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The Globe and Mail

Langley mayor’s exit could boost amalgamation

Peter Fassbender, mayor of Langley City, said the mayors' council and the board will discuss the scale and timing of an audit.

Richard Lam/CP/Richard Lam/CP

When Peter Fassbender leaves his post as the mayor of the City of Langley to enter the provincial legislature, some residents might have the perfect opportunity to move their own agendas forward.

For well over a year, a grassroots group of residents has been lobbying to see the two Langleys – the City of Langley and the Township of Langley – become one single city. The township is about four times the size of the city, with a population of 106,000.

The argument for amalgamation has primarily been a fiscal one, with the president of the Langley Reunification Association having said in the past: "Do we need this many levels of government for 130,000 people? Do we need two mayors, two councils, two fire departments, two of everything?"

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Mr. Fassbender, who has long opposed the idea of amalgamation, said on Thursday that he thinks nothing will change when he's gone.

"This is not about me, it is about the business case for the taxpayers. It doesn't make sense to do it," he said.

"First of all, you have to look at why you would amalgamate. Would it be to provide core services to communities that don't have them – water, sewer, waste disposal? We already got it, we're part of Metro Vancouver. Are we lacking things that we would get if we joined the township? No. Would our tax revenue and our casino revenue stay in the community? No, it wouldn't, it would be spread over a much larger entity."

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