Wednesday, March 09, 2011

An Idea for CRD Governance

Who about changing the voting on the CRD to one that is directly connected to population?

Currently there are 21 members on the CRD board for a population of 366,000.   That is an average of one representative per 17,429 people.   Here is how it currently works out as the number of residents per vote at the CRD:

  • Langford 26,671
  • Saanich 22,263
  • Victoria 20664
  • Oak Bay 18,459
  • Esquimalt 17,474
  • Central Saanich 16,530
  • Colwood 15,973
  • Sidney 11,892
  • North Saanich 11,341
  • Sooke 10,593
  • Saltspring 10,207
  • View Royal 9.393
  • Southern Gulf Islands 5451
  • Metchosin 5015
  • Juan de Fuca 4894 (9700 if reserves are included)
  • Highlands 2044

The Highlands get ten times the voice of Victoria, 11 times the voice of Saanich and 13 times the voice of Langford.   This is clearly and completely unfair.   As someone from Victoria, it is wrong that someone I could not vote for at any level gives people from Highland more of a voice at the CRD.

The vote of each member of the CRD should count for as much as the number of residents they represent.   It would be more than easy enough to work out and it would bring a fairer process to the CRD board.  I doubt anyone would go for this.

If we were to add 8 more to the board, one for Langford, four for Saanich and three for Victoria, we would be closer to equitable representation.  All three of them would be close to the average population per representative. This would be 29 member board and most importantly Victoria and Saanich would have a majority on the board.

Ideally Highlands and Metchosin should only be allowed one representative between the two of them.  They are choosing to have a small population and therefore should happily accept less representation on the CRD.

I personally think we should be looking at giving the best representation to the municipalities such as Saanich and Victoria, give bonuses when populations break 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 respectively.   The CRD should be used as a level of government to encourage amalgamation and not be a level of government that allows for small municipalities an easier time to exist.
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