LETTER: Let the people have their say on amalgamation

Many people feel it's time to have effective regional governance: reader

Re: Amalgamation ‘not a Saanich debate:’ Leonard (News, Sept. 12)

I wish I were more surprised by the incredibly patronizing remarks of Mayor Frank Leonard regarding the Saanich electorate and placing a non-binding amalgamation question on the November municipal ballot.

Saanich is the only municipality that has not had a presentation from AmalgamationYes on the issue.

It is also the only municipality that does not allow its electorate to speak unless directly addressing an item on the agenda. How democractic.

Leonard seems to feel that the opinions of his electorate don’t matter, that he is the only one whose opinion counts.

Yet many people on the street, at the Saanich Fair, and at various social gatherings tell me that they want the question on the ballot.

Many of us feel that it is time to have effective regional governance.  Angus Reid, a reputable polling firm, concluded that 80 per cent of the sampled population would like the question on the ballot.

And Leonard himself has stated the current CRD model doesn’t work.

Finally, perhaps having such a question on the ballot may encourage more people to vote.  Voter turnout has been very poor in past elections.

Perhaps that’s the real reason some don’t want the question on the ballot. Lower turnout tends to favour the status quo.

As a Saanich resident, I request my council give voters a chance to express our views, in the same way a significant number of other councils in the region have already agreed to do.

Karen Harper

Saanich