John and I discussed creating a webpage on the AY website with some basic background information on the situation on the Peninsula to supplement information on our Banner Ad and Public Posters. I would suggest that sometime in early February, a large banner be posted on our Home Page with a link to an internal page containing some of the following info - I think it should include the actual wording and precise results of the referendum questions and some basic background information on why the were asked. Also, a brief outline of CISGI and how the public “ask” for a study never came to pass. This info can be massaged / condensed to provide the reason for the Town Hall and pique people’s interest.
Following are the exact questions asked by the three Peninsula Municipalities’ questions on the November 15, 2014 Local Election Ballots:
DISTRICT OF CENTRAL SAANICH:
Should the District of Central Saanich petition the Province to fund a cost/benefit analysis of an amalgamation of Central Saanich, North Saanich and Sidney?
YES: 3,588 (71%)
NO: 1,489 (29%)
DISTRICT OF NORTH SAANICH:
Are you in favour of a study, provincially funded, to investigate the feasibility, costs and implications of amalgamating the three municipalities on the Saanich Peninsula of Sidney, Central Saanich and North Saanich?
YES: 2,881 (62%)
NO: 1,727 (38%)
TOWN OF SIDNEY:
Are you in favour of a provincially funded study to investigate the feasibility, costs and implications of amalgamating the three municipalities of the Saanich Peninsula?
YES: 2,566 (68%)
NO: 1,232 (32%)
Source: Civic Info BC
All results of 8 Greater Victoria municipal referendum questions, 2014
The questions were approved in September 2014 by the previous councils. Members of the 2011-2014 councils who voted in favour of the motions to include the amalgamation questions on the ballot were as follows:
North Saanich - Mayor Finall and Councillor Stock
Sidney - Councillors (now Mayor) Price, Lougher-Gooday and Chad
Central Saanich - Councillors (now Mayor) Windsor and Jensen
In 2015, following the respective referendum results, each of the three Councils wrote letters to then Minister of CSCD, Coralee Oakes, asking for support and funding for a Peninsula focused amalgamation study. I have documented the meetings of councils where such correspondence was discussed and motions to send those letters were passed.
Perhaps if you are going to discuss Peninsula amalgamation with Central Saanich Councillor Thompson, he might approach either Councillor Jensen or Mayor Windsor and seek their support to second a motion to follow through on the wishes of the majority of voters in Central Saanich. After all, both Mayor Windsor and Councillor Jensen made the motion for an amalgamation question and voted in favour.
As to Sidney, the Mayor (the Councillor) Price seconded a motion made by Councillor Lougher-Goodey for a Peninsula amalgamation question and they, along with current councillor Chad, voted in favour of a question.
Now that the Capital Integrated Services & Governance Initiative (CISGI) report has clearly not delved into the ramifications and pros and cons of an amalgamation of the three Peninsula municipalities, one would wonder why those individual council members that were on their respective councils prior to the November 2014 elections and who have since supported writing the to Minister asking for Provincial funds for a study, are now no longer interested in moving forward. Perhaps all they need is a nudge. Shellie and I remain committed to aiding you in any way possible and are working towards putting together a Town Hall on the Peninsula in February 2018 and would welcome your participation.