Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The process part 2

The legal mechanism to amalgamation was rewritten when the Provincial Government passed the Community Charter Act.  It prevented the Provincial Government from acting like Mike Harris in Ontario and forcing an amalgamation in British Columbia.

To unite the City and District of North Vancouver, the two Councils must pass an motion directing that an amalgamation plan is to devised.  That plan would be put to the voters of each municipality in a referendum.

Since the process of writing a plan would be a negotiation, there should be a joint committee where the details are hammered out.  Provincial law states that a municipality of the size of a combined City and District should have a Mayor and 8 Councillors.

Many in the City are worried that the District would take over with their larger population and it has been suggested that there would be two wards of 3 or 4 Councillors elected in the old boundaries or even 8 wards of equal population size electing a Councillor.  

This "us and them" mentality is one the politicians suffer, mostly ones in a panic that amalgamation removes their jobs and status if one Mayor and 4 Councillor positions were removed. Actual people don't think that way.

It may be that it is just easier to have the first two elections that the City elect four Councillors and the District elect four in their old boundaries and of course one Mayor elected by the whole new municipality. There is more work to do than worry about politicians.

It has been suggested a Citizen's Assembly be stuck to develop the Amalgamation Plan to stick the main goal, to do this in way that saves serious cash. This way would remove politicians and civic staff from the process of developing the plan but at the end of the day, the two Councils would have approve the plan and put it a referendum of the voters.

In the most optimistic scenario we will not see an united North Vancouver until 2020.

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