Published On: Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Amalgamation Recommended for Duncan-North Cowichan
DUNCAN - The Duncan-North Cowichan Citizens’ Assembly on Municipal Amalgamation (Assembly) has recommended the amalgamation of Duncan and North Cowichan.
The Assembly’s final report was presented at a special meeting of the Duncan and North Cowichan elected officials. The proposal to amalgamate still needs the approval of both Councils, the provincial government, and residents by public referendum.
The Assembly was a special initiative commissioned by both municipalities. The Assembly – 36 randomly selected local residents – met over six Saturdays from January to April to consider the potential amalgamation of Duncan and North Cowichan. During that time, they heard from 20 speakers on various topics, held two public meetings and received a Technical Report that examined the implications and likely financial impact of amalgamation.
“The Assembly is mindful that their recommendation carries significant implications and that this is a major undertaking,” says Peter MacLeod, Assembly Chair. “Nevertheless, the Assembly reached a clear consensus and believes that Duncan and North Cowichan will be stronger together.”
The Assembly cited a number of benefits to amalgamation and expects that a unified municipality will be better able to manage future growth, afford quality public services and infrastructure, and attract outside investment. The Assembly felt that residents will benefit from a more coordinated approach to local governance and planning; although, they believe the cost savings to come from amalgamation will be negligible.
The Assembly was also careful to underscore the importance of protecting the area’s many distinct communities. It believes the character of these communities can be preserved and enhanced through the development of a new Official Community Plan as well as local area plans.
A copy of the Assembly’s Report, the Technical Report and other resources including FAQs concerning the process can be found on the Citizens’ Assembly website: dnc-cama.ca.
Additional information and background is available at the following link.