Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Process

As I mentioned in the prior article, the Community Charter of 2002 ensured that any municipal amalgamations in BC would be grassroots driven and could not be forced on an area like in Toronto, Ottawa or Halifax.

Step 1.  All involved Councils must pass a motion directing their staff to develop a plan for amalgamation. In our case, it is just the Councils of the City and the District.  A amalgamation committee is struck to guide the staff and to do public consultation.  The province will commit funds to develop the amalgamation plan and for the transition.

Step 2. Once the plan is done, the Councils ratify the plan.  Only a simple majority vote is required in the City and the District.

Step 3. Both municipalities have to submit this plan to ratified by referendum by their citizens.  A majority vote is required of both municipalities is required.

Step 4.  The Province issues one new "Letter of Patent" which is like the constitution of a municipality.  One North Vancouver is created.

The provincial government cannot force amalgamation, they or even the citizens cannot even force a binding referendum. Only a majority vote of both Councils can start the process so to achieve amalgamation we must get 4 Council votes in the City and 4 Council votes in the District.

The best and perhaps the only way to get those 4 votes is to elect Councillors who will vote for the amalgamation motion as in step 1.  United North Van will be running 2-4 candidates in the November 2014 and will choosing them in June of 2014.  In the City none of the elected Councillors support amalgamation, in the District most have publicly supported it but until a formal vote is taken, we don't know.  

At this point, it is likely that we need to run 4 candidates in the City and if one of profile steps forward, one of them should a Mayoral candidate.  We probably only need two candidates in the District. In October we shall be doing a delegation to both Councils and gauging support.

A letter from the then Minister explains the situation.


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