The Province has agreed to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s (CSRD) request to fund an incorporation study for the communities of Sorrento and Blind Bay in Electoral Area C.
The study is designed to provide a detailed overview of the incorporation option, which would amalgamate the Sorrento and Blind Bay communities into a new stand-alone municipality. It would include an estimate on the financial impacts and offer opportunities for a full community discussion on the implications of incorporation.
“The intention is that this work will determine if there is sufficient community interest in proceeding to a vote on municipal incorporation,” writes Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in a letter to the CSRD.
A total of $100,000 has been awarded to the CSRD for the two-year study.
A referendum would be required to approve any incorporation plan in Electoral Area C.
“I think it is important to reiterate that the purpose of this study is to provide the electors with sufficient information for them to make an informed decision,” said Paul Demenok, Electoral Area C Director.
“Moving forward does not imply support. It implies getting the information needed to make informed decisions… Incorporation or not, that’s not my call to make or even the Board’s call to make. It is the voters’ call as to how we proceed,” he added.
The CSRD Board unanimously approved motions to initiate the process for the study, including a planned recruitment campaign to allow interested residents from the proposed Sorrento-Blind Bay incorporation area to join a committee designed to oversee the process. It is anticipated that the project will begin this fall.
Should the proposed incorporation plan not proceed, the CSRD Board has also provided direction to the Province that their preferred alternative would be to divide the current Electoral Area C region into two separate Electoral Areas. This was also acknowledged by Minister Robinson as a possible alternative option.