Former Liberal cabinet minister George Abbott heads one of two firms awarded contract by province
After the 2014 municipal election, voters in seven of the region’s 13 communities voted in favour of looking further into amalgamation.
Now the province has hired two firms to help local governments in Greater Victoria integrate services, not amalgamate municipalities.
13 municipalities covering 696 square kilometres, from Sooke to North Saanich, and Victoria to Oak Bay.
The province wants the region to integrate services, but not amalgamate.
“Once again, Minister Fassbender is showing leadership in the capital region, and I think that’s great.”
BC’s Community Minister wants a review of existing services in the 13 municipalities, and make suggestions.
One of two firms awarded the contract, is headed by former Liberal cabinet minister, George Abbott.
Victoria’s Mayor, Lisa Helps, is in favour of the work.
“I think they are going to be taking a look at what we are already doing in the region.
What is really not working.
What is working, in terms of what is already integrated.”
Voters in seven municipalities cast ballots in favour of exploring the idea of some regional amalgamation in the last municipal election.
John Vickers is with Amalgamation Yes say the public deserves more than a study.
“When are they going to listen to the people of this region, who through democracy, have indicated that they would like to have a regional discussion on amalgamation.”
But some politicians say integration is working.
In a small municipality like Oak Bay with its own police force, it contracts specialized services from Saanich Police says mayor Nils Jensen.
“We have up to about 200 services that, that where we share.
Sometimes only two communities.
Sometimes all thirteen.
And that’s created efficiencies that you wouldn’t get in a large bureaucracy.”
The $95,000 project will look how services are delivered in the region, and report back to the province in the fall.