Saanich establishes Mayor’s Standing Committee on citizens’ assembly

January 16, 2019

Media release
For immediate release

Saanich, BC – District of Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes has established a new standing committee as the first step toward developing a joint citizens’ assembly with Victoria to explore amalgamation.

Mayor Haynes will chair the committee that will meet as required. Committee members were appointed by Mayor Haynes and include Councillors Judy Brownoff, Rebecca Mersereau, and Colin Plant. All members of Council were consulted prior to the selection of the standing committee members.

“The standing committee will ensure we capture Saanich’s perspectives when we set up the citizens’ assembly, including recommendations on governance structure and mandate,” said Mayor Haynes. “We will work collaboratively on this process which is vital to the future of our community.”

The standing committee will work with its counterparts at Victoria to develop the citizens’ assembly, including its terms of reference, recruitment of consultants, process, and expectations for a variety of potential outcomes. The committee will report outcomes back to Council for consideration in moving forward.

The standing committee term will expire when Saanich and Victoria establish a joint citizens’ assembly. Saanich Council understands that the work of the citizens’ assembly will be free of political interference. The citizens’ assembly recommendations are non-binding.

Community opinion question

The 2018 general local election included a non-binding community opinion question on the ballot about establishing a citizens’ assembly to explore amalgamation between the two municipalities: 

  • Are you in favour of spending up to $250,000 for establishing a Citizens’ Assembly to explore the costs, benefits and disadvantages of the amalgamation between the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria?

 The majority of Saanich electors voted in favour of establishing a citizens’ assembly:

  • Yes – 16,852 votes
  • No – 13,274 votes

What is a citizens’ assembly?

The citizens’ assembly will be a group of residents randomly selected from both municipalities. The citizens’ assembly will provide residents with an opportunity to evaluate the case for or against amalgamating the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria.

Learn more

Community opinion question and citizens’ assembly background information as well as the Mayor’s Standing Committee terms of reference are available on


Media contact:
Megan Catalano, Communications Manager
250-475-5494 ext. 3444