Victoria council: Candidate profiles and positions

We asked candidates to fill out a questionnaire about their background and their positions on some issues facing their communities.

Here are their answers, as submitted by them. The answers are split into two sections: information about the candidates, and their views on issues facing the community.

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Candidates

There are 29 people running for eight council positions:

Tell us a little bit about yourself

To make navigation easier, we've divided the candidates into four groups. Click on the group name to jump to that point in the list. Hit the back button in your browser to return to the top of the list:

Gary Alberts

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I am a resident of James Bay, and very active in my community, including membership in the JBNA. I volunteer with HeroWorks, Our Place and St. Andrew’s Cathedral. My professional experience in real estate marketing, online media consulting, and consumer packaged goods sales has helped me to understand the benefits of getting the facts, listening to both sides and making an informed decision. My common sense and real-life management experience will bring a positive change to City Council.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I love Victoria. It is the best city in Canada. I enjoy the restaurants, theatres and walking Dallas Road with my friends and their dogs. I have watched the current Mayor and Council make several decisions that have not benefited or represented the taxpayers. I will be elected by the taxpayers to listen to their concerns. As a Victoria City Councilllor, I will serve the residents and the business owners. It is the people and the businesses in this City that make Victoria unique and enjoyable.

What are your top three issues?

1. Taxes -There are 86,000 residents and 6,200 businesses in the City - their voices need to be heard. Politicians should represent all of them, not just specific groups.

2. Homeless - We need programs aimed at giving our less fortunate residents a chance to break the cycle and become contributing members of the city.

3. Transportation -Bicycle lanes should not interfere with buses, vehicles or pedestrians. We all share the roads. The current designs on Pandora Ave and Fort St need changes.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

Victoria is a world class city. One of it's many attractions are the unique neighbourhoods, and locally owned businesses. In 2043 I would want Residents and Visitors alike, to still appreciate what makes this city rare. With proper planning and consultation, we should still recognize this city.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Shorten the Thursday Night Council meetings. Remove superfluous items from the Agenda. Citizens should not have to stay up until Midnight to have their opinions heard by the Mayor and Council.

Marianne Alto

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Elected to Victoria City Council in a 2010 by-election, re-elected in 2011 (then elected to the CRD), re-elected to Council/CRD in 2014. Volunteered with, been a member of, held elected positions in many local organizations, such as Victoria Conservatory of Music, Oaklands Community Association, Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, Sundance Elementary and Arbutus Middle School PACs, Everywomans Books, AIDS Vancouver Island and Rock Bay Business Improvement Assoc. Chair of BC/Yukon Assoc. of Women’s Centres, VP of National Action Committee on the Status of Women.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I’m a facilitator by trade, skills which I think are useful and applicable to local decision-making. Balancing interests, finding solutions that blend compromise with principles and values, for the benefit of the broadest possible number of current and future residents, in the short and long term – this is the challenge of local government. It’s public service that affects every individual in their daily lives. It’s a privilege I never take for granted, and a job I love.

What are your top three issues?

Housing: diversity, accessibility, affordability, balancing future and current needs.

Transportation planning and operation: untangling the region’s gridlock.

Community and business prosperity: strengthening our economic engine to pay for community services.

Social justice: struggling Victorians need compassion, while we increase economic parity, public safety and effective social service delivery.

Reconciliation: reconstructing relationships with First Nations will be a legacy of our age.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

A City of measured, thoughtful growth, with adequate affordable housing enabling people to live near their work. We are mindful of our most vulnerable, and house them with adequate services. We have integrated transportation links that let residents move at whatever pace suits their abilities. Our neighbourhoods have amenities with balanced public and private space. The harbor pathway is done, there is downtown access to the sea, many open plazas, city services supporting a healthy life balance.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

There are many – all of which need conversation with residents before we get going!

Stephen Andrew

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I am the Executive Director of a national charity that supports, educates and advocates for cancer patients and their caregivers. People in Victoria may know from my work as a television and radio journalist, but I have a lot of board and volunteer experience. I served on the board of the national charity Kidney Cancer Canada, RunSport – the organization that owns and produces the TC10K and I serve on the board of Lifetime Networks, a not for profit that supports people with developmental and diverse abilities.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I love our city and I’m running in this election is to ensure we have a better city; a local government that listens and responds to all citizens.

For the past several years we moved away from good governance.

