New Information and Updates: June 20, 2018

The following FAQs have been added to the website:


What is the value of the capital assets in each municipality? 

The Technical Report notes the following when it comes to capital assets:

Not including land, Duncan’s municipal capital assets (such as buildings and infrastructure) are valued at approximately $122 million, while North Cowichan’s municipal capital assets are valued at approximately $693 million.

North Cowichan’s infrastructure is typically newer, however it’s also spread out over a larger area due to the larger size of the municipality. In general, maintenance and replacement upkeep for North Cowichan could be more costly long-term.

Find out more about debts and assets on pages 26-32 of the Technical Report.


What are the amalgamation impacts on the infrastructure deficit for both municipalities? Will residents of one municipality have to pay for the infrastruceture deficit of the other municipality? 

Infrastructure deficits are not unique to Duncan or North Cowichan. A 2012 report by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities indicates that Canada’s municipal infrastructure deficit is currently $123 billion and growing by $2 billion annually, calling for increased federal funding.

The Technical Study calculates the infrastructure deficit as the replacement value for all assets that have been fully amortized. However, assets are often used beyond their estimated service life, which is typically a conservatively short figure. For example, Duncan’s City Hall had an estimated service life of 40 years, but is now over 100 years old.

In addition to differences in infrastructure deficit numbers, according to page 25 of the Technical Study the two municipalities have different levels of debt and reserves. The City has lower debt, and larger reserves (per Capita).

Each Council determines the funding method for individual infrastructure projects, using combinations of provincial and federal grants, taxation, borrowing, and use of reserves.

In summary, future taxation for capital will be decided by future councils. The Technical Report does not predict a likely increase in taxes as a result of either municipality’s infrastructure deficit.


The following FAQs have been updated with the latest information:


If amalgamation were to proceed, would residents be responsible for the debt load of both municipalities?

OLD: If the communities were to amalgamate, debts associated with the general fund would become the responsibility of all property owners within the combined municipality through general municipal property taxation (i.e. debt payments would continue to be funded through a municipal-wide general fund vs. only being funded through a specific geographic area). However, debt payments associated with utilities (i.e. water and sewer) would continue to be funded through the specific local area services (i.e. debt payments would not be spread throughout the larger geographic area).

UPDATED: If the communities were to amalgamate, most debts associated with the general fund would become the responsibility of all property owners within the combined municipality through general municipal property taxation (i.e. debt payments would continue to be funded through a municipal-wide general fund vs. only being funded through a specific geographic area). However, debt payments associated with utilities (i.e. water and sewer) would continue to be funded through the specific local area services (i.e. debt payments would not be spread throughout the larger geographic area)[1], unless and until local area services are eliminated or merged.

[1] Amalgamation Study, Technical Analysis. Urban Systems. April 21, 2017. Pg. 25