Chamber pushes Cumberland for governance review support

The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce has asked Cumberland council for a letter of support to petition the provincial government for a study to examine local governance.

The purpose of a review would determine if governance in the Valley is structured in a manner that satisfies local needs such as traffic and policing, while meeting challenges presented by growth.

The chamber formed a governance review task force in 2014 to gather signatures to initiate a request for a review. The task force has garnered more than 10 per cent of signatures from the Cumberland electorate.

“I’m not clear exactly why you’re wanting to do this,” Coun. Gwyn Sproule said to chamber CEO Dianne Hawkins at the May 8 meeting. “What’s wrong with the status here? What is it that you’re thinking would be an advantage for us?”

As a whole community, Hawkins said it would be advantageous to be perceived as working together.

“We all know there’s disparity in certain areas between different local governments,” she said, noting Cumberland’s decision to withdraw from the local economic development picture, as an example.

Sproule questioned if a review might be a duplication of what happens through the regional district.

“Unless we have a study done, we won’t know,” Hawkins said. “It’s what businesses do when they’re getting larger and they want to look at best practices, and how we best support growth in our organization.”

Courtenay, Comox and the regional district have lent their support to the review.

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