What is the Duncan-North Cowichan Citizens' Assembly?
The Citizens’ Assembly on Municipal Amalgamation is a unique exercise in local democracy that provides residents with an opportunity to develop and evaluate the case for amalgamating the City of Duncan and the Municipality of North Cowichan. The Assembly is an arms-length process that has been commissioned by the elected councils of both municipalities. Thirty-six area residents will serve on the Assembly which will meet over six days between January and April, 2017. The Assembly will report to both councils in May, 2017.
Why is the Assembly taking place?
Over the past decade, new growth has blurred the boundaries between Duncan and North Cowichan. Residents routinely drive between the two jurisdictions several times in the course of a normal day. Some municipal services are already jointly administered and others could be combined. This has prompted both councils to ask whether the time is right to consider amalgamation.
The creation of the Duncan-North Cowichan Citizens’ Assembly on Municipal Amalgamation is a first step towards examining this issue. | Read our Frequently Asked Questions
What is the mandate of the Citizens’ Assembly?
The Citizens’ Assembly is tasked by the City of Duncan and the Municipality of North Cowichan to learn about the needs and interests of local residents, examine the implications of creating a new, amalgamated municipal structure, and advise local councillors and their administrations on the conditions under which the Municipalities should proceed.
Specifically, the Citizens’ Assembly on Municipal Amalgamation will develop:
- A set of values which describe their aspirations for good local governance;
- A list of issues which they believe need to be satisfactorily resolved for municipal amalgamation to merit consideration; and
- A detailed recommendation concerning municipal amalgamation, including any conditions which would need to be satisfied if a merger was to proceed
How were the members of the Assembly selected?
In December 2016, 10,000 households throughout the Cowichan Valley were randomly selected to receive an invitation to volunteer for the Assembly. In early January, 36 candidates were randomly selected from the pool of respondents in such a way as to broadly match the make-up of local residents. | Read the invitation letter
How can I get involved and learn more?
The deadline to volunteer for the Citizens' Assembly has now passed. If you volunteered to serve on the Assembly but have not been contacted, we regret that you were not randomly selected to participate. We want to thank those who attended and contributed to the Public Roundtable Meetings, and encourage you to engage with the resources below.
- Download the Assembly's Terms of Reference
- Download the slides from Session 1; January 21, 2017
- Download the slides from Session 1 - Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives; January 21, 2017
- Read the Press Release from the City of Duncan and Municipality of North Cowichan.
- Meet the members of the Assembly
- Download the slides from Session 2; February 4, 2017
- Download the slides from Session 3, February 25, 2017
- Read the Citizens' Assembly defined values for Local Government
- Download the Questions for the Technical Consultants posed during the third Assembly meeting
- Read the table notes from the Public Roundtable Meeting, February 2, 2017
- Read the interim report, summarising the first three sessions
- See the slides from the second Public Roundtable Meeting, April 6, 2017
- Download the slides from Session 4, April 1, 2017
- Download the slides from Session 5, April 8, 2017
- Local Government Excellence through Collaborative Partnerships, British Columbia Ministry of Community Services, World Urban Forum III 2006
- Thinking Regionally: How to Improve Service Delivery in Canada's Cities, C.D. Howe Institute, 2016
- Managing Changes to Local Government Structure in British Columbia: A Review and Program Guide, British Columbia Ministry of Municipal Affairs, 2000
- Read the Councils of the City of Duncan and Municipality of North Cowichan public minutes and notes about the proposed amalgamation. Note that this is a comprehensive document but we anticipate further review.
Copies of all presentations and documents shared with the Assembly are posted on this website