This letter is making the rounds on social media so I am posting it in full…
Open Letter to Voters in the Capital Region:
We, the undersigned candidates for office on November 15, have found strong concerns amongst the public over issues that can only be effectively addressed by acting together as a region. Engagement is high. Dissatisfaction around regional issues is constantly expressed. Amalgamation is on the ballot in eight of the thirteen municipalities in the region.
If elected, we all pledge to do our utmost to improve collaboration between municipalities, at the citizen, staff, and political levels, starting immediately.
Regional collaboration is vital for solutions and success in many areas that require urgent attention: sewage, transportation, regional economic development, housing, and policing.
We have agreed on four foundations of effective collaboration that we are pledged to follow and to be held to account:
1. Meaningful public participation before decisions are made.
2. Transparency and open access to complete information.
3. “Facts over fear” in communication.
4. Respect for all the players, rather than personal attacks and entrenchment on positions.
Collaborative approaches based on these foundations are the only ways to build consensus and take effective action to address regional issues and make the most of our opportunities.
We will recognize and not dismiss the votes cast on November 15, on amalgamation. There is a need to examine how we govern our region.
We invite all other candidates in the region to sign on with this, our pledge to the voters.
Barb DesJardins (Esquimalt)
Beth Burton-Krahn (Esquimalt)
Susan Low (Esquimalt)
Lisa Helps (Victoria)
Justin Stephenson (Victoria)
Richard Atwell (Saanich)
Marsha Henderson (Saanich)
Carol Hamilton (Colwood)