If two or municipalities want to amalgamate I’m sure there is a process that would allow for that. To impose amalgamation is not undemocratic, it is anti-democratic.
If you want centralization for expeditious reasons, why not get rid of municipalities altogether and let the province plan and run everything? We have an MLA for every region of the province. We could even have a provincial police force.
The whole idea of municipalities is to recognize the different wants and needs of different communities however big or small even if it does come with a small premium, which I can assure you is small, relative to the costs of amalgamation (which no one talks about).
Lawyers, accountants, bureaucrats and years of negotiations will never be repaid. What if it doesn’t work, what is the cost of turning back? Just look at the cost of returning to the PST.
Amalgamation should be voluntary, the decision made by our elected municipal politicians and not on a popular vote that will be based mostly on emotion.