It’s time for new voices at the council table that are respectful, reasoned and provide superior leadership.

I have the knowledge, the experience and the passion to work with others to provide good governance for a better Victoria.

What are your top three issues?

Affordability –increase our affordable housing stock, establish supportive emergency shelters to eliminate the need people without a home to live on the street.

Accountability –not repeat issues such as the botched investigation of the former Police Chief. We need elected officials to be responsible, transparent and own their mistakes.

Fiscal Responsibility – spend our money carefully and not waste it through mismanagement of major projects, pet projects and unnecessary expenditures

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

I want to see a city that is inclusive, where we may have differing opinions, but we respect one another. It should be a city that is progressive, safe and where our roads and below ground infrastructure are solid. Victoria is a vibrant place to live, in 25 years I would like to see it shine brighter.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Addiction is a challenge we struggle to overcome every day. I will work to establish a Recovery Centre. Recovery is peer-led recovery support that helps individuals build recovery capital at the community level. Modelled after similar centres throughout the world, this centre will provide recovery information and training, offer support services, connect people to employment and social services and much needed space for meetings.

Darlene Archibald

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I have been a Leader for 29 years in the community providing information and support to families as a breastfeeding counsellor at meetings and providing home or hospital support. I was a foster parent for 5 years to infants, toddlers and young people. I was a coach in a world class program that ranked top in North America for measurables and for 4 years I was one of the Team Leaders for the Conference for Global Transformation held in Redwood City California.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I am committed to ensuring our City works for all citizens.

My motivation for running is that I see what’s missing at city hall. Somehow what goes on in the council room and what shows up on the project sites seems very different. I believe there are exciting things planned. I have found people are disillusioned with the results of the recent projects. I will work hard to bring a sensible fresh voice with true transparency, integrity and accountability that I believe will make a difference.

What are your top three issues?

1. Supporting businesses by responsible infrastructure upgrades and limiting impacts by concentrating construction so that people are eager to spend their money in Victoria.

2. Expedient Transit working with other municipalities for a complete plan. Road use that works for all with safety and efficiency in mind.

3. Restructuring zoning and permits to support more housing being added to the rental stock. Making suites legal makes it safer for renters and landlords.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

In 25 years and beyond, we are proud of and take care of our city, its surrounding waters and the environment. We care for each other and are aware of our responsibility to support our local businesses and our community. There are multigenerational purpose built developments that encourage and support live, work and play areas. We all have enough and people are happy.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Designing a city that encourages us to support each other. Some people are here without their family, missing the support and connection that they provide. If each neighbourhood had its own community centre and buildings were designed with communal spaces this gap could be filled. We could design the city to encourage this as well as supporting families with childcare and eldercare in the same buildings. To alleviate feelings of social isolation, these are more important now than ever.

Laurel Collins

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Previously, I worked for Victoria Women in Need and as the Executive Director of the Victoria Multicultural Society. I am the co-founder of Divest Victoria, and I received a Victoria Community Leadership Award for my work in sustainability and community building. I have worked on campaigns to protect the Shawnigan watershed, to advocate for affordable housing, to protect civil liberties, and I am a delegate to the Victoria Labour Council.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I love Victoria. I have watched our city grow over the past decade, and I’ve been actively engaged in community organizing to support affordable housing, to protect our watersheds, to protect our coast, and to stand up for social and environmental justice. We are currently facing a housing crisis and we are at a critical time for our environment. It is essential that we elect city councillors willing to put forward courageous policies to address the challenges that we face.

What are your top three issues?

My top three issues for building a more affordable, inclusive, and thriving city are:

1) The housing crisis: Just building more luxury condos is not going to fix the problem. On Together Victoria’s website you can read our plan to address the housing crisis.

2) Our consultation process: I want to dramatically improve consultations to ensure we are hearing a diversity of voices.

3) The climate crisis: Building a thriving city means supporting both economic and environmental sustainability.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

My vision is a city that has enough housing for everyone, reasonable rental prices, many non-market housing options, and that has home ownership or co-op housing as a possibility for those who want it. I want a Victoria that is inclusive; where residents have a say in how their city is being planned; where neighbourhoods have the supports, services, and amenities that lead to community wellbeing; a city that has managed its growth responsibly; and that has transitioned to a low carbon future.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

We need to develop in a way that makes sense for our residents and ensure affordability. I would like to see the city increase non-market housing and take a more proactive role in development, instead of instead of simply responding to proposals from developers. Other cities have their own development corporations, and I would like city staff to look at the possibility of creating a Victoria development corporation or a dedicated department within city hall to see what would make sense for us.

