Editorial: Don’t be a bystander to history, vote in the amalgamation referendum

Editorial: Don’t be a bystander to history, vote in the amalgamation referendum

Be a part of making history

Municipality of North Cowichan and City of Duncan residents are being asked to make a big decision on June 23.

Don’t know what we’re talking about? You’re probably not alone at this point. That’s what our special section in this edition, detailing the upcoming question of whether or not the two municipalities should come back together into one after more than a century apart, aims to change.

We’re about to make history here folks. First of all, we want you to be part of it, and second, we want you to make an informed choice rather than just picking yes or no at random on your referendum ballot.

This decision we are making will determine the shape of the Cowichan Valley going forward. While there are, of course, many unincorporated electoral areas that will not be part of the vote, a large portion of the population of the Valley, and its beating economic heart fall within the Duncan and North Cowichan boundaries.

This is a plea for people to turn out at the voting booth on June 23, so that this decision is made by the largest possible portion of the electorate. Do you want just a few per cent of voters to decide something this big? This will affect how you are governed going forward, it will affect your taxes — indifference is not an option. In general in recent years election turnouts have been middling to poor, with the number of people taking the time to mark a ballot declining the smaller the government in question. Things get even worse when we look at numbers for referendums.

Don’t know which way to vote? Take a few minutes and read through our special section — it’s all there, from the history to the arguments for and against. If you’re still not sure, the municipalities are embarking on an information campaign where there is everything from a website (youdecide.ca) to open houses where you can get your questions answered.

So be a part of making history, not just a bystander.