Letter: Reunification study sensible

Dear Editor,

Putting aside the superficiality of your Our View in the Advance [No easy answer on merging, May 28] you are right, there is no easy answer.

In January 2012 the the Langley Reunification Association (LRA), a.k.a. OneLangley, presented a petition to the Township of Langley bearing 3,547 signatures and requesting the Township enter into a joint, independent study with the City of Langley to look at the feasibility of reunification as one municipality.

The Township accepted our petition and publicly agreed to be part of the joint study.

On the same day the LRA presented the City of Langley with the same petition, signed by 3,176 residents of the City.

The City rejected the petition without any discussion or response to the petitioners, a sad day for grassroots democracy.

In rejecting our petition, then-mayor Peter Fassbender said that the City had done its own study and saw no benefit to amalgamation (reunification).

A study done by City staff, is of course, biased and highly subjective. 

For instance, citing the results of amalgamation of the mega-city of Toronto, with more than six million inhabitants, as a reason to keep the status quo is like comparing apples and kumquats. 

Combined, the populations of the City and Township number a mere 135,000.

We say again, the “study” done by the City was not independent and objective: it was a joke.

LRA does not advocate amalgamation (reunification). The LRA has demonstrated that denizens of both the City and the Township want a joint independent study done to see if amalgamation (reunification) would be feasible.

An independent study might demonstrate no advantage to amalgamation (reunification); that result would mean a status quo.

However, if the study shows merit in reunifying the City and the Township, an amalgamation steering body should be created. 

An independent study would only show possibilities. 

An amalgamation (reunification) steering body would have to answer all the questions before it was put to the people.

Your headline “No easy answer on merging” is correct, but doing nothing is not a solution to a sizeable number of Langley residents.

The LRA insists that the City drop its parochial attitude and show some courage and vision for the future, and do the study.

Rian Martin, president, Langley Reunificiation Association

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