Sharmarke Dubow

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I was the facilitator of Refugee Volunteer Support Services at the Inter-cultural Association and the youth facilitator at Victoria Immigrant Refugee Centre Society. Some local groups I have served with are: the Community Action Plan on Discrimination, the Youth Crime Prevention Steering Committee, and the Victoria Tenant Action Group. I am also the president of Victoria Coalition for Survivors of Torture. Nationally, I have served in a leadership capacity with the Canadian Council for Refugees and now I am the co-chair of the Working Group on Immigration and Settlement. In 2017, I was awarded the Victoria Community Leadership Award and Fresh Voices 2016 Youth Allyship Award.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I fled the civil war in Somalia and was a refugee for more than 20 years. Then Canada offered me a home. I want to serve as a Victoria city councillor to give people the same dignity and respect I was shown when I first arrived. I want to help create a more affordable, inclusive and thriving city, and I want to use my skills in connecting people and building bridges to ensure different perspectives are heard at City Hall.

What are your top three issues?

1. Tackling the homelessness and opioid crisis,

2. Affordable housing across all income levels and for people of diverse backgrounds, and

3. Improving city and regional infrastructure (for example, transportation and major projects like sewage treatment), ensuring the business community plays an important role.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

My vision for the future is a city where ordinary people aren't a paycheque or a renoviction away from being forced out of town or onto the streets. My vision of the city is a stronger community that welcomes everyone in need and celebrates difference.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

I am a renter, like 59% of Victorians. I have advocated for renters’ issues with the Victoria Tenant Action Group as a steering committee member. My big idea is to create a Victoria rental advisory committee that ensures renters’ perspectives are heard at city hall, like in the City of Vancouver.

Steve Filipovic

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I was a member of an Advisory Board working with the City addressing Poverty. The board met for a year & half. The City didn't respond well to our ideas. I have also sat on many committees within the grassroots, Earthwalk, Vic Indy Media, TAPS, and the Committee to End Homelessness. I have also been active in the Green Party, running as a hopeful MLA in Vic-Hillside in 2005 and being a regional rep for the Provincial Party and board member for the Federal Greens Victoria EDA, in my last run for civic office my small money campaign earned 3856 votes.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I am running to give residents of Victoria a choice that will work hard to deliver the solutions the community has been advocating for and the levels of service our Constitution affords us all. I know we can make strides in Housing affordability. I know we can make reasonable services function with better outcomes for those who use them and I know we can turn the trend of higher taxation & fees around!

What are your top three issues?

I'd like to find cost effective solutions for Victoria's issue with Affordable Housing. Partnerships with the City can be set up to transition renters into owners. We need to wean the City away from PR Campaigns that promise political exposure for service & end up costing tax payers for things we don't need. I'd like to see reasonable services for those affected by poverty to improve their outcomes & return our Parks to their original purpose. These issues increase in cost and need addressing.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

In 25 years I see Victoria as a thriving Community, connected to rich & diverse agricultural lands that surround it. I see it benefiting from investments in its people and in the principles of an Open Democracy. I see people advocating for Justice on a Global scale through advances in Politician Controls and Accountability measures. I see regulations that make Industry careful enough not to have accidents and I see responses to unfortunate situations second to none. I see Justice and Equity.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Victoria residents need to talk to each other about how our past few civic elections have gone & measure what the expectations were compared to what was delivered. I bet people would see the manner in which to gain actual change, affordable housing and reasonable services, changes we've been hoping to obtain for decades, is to support small money candidates and let the well financed teams fade away. They charge us for rain now. Ridiculous!

Marg Gardiner

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

My recent elected positions have been with the James Bay Neighbourhood Association, holding the Director positions of Treasurer and President. I also served as CALUC Co-Chair (land use), Quality of Life committee Co-Chair (pollution and transportation issues) and Co-Chair of the Active Transportation Committee.

Earlier elected positions include being elected as President of Local 00087, National Component, PSAC (Consumer & Corporate Affairs Canada).

Other community contributions included church committees and parental support with my kids' sport groups.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

Victoria faces challenges: growth, affordability, fiscal sustainability, ageing infrastructure, environment & climate change, and safety in public spaces.

