EDITORIAL: A house divided

There has been no indication recently that the City has been willing to work with the District on any shared concerns – traffic, development, recreation – so maybe it’s time?

From the North Shore News today:

We welcome the news this week that the District of North Vancouver is making a new attempt at amalgamating with the City of North Vancouver. There is never a bad time to re-examine why there are two North Vancouvers to begin with and whether there should be reunification.

We’d say the bizarre, zigzagging border that divides our community seems arbitrary, but it isn’t. In 1907, it was drawn around the land holdings of property speculators who, conveniently, were also on the council of the day. They voted themselves a new municipality that would be cheaper to develop and service than the sprawling district.

City council members have so far been leery or outright closed-minded when it comes to talk of amalgamation. The perception has always been that the city has everything to lose and nothing to gain. A lot has changed and some myths have lingered too long. Today, district homeowners pay a lower tax rate than city ones.

But this isn’t about money, or at least it shouldn’t be. This is about an opportunity to correct a mistake of history and return to common sense in our governance, something we’ve been denied for 111 years. Whether it’s bylaws, planning, transportation or dog licences, we challenge anyone to explain why having two municipalities making decisions about the same chunk of land serves the residents better.

When the time comes, we insist the city approach this amalgamation study in earnest and with an open mind. North Vancouverites already share rec centres, traffic woes and a hospital. The demarcation doesn’t separate two municipalities from each other; it separates all of us from reason.

Source: EDITORIAL: A house divided

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2 responses to “EDITORIAL: A house divided

  1. I could not agree with you more Joan. The issue is not amalgamation (as I learned in my last term of Council), the issue is a lack of facts and objective analysis. The Mayor and City Manager have been very effective at bullying and deceiving anyone who has tried to get at the facts. With their departure we have a rare opportunity to loosen the grip of developers and self-interested senior bureaucrats on City Hall. The only way those interests won’t re-assert themselves with new faces is if we have a strong majority on Council (not just a Mayor) that listens to the community and has the knowledge and ability to make its own decisions instead of relying entirely on staff and developer’s consultants.

  2. Not until I see the results of a thorough study by an experienced, honest, UNBIASED expert on the pros and cons of amalgamation will I have a yea or nay opinion on the subject. Until then I will not listen to the speeches of local politicians and their staff.
    It was greed that led to the division of the North Shore and, I suspect, it is still greed of many types that keeps it apart.
    What I need to know is: Would amalgamation lead to efficiency in local governance: Better use of tax dollars: Give us more credence with the higher levels of government . What would change for me in my little home and lifestyle? It seems to me that only the two separate councils and their staff think as City and District– ordinary citizens just live “on the North Shore”.
    AMALGAMATION????? Give me facts not opinions.

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