Online open house a chance to weigh in on regional governance

A virtual open house designed to let Greater Victoria residents participate in a discussion about local government is attracting interest.

Almost 1,500 people have visited the consultation website. It’s designed to educate visitors and get feedback on how local government services are delivered in the capital region. As of Saturday, 102 surveys had been completed and 51 comments made.

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Last summer, the province awarded a $95,000 contract to Circle Square Solutions — a firm headed by former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister George Abbott — and Urban Systems to examine integrating municipal services and governance in Greater Victoria.

The project team met with all 13 local municipal councils during June and July.

“This virtual open house is an attempt to get feedback from people who are not councillors and also to get some information out there for them to look at,” said Dale Wall, of Circle Square Solutions.

Wall said the online forum provides an opportunity to comment and get into discussions. The website also includes fact sheets, prepared by Urban Systems, outlining how services are delivered, as well as an online survey on the topic. The survey closes Dec. 15.

The site makes it clear that it is not an amalgamation study, a detailed service review or a detailed financial or capital expenditure review. Rather, it is designed to gather facts about service delivery and identify and discuss barriers and opportunities facing local governments.

The project is expected to be wrapped up early in the new year, Wall said.

For information go to, placespeak.com and look for topic Capital Integrated Services & Governance Initiative.

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