Significant downsides to amalgamation for Duncan

The Cowichan Valley area should be looking at a boundary realignment not amalgamation.

Significant downsides to amalgamation for Duncan

I hope the people of Duncan think hard before agreeing to merge with North Cowichan. The Cowichan Valley area should be looking at a boundary realignment not amalgamation. Enlarging the City of Duncan’s urban boundaries and leaving the District of North Cowichan to deal with the rural and village areas makes sense. Duncan has an urban core with issues and demographics unlike any that North Cowichan has had to deal with. Instead of an even larger conglomeration of diverse and conflicting interests there really should be two distinct areas.

I am concerned about the future of downtown Duncan if amalgamation is approved. I think downtown Duncan will suffer significantly when tax revenues are spread over a much wider area than at the present time. We have all seen the commercial cores of communities deteriorate because of bad local decision making. Next thing you know taxes have to increase to pay for Downtown Revitalization.

Contrary to some who say there will be great cost savings from amalgamation I strongly suspect that there will be significant costs associated with amalgamation, and not just transitional costs but ongoing ones as well. Many of these costs will be due to trying to integrate bylaws, practices and procedures of the two divergent municipalities. A lot of money will be paid to consultants.

There are many research papers prepared on the results, and costs, of amalgamation. Look at the report “Municipal Amalgamation in Ontario”, ( Also, just Google “successes and failures of municipal amalgamation” to obtain other overviews of the subject.

Personally, I think the competitiveness of these two municipalities has led to many improvements for both areas. I wonder where things such as recycling, organics collection, yard waste and glass pick-up, fresh untreated water, climate change initiatives, humane pet treatment bylaws, etc. would be were it not for one municipality goading the other do the right thing. With amalgamation, I fear this competitiveness will evolve into complacency and a lack of progress.

Tom Ireland

former Duncan CAO & Professional Planner


Just Posted

Andrea Rondeau column: Cannabis legalization requires some common sense

I’ve never smoked anything, and have no intention to start with marijuana.

Sarah Simpson column: Got it, got it, need it, got it…

Duncan youth seeking hockey card trading partners

T.W. Paterson column: Finding B.C.’s most beautiful park was easier than protecting it

Over the years I’ve seen acts of destruction that required hard effort, sometimes even ingenuity.

Cannabis shops still in limbo in Cowichan Valley

Future uncertain as marijuana becomes legal

DCS Chargers play to sixth at B.C. Christian soccer tourney

Coaches proud of team’s performance in Langley

Coming up in Cowichan: Pair of Mill Bay Marine Rescue Society fundraisers

Fall Fishing Derby will benefit Mill Bay Marine Search and Rescue Mill… Continue reading

Cowichan Coffee Time

Chain of Love and Lake to Lake Walk

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Most Read