A number of people have asked me either about my involvement in Restructure, or my position on it. Here it is.
First, for those of you who are relative newcomers, “restructure” refers to a referendum held in 2006 on redrawing the electoral boundaries to amalgamate Area E and F of the SCRD and the Town of Gibsons into a new district municipality, similar to what happened in Sechelt in 1986. The debate was extremely contentious in the rural areas (think “the George”). The referendum failed. Town residents voted in favour and the rural areas voted against.
I stumbled into this whole thing as a naive relative newcomer who had recently stopped commuting into Vancouver and was looking to get more involved in the community. I answered an ad in the Coast Reporter looking for volunteers for a committee to study the pros and cons of a boundary adjustment. ‘That sounds interesting!’ I thought and sent a letter to the SCRD. In due course I received a polite ‘no thanks’ and I stopped paying attention to the issue. Then, some months later I received a phone call–there was a vacancy on the committee and was I still interested? I said yes.
If I had been attending the committee meetings to that point (they were open to the public), I would have known what I was getting into, but I had no idea. I won’t go into the details here, but suffice it to say, I know how a plastic duck bobbing across a shooting gallery feels.
At the time I supported restructure because I thought it made sense. However, the referendum was defeated. And if the vote was held again tomorrow, I expect it would have much the same result.
In the last several months I’ve been going around talking to people about their issues in the upcoming election, and I have YET to hear anyone say: “I want a new referendum on restructure.”
I have no interest in refighting a political battle that’s been over for 12 years, especially when the SCRD needs to focus its attention and resources on major issues like our water storage crisis and our impending garbage crisis.
It’s time to move on.