The municipalities of North Cowichan and Duncan have shared the following press release this evening regarding the final amalgamation referendum results. See the full release below:
(Duncan & North Cowichan, BC) – The Chief Election Officers in North Cowichan and Duncan have issued the official and final results of the amalgamation referendum, confirming that the referendum was supported in North Cowichan and did not pass in the City of Duncan.
Under Provincial legislation, 50% of the votes in both municipalities need to favour amalgamation in order for a single new municipality to be created. Referendum results will be forwarded to the Provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for her confirmation that North Cowichan and Duncan will continue to operate as separate municipalities.
The referendum process was unique and educational. It gave both municipalities the opportunity to explore important topics with residents, such as service delivery, efficiency, and community identity. The Citizens’ Assembly process is being looked at by other jurisdictions as a great example of participatory democracy, and North Cowichan and Duncan Councils thank members of the Citizens’ Assembly for the time and energy they invested in this process.
As before, North Cowichan and Duncan will look for ways to partner on projects and services in our two communities.
Voter turnout was 22.6% in North Cowichan and 31% in the City of Duncan.
Final results can be viewed here:
As part of the 2014 Municipal elections, both Duncan and North Cowichan Councils agreed to include a non-binding question on the ballot seeking interest in exploring amalgamation of the two municipalities. In North Cowichan, 68% of electors and in Duncan, 52% of electors voted in favour of conducting an amalgamation study.
In May 2017, a Citizens’ Assembly on Municipal Amalgamation recommended to both Councils that Duncan and North Cowichan amalgamate into a single municipality. Duncan and North Cowichan Councils responded by sending a letter to the Provincial government requesting that a referendum on amalgamation be held in the spring of 2018.
Phil Kent, Mayor
City of Duncan
Jon Lefebure, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan