Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Email from Amalgamation Yes


THE MUNICIPAL ELECTION IS NOVEMBER 15, 2014

We are writing to you as either a member of Amalgamation Yes, or as a signatory to a petition supporting a request that your municipality present a non-binding question on amalgamation. The purpose of this email is to update you on recent events in our drive to enable citizens to express their views on this important topic.

We are pleased to advise that there will be a referendum question on the ballot in at least five (5) municipalities, Victoria, Esquimalt, Central Saanich, Sidney and Langford.  We also anticipate more municipalities will join our initiative.  Because of time constraints imposed by the preparation and delivery of a ballot question, however, any municipality not announcing its intention to do so by early October will probably not be presenting a question.

If you are a resident of one of these municipalities currently not participating (Saanich, North Saanich, Oak Bay, Sooke, Metchosin, Colwood, View Royal and the Highlands) it would help if you contact your local council and encourage them to do so.

For your information there is a new political party not affiliated with Amalgamation Yes called the Pro-Amalgamation Party.  It may be of interest to you if you live in one of the eight municipalities listed above because if ultimately your community doesn't present a non-binding question, it will give you an opportunity to express your views on the amalgamation question in an indirect way.

 The new party plans to endorse one (1) candidate in each municipality that does not present its own ballot question. These candidates will have a common platform, "to pursue a study into amalgamation options". The total number of votes for Pro-Amalgamation Party candidates would reflect the number supporting the non-binding question.

We would additionally highlight that in order for the candidates to have the words  "Pro-Amalgamation Party" listed by their names on the ballot, the party must have 50 members in that municipality. Thus if you find yourself living in a municipality not presenting a question and support the aims of the Pro-Amalgamation Party, you can become a member by simply signing up on their website www.proamalgamation.ca. They also welcome volunteers.

In the meantime, Amalgamation Yes is continuing its own efforts in trying to persuade those councils that have so far refused to place a non-binding question on their ballot, to reconsider their decision.

 In the weeks leading up to the election we will be informing the public of the issues involved through regular updates of our website http://www.amalgamationyes.ca and media releases, and encouraging you to attend public meetings and ask candidates about their stance on amalgamation.
We may also need your assistance in delivering material or getting out the vote.

In order to be able to play this role, it is necessary that Amalgamation Yes be registered as a third party for the election, as required under the BC Elections Act.   Any expenditure by the organization will have to be reported to BC Elections.  

This will be an historic election and we all need to get out and vote on November 15, 2014.  Amalgamation Yes will be reminding supporters to vote on that day and if necessary assisting them in getting to the polling station.
In order for the Province of British Columbia to initiate an in depth study into municipal amalgamation models, conduct public hearings and present options, YOU MUST VOTE TO INDICATE YOUR SUPPORT (AND GET AS MANY TO JOIN YOU AS POSSIBLE!).

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Please keep those letters to editors and councils going!

From today's Times Colonist:

Saanich council silent on amalgamation question
Times Colonist
September 24, 2014
There is a syndicate of silence from Saanich council on offering a non-binding referendum to residents to study amalgamation. Not a single councillor has yet cracked this iron solidarity and created a motion to include this on the November ballot. They simply know nothing, see nothing, hear nothing.
Commit those council names to memory and remember that they want your vote, but not your opinion. History teaches many lessons to self-satisfied regimes.
Lesley Ewing
Greater Victoria
- See more at:
http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/letters/saanich-council-silent-on-amalgamation-question-1.1386259#sthash.q945gPrz.pnfr0nJ7.dpuf

Lets work together and get every voter in our region the opportunity to vote on a non-binding question.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Susan Jones
President
Capital Region Municipal Amalgamation Society
Email: amalgamateyes@gmail.com
www.amalgamationyes.ca
Twitter: @amalgamationyes
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