LETTER: Most responsive democracy is at municipal level

Local politicians respond directly to the needs of their constituents, and we need more of that

We learn from our civic elections that a majority of the people who voted favour looking at some sort of amalgamation.

It’s not surprising, as most of us have witnessed the failure of the CRD as the cooperative body for the regional municipalities. In addition, the pro-amalgamation groups ran a financed campaign of reduced costs and increased efficiencies without any mention of any downsides and they’ve never provided any conclusive evidence that I’ve seen to substantiate their claims.

There’s still going to be the same amount of work to do, be it service delivery or administrative, so I can’t see us laying a bunch of people off and is that what we want to do? A large part of our economy is the public sector. It can’t be more efficient because we all know that the bigger the organization, be it government or private, is always less efficient the bigger it gets.

Recently, Esquimalt residents voted, and through their mayor and council, overwhelmingly rejected McLoughlin Point as a sewage site. Very soon after, CRD directors contemplated going around Esquimalt’s elected officials’ backs and offering the residents what some called a bribe to put the plant there. I’m convinced that if the residents of Esquimalt did not have their mayor and council to stand up against the CRD, the plant would have been built there, no bribe needed, just imposed for the greater good.

And that is the whole premise behind municipalities, land use and other policies that agree with the residents of that particular area. It is the most powerful form of democracy that there is. That was proven in Esquimalt.

I once wrote a letter to my prime minister and got a letter back from his assistant, I wrote a letter to my premier and got a letter back from her assistant, I wrote a letter to my mayor and got a letter back from my mayor.

Bob Broughton

Victoria

 

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