Duncan, North Cowichan formalize relationship

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Duncan and North Cowichan's decision to ask the public about opening a dialogue on amalgamation isn't the only concrete  evidence to surface recently about their budding friendship.

It was preceded by warm handshakes on a new protocol deal.

The deal — dubbed the Inter-Municipal Relationship Protocol — was officially signed April 14.

According to joint media release, the Inter-Municipal Relationship Protocol establishes clear guidelines for effectively working together on interconnected matters and represents a unique opportunity to encourage information sharing and to work cooperatively on a variety of issues of common interest.

"We recognize how important it is for municipalities to work together and find innovative ways to provide services to our residents," said Mayor Phil Kent. "The inter-municipal agreement strengthens both communities and provides the path to gain and maintain trust between the partners."

"This protocol acts as a reminder that we can achieve much more if we co-operate on issues that affect both communities," added Mayor Jon Lefebure.

The protocol addresses three areas: promotion of inter- municipal and community relationships, development of communication protocols and problem-solving and conflict resolution. Each  clearly defines expectations and accountability for each council and staff.

"By signing the agreement, both municipalities are solidifying their desire to rise above boundaries, parochialism, and politics for the economic, social, and environmental well-being of its citizens," the release states.

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