Greater Victoria needs to stop behaving small

Re: “Experience shows most amalgamations work,” June 5. 

I moved to this area from Halifax, where I lived through a four-municipality amalgamation. When it happened, there was a lot of complaining but after a couple of years the community began to function well. Whether any money was saved, I can’t say, but there no longer was an attitude of “us and them.”

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When asked what differences do I find between Victoria and Halifax, I answer: “Halifax is a fairly small city that thinks big and tries to act big, whereas Victoria is a fairly large community that thinks small, acts small and succeeds in behaving small.”

Complaining that the federal and provincial governments ignore us is useless. Not one municipality here qualifies to attend the big-city mayors’ conferences. We are all too small. When huge places such as Paris and London, where there are boroughs, manage to have a single police force, why can’t we?

Why do we need 13 councils when Edmonton manages with a mayor and 12 councillors?

No wonder we hear the word “village” every time someone mentions some street or shopping district.

The province claims that it can’t force a merger because of a law. Hogwash! Who enacted that law? The province did and can easily repeal it. Local councils won’t push for amalgamation. Would you give up your title and chain of office for the greater good of the region? I probably wouldn’t unless forced to do so.

Let’s grow up and amalgamate.

Eric Nielsen








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