Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Lisa Helps, mayor of Victoria, and Fred Haynes, mayor of Saanich, have released the following statement about moving forward with the citizens’ assembly to investigate potential amalgamation between the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich:
“We are committed to exploring our citizens’ views on amalgamating the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich and now that we can hold large gatherings in person again, we are planning to move forward.
“We have all agreed to each contribute $250,000, for a total of $750,000, toward the cost of a citizens’ assembly and to explore the possible outcomes, costs, benefits and disadvantages of amalgamation so that residents have a more complete understanding of what amalgamation may involve.
"We recognize there are strong opinions regarding amalgamation, and we want to ensure people have an opportunity to provide input in an open forum and a subsequent decision is well-informed and evidence-based.
“Given the upcoming general local elections in October and our shared commitment to a thorough and well-run process for considering this issue, we anticipate the launch of the citizens’ assembly will occur after the general local elections.”