Thursday, September 3, 2009

My first post

This is my first post for the Amalgamate Greater Victoria blog. I'm excited to contribute to the discussion and I would like to thank James for allowing me to post here.

A little about me: I lived in Victoria for a couple of years as a kid. Victoria was (and still is) a great place for children with beaches, hidden gardens, rocks for climbing etc. I moved to Chiliwack sometime around 1990 (give or take a year, it's hard to remember dates when you're that young). As a military family we moved around a lot, so I've lived all over Canada and overseas as well. I was in Halifax when that city and the surrounding municipalities amalgamated into the Halifax Regional Municipality. My last stop before permanently returning to Victoria was Toronto. That was enough to convince me that I was tired of living in big cities with cold winters.

This is my seventh year living in Victoria as an adult, and I now work as a police officer. I have a strong interest in drug policy reform, which I pursue while off-duty. Like my work in drug policy, I should clarify that any opinions I express on this blog are my own, and they don't represent those of my department.

For me the issue of amalgamation is not about lower taxes but rather better government. For the most part, because of my job, I'll stay away from commenting about local public safety issues. (Fortunately, if you look through the blog archives you'll see that James does a superb job of examining those issues.)

Lastly, I should clarify that James and I might not share the exact same vision of an amalgamated city, nor the precise path to get there. That's natural. If you talk to your neighbors about amalgamation, you'll find lots of variation. Some support one united city, some like the idea of three cities, and some simply want to merge with their neighboring municipality and no one else. It's important not to get hung up on these differences. Instead, we should focus on the fact that we can improve local government and our quality of life through some form of amalgamation.

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