Just the amalgamation facts, requests new Comox Valley group

Dear editor,

Four former mayors re-entered public life by jointly proposing all Comox Valley communities should be forced to amalgamate.

Dear editor,

Recently four former mayors re-entered public life by jointly proposing that all Comox Valley communities should be forced to amalgamate.

Since then several news items and letters to the editor have appeared, some supporting their cause, others taking the opposite view.

Earlier this year a group of Valley residents came together to discuss this issue along with what other alternatives could be developed to satisfy the needs of the various communities.

The group quickly realized that, to make any kind of informed decision, it would be necessary to get the facts rather than rely on opinion and speculation. Unfortunately, those facts are not readily available.

Seeking guidance, the group contacted Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Bill Bennett to find out if there were any provincial resources available and whether there were any protocols that needed to be addressed.

The response was twofold.

Yes, there are resources available — in fact, there is an extensive manual on how to conduct what is called a Governance Review … Salt Spring Island has just gone through this process.

However, the second part of the response was that in order for this process to take place, there would have to be “broadly demonstrated community support.”

Given this response and the information at hand, the Comox Valley Governance Review Group was created.

The goal of the group is to have an independent study initiated to determine if the governance of the Comox Valley is structured in a manner that will satisfy the political, cultural and public services the community needs to meet the challenges that growth brings.

The reason for this is simply the fact that currently there is no clear understanding or factual information to help decide what would work best for the community in terms of whether all areas should come under one governing body or whether governance is best served in some other form.

To begin a dialogue and to see if there is sufficient interest, a website has been established at www.cvgovreview.ca. Those in favour of having a study done can sign the online’ petition. There is also a Facebook page that has been set up to help with dialogue and discussion.

If there is indeed a desire, then the primary objective of the group is to secure funding for a study and have a joint committee … with all areas of the Valley represented … established to oversee the review process as outlined in the Ministry’s Review and Program Guide titled … Managing Changes to Local Government Structure.

The whole issue of how we support and govern ourselves is indeed complex.

As someone who has been involved in the community and has acted as a moderator and facilitator, I believe the only way we as a community can come to terms with what will work best is to take an objective view of what we have now, what we need and what we could be like as a community going into the future.

Joe Smith,

Union Bay

Editor’s note: Joe Smith is a member of the Comox Valley Governance Review Group.

 

Just Posted

Thieves break into mailboxes overnight in Courtenay, Comox

Thieves in Comox were busy overnight on March 17, breaking into more… Continue reading

Man convicted of Courtenay couple’s murder

Michael Philip Simard, 45, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

Comox Valley RCMP looking for help to identify shoplifters

The Comox Valley RCMP is asking for assistance from the public to… Continue reading

Haida Manga artist to speak at North Island College

Award-winning visual artist and author Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas will speak at North… Continue reading

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Comox Valley Hospice Society finds new Ocean Front home

Comox Valley Hospice Society (CVHS) recently announced plans to construct a new… Continue reading

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Kids found playing darts with syringes in Vancouver Island park

Saanich police is urging people to throw out their syringes properly and safely

Disappearance of Merritt cowboy now deemed suspicious: police

Ben Tyner was reported missing when his riderless horse was discovered on a logging road

Most Read