The City of Victoria and the District of Saanich are moving forward with a citizens’ assembly to investigate potential amalgamation between the two communities, according to the Province.
Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Lisa Helps, mayor of Victoria, and Fred Haynes, mayor of Saanich released a joint statement on Wednesday that highlighted the trio is committed to exploring what residents’ views on a possible amalgamation are, now that large in-person gatherings can be held.
According to the government, each party has agreed to contribute $250,000, for a total of $750,000, toward the cost of a citizens’ assembly and to explore the possible outcomes, costs, benefits and disadvantages of amalgamation.
The purpose of this assembly is to provide residents of each community a better understanding of what amalgamation of the two regions may entail.
“We recognize there are strong opinions regarding amalgamation, and we want to ensure people have an opportunity to provide input in an open forum and a subsequent decision is well-informed and evidence-based,” reads the statement.
“Given the upcoming general local elections in October and our shared commitment to a thorough and well-run process for considering this issue, we anticipate the launch of the citizens’ assembly will occur after the general local elections.”
More details can be expected on a citizens’ assembly towards the end of the year.