This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Mega-city unsuitable for region.
This week’s topic: Should the Lower Mainland become a mega-city like Toronto with one election for the entire region?
Brent is right on the money when he states: “What an election!” For politicos, there’s no bigger rush than election night – watching the polls come in to see what direction voters will take their cities. This year’s civic elections did not disappoint. They were riveting.
The big winner in this year’s civic elections is democracy, as many cities saw significantly higher voter turnouts. Regardless of the outcomes, increasing voter turnout is a positive sign that many voters are perhaps beginning to understand the power of their vote at the municipal level.
While it’s accurate to state that many issues facing our civic leaders are regional in nature, it’s simplistic to think that amalgamation is the cure for what ails us. Transportation issues in Vancouver such as transit are in no way comparable to cities like Surrey or Langley – it’s apples and oranges. You really don’t need a car in Vancouver, whereas in Surrey it’s a costly necessity for most. The same goes for the environment or development – while both are top of the list in both Vancouver and Surrey, it’s for different reasons.
Read Brent Stafford’s column here.
Supporters of amalgamation always resort to using cost-savings and more efficient service delivery as the biggest reasons for doing so. One city hall instead of five or six, fewer mayors, less waste, centralized administration, blah, blah, blah.
Sounds great until you actually take the time to see how it’s worked out for the other regions or cities that have done so in Canada. It hasn’t always been a success and, at times, it has been considered a failure…
READ the rest of this weeks column in response to Brent’s argument, comment and vote, HERE: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/11/16/mega-city-unsuitable-for-region