November 2008 is coming quickly and there is a single issue that everyone running for office needs to address - the irrational balkanization of Greater Victoria.
People in Esquimalt, Oak Bay, View Royal, Saanich etc.... all use Victoria for addresses.
People all over the region do not hold themselves to one local government when it comes to the use of parks and recreation facilities.
We lack a single comprehensive plan for our city.
We have large areas of our city cross boundary shifts in zoning ruin neighbourhoods. When it comes to that, there are numerous neighbourhood communities that are forced to deal with two or three local governments. The classic example is my own Burnside Tillicum neighbourhood - Saanich and Victoria do not manage this community as a single entity.
We have multiple sets of by-laws, multiple building inspection departments, and multiple planning departments for one city. I have yet to hear anyone give a rational reason why an obviously singular city like Victoria needs so many different by-laws.
The easiest way to decide if the status quo makes any sense is to ask if we would create what we have on the ground at the moment if we started with a clean slate. If Oak Bay makes sense as a local government, why not Gordon Head or Fairfield?
Anyone not willing to admit that we need to fix our problem with multiple municipal governments now is someone I could never vote for. Frankly I would wonder what personal parochial interests are coming into play if someone is running for municipal office this fall and not willing push for amalgamation.
As time goes by, I am going to see if I can find who supports amalgamation and who is opposed and what reason they offer for being opposed.