Guest Speaker James Legh was introduced.    James has worked for the past 15 years towards the amalgamation of two or more cities in the Greater Victoria area.  He is the Chair of the Pro-Amalgamation Party in Victoria and has been a Board Member of Amalgamation Yes.




Speaking about amalgamation is timely and appropriate in light of the speaker series theme  “Victoria: a Capital for the Next Generation”.  The Pro-Amalgamation Party ( has a website with considerable information supporting the need for amalgamation in the Greater Victoria Region.  At 340,000 people Greater Victoria is not a large city and yet it has 91 elected officials (Mayors and Councillors) a multitude of zoning by-laws, 5 police departments and 13 official community plans to highlight some of the inefficiencies.  Amalgamation Yes was created to highlight the key issues supporting amalgamation.  The current Greater Victoria municipalities were created over the 1862 to 1999 period.  There has been 100 years of news articles about the amalgamation issue.  In 1958, 1962 and 1965 there were prior votes on this issue but without success.  Many small groups supporting the need for amalgamation have been ignored over the years and in 2013 Amalgamation Yes was formed with a view to press the issue more extensively.  By August 2014, only the City of Victoria was committed to a referendum on this issue.  The Pro-Amalgamation Party believes it is time for more definitive action and is now focused on a referendum by proxy – a grass-routes approach whereby candidates for municipal election are being recruited and will be identified on the ballot as a Pro-Amalgamation candidate.  The goal is for a Pro-Amalgamation candidate to be elected in each municipality as indicative support for a broader referendum on the issue.  The Pro-Amalgamation Party needs help to move this forward and 50 party members are needed in each municipality.  The Party is in the process of identifying qualified candidates.  There is a need for volunteers and to raise necessary funds to market the party and to raise awareness of the critical issues surrounding amalgamation.


There were many questions from with the key answers and points stressed below:


What is the voting procedure for the Pro-Amalgamation candidates?

            It is difficult to defeat an incumbent.  The Pro-Amalgamation candidates will be identified on the ballot and the election of that candidate will be a signal of support for a region-wide referendum on the issue of amalgamation.

Have any existing Councillors have declared themselves as Pro-Amalgamation candidates?

            None of the existing Councillors have declared their affiliation. The Pro-Amalgamation Party is identifying new candidates and the goal is a region-wide referendum on the issue.

What are the fiscal implications and the numbers that would support amalgamation?

             A lot of that information is available on the website and that the Party wants the Province to eventually commission a study on the full benefits of amalgamation.

 Where do the provincial parties stand on the issue of amalgamation in Victoria?

            The NDP have indicated support for amalgamation in Victoria but the Liberals have not stated their support as yet.  Victoria needs leadership on this issue at all levels.

Is a donation to the Pro-Amalgamation party tax deductible?

            No.  Donations can be submitted on-line via the website

 How many tax dollars are wasted given the inefficiencies of so many municipalities in Greater Victoria?

            Many believe that money will be saved but that there are others who say not.  The Halifax amalgamation case is one to look at.  At the end of the day it is about doing the right thing to reduce duplication of services and increase efficiency.

It was noted that wasting money on duplication of services should be emphasized in communications.

            Victoria has many inefficiencies and there are too many layers and an absence of regional coordination.