Citizens' Assembly Council Committee
In the 2018 municipal election, residents of Saanich and Victoria voted in favour of exploring the costs, benefits, and disadvantages of the amalgamation of Saanich and Victoria through a Citizens' Assembly process.
On March 23, 2022, Minister of Municipal Affairs Nathan Cullen, Mayor Lisa Helps and Mayor of Saanich Fred Haynes released a joint statement about moving forward with the citizens’ assembly to investigate potential amalgamation between the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich.
The three parties stated they are committed to exploring citizens’ views on amalgamating the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich, now that large gatherings can be held in person again.
Each party agreed to 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.
The process will help ensure that people have an opportunity to provide input in an open forum and that a subsequent decision is well-informed and evidence-based
The launch of the citizens’ assembly process will occur after the general local elections in October 2022.
The first step will be for the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria to initiate a procurement process to seek a consultant for the citizens' assembly process.
In 2018, the municipalities of Saanich and Victoria adopted an innovative and transparent public process to explore the costs, benefits and disadvantages of the amalgamation between the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria. The Citizens’ Assembly process is expected to be a deliberative one, providing the residents of Saanich and Victoria with the opportunity to directly and actively participate.
The Assembly is expected to be an impartial advisory body that is tasked with representing the residents of Saanich and Victoria in investigating the costs, benefits and disadvantages of the amalgamation between the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria. In doing so, the Assembly will exemplify the highest standards of transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in delivering their report findings to the respective municipal Councils.
Terms of Reference
The Committee's Terms of Reference was approved by Victoria City Council on March 3, 2021 and Saanich Council on January 29, 2020.
Victoria's Citizens' Assembly Council Committee was comprised of:
- Mayor Lisa Helps
- Councillor Ben Isitt
- Councillor Jeremy Loveday
- Councillor Geoff Young