The public utterings of Mayor Fred Haynes once again fail his obligations and assert contradictory positions. (Saanich News Dec. 16)
At the same time as proposing changing the classification of Saanich from district to city, he offers his personal disdain for the prospects of possible amalgamation.
In doing so, he repeatedly violated his obligation to withhold personal comments on the topic of a possible merger with Victoria. This past spring he and his fellow councilors agreed to the terms of reference for a citizens assembly, and committed that elected officials would withhold personal commentary on either the costs or benefits of amalgamation. They would wait until the voter approved Citizen Assembly (CA) had completed their public deliberations and submitted their report. The mayor violates his own commitment to offer commentary only after and not before a comprehensive and independent review has taken place.
His proposal for changing Saanich to a city presupposes the need for, and the outcome of, the CA process. Conversely if the CA process leads to a referendum and voters approve a merger then we don’t need a change.
Apparently the mayor fails to recognize the reality that for residents, visitors and the business community, the identity of our urban region and our “city” is indelibly represented by the City of Victoria as the capital of B.C. A name change for mayor of Saanich won’t change that!
Mayor Haynes should remember that consideration of merits of a possible merger is best decided by public referendum after a report from the CA; not to simply perpetuate his political career.
James Anderson, chairperson