tributary streams as well

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face Cowichan challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and even ate blueberry pie on Day 3

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

City orders largest Kinder Morgan protest camp to leave

Residents of Camp Cloud near the Trans Mountain work site have 72 hours to leave

14-year-old pilot attempts to break Guinness World Record at B.C. airport

Mohd Shaikhsorab wants to become youngest pilot with fewest hours logged to fly solo

Most Read