Community voice has been discounted. I want a vibrant, progressive Victoria: a City with finances in order, focus on infrastructure and quality of life. My public service ethic, education, life experience, and community contributions will serve me on Council. I've proven commitment to getting a job done, to public interest, and to change.

What are your top three issues?

Public Safety: public safety includes use of parks, streets, and other public places; transportation, drug use, sheltering, and hazardous situations (which may be environmental).

Community Development: including housing affordability, density, community amenities, and compatible land use.

Governance & Fiscal Responsibility: there is a 'sense' of inefficient use of monies; however, the issues may be more of transparency-disclosure and Council focus on many items outside City's responsibility.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

Victoria is a vibrant forward looking City with an historic core; high-rise residences are in the core and nearby. Downtown-to-Uptown is developed with the public realm harbour areas (including Rock Bay) being the envy of other cities.

The Capital City, with 300,000 residents, stretches from south of Beacon Hill to north of Elk Lake. It remains a City of Gardens, with naturalised areas in the park-system used by residents and visitors. Best of all, the new City would value all residents.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Lobbyist Registry: we have seen special interest groups and lobbyists influence grow over last few terms of Council. I propose a Lobbyist Registry which would include listing of dates/participants of lobby group and City staff/Council gatherings. Such a registry would assist residents in understanding and shaping consultation processes used by the city.

Riga Godron

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I began volunteering in Victoria in 1983. I started a program for "latch key kids" at Vic West elementary called the "Safe Keeping" program. Kids who did not have out of school care after school were having their keys taken by older children, and their homes were being broken into. I saw a need, and I spoke to the administration, and as a consequence the children were asked to keep keys in the office during the day. I worked with community partners during the Gove Inquiry to ensure the rights of youth in care were enshrined in the new Child, Family and Community Services Act. I literally cannot list all of the non-profit organizations that I have volunteered for over the years because some are no longer active, some have changed their names but if you search for charities in Victoria, chances are I have volunteered there.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I am running for Victoria City Council because I believe that I would bring a breadth of knowledge and a keen sense of critical thinking to the management of the Corporation that is the Municipality of Victoria.

My motivation for running for local government stems from my deeply instilled passion for municipal government.

What are your top three issues?

My top 3 issues are:

Housing Affordability

Sustainability

Needs Based Fiscal Priority

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

There are sounds of neighbours laughing. Can you see children playing in the Beacon Hill Children's Farm? The Downtown Core is bustling. All the local businesses you know and love have continued to thrive. We have electric trolleys with the iconic images of our resident orcas on the sides. Our Orcas have rebounded in population, as a direct consequence of the return of a much stronger salmon spawning. Victoria is the idyllic place that I remember from my childhood.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

FREE PARKING. I would eliminate the City of Victoria's parking department.

There are appoximately 50 000 households in Victoria. Around 86 000 people can actually call Victoria home, but as previously mentioned at least 200,000 people come to Victoria everyday. In Vancouver whatever address is on your licence, you can go to City Hall and get a parking permit. In Silverdale Washington the downtown businesses thrive because there are no parking meters. None. Victoria should have free parking.

James Harasymow

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Listening and understanding has always been one of my strengths. My best skill isn’t knowing all the answers, but knowing how to listen to the people who do. Creating a positive culture wherever I am, I bring people together. Not afraid to challenge bad ideas. There to add my support to ideas that need better understanding. I am a communicator. That means listening, not just talking. N

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I’ve always been interested in the big questions. Why are we here? What’s the secret to life? To happiness? People and all of our wonderful diversity. This place and all of its beauty. I want to be fully engulfed in these things. I want to be able to represent normal hard working people who love our city, families (like mine : ) and seniors who are having a hard time stretching their dollar.

What are your top three issues?

1. Affordable Housing

2. Affordable Housing

3. Affordable Housing

Please check out my website for a list of other things I’d like to proposeincluding banning political lawn signs, more pet friendly homes, tourism, safety, bad renter list, more parking, fruit trees, solar panel, smoking lounges and more.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

Ammalgimated. Exceptional transit. Clean and green. Festivals. The envy of the world.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Nano Housing.

Rose Henry

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I have run in the last three municipal elections. All three attempts were in victoria

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I have multiple reasons for wanting to enter into the race. 1- is the providing a face for the urban indigenous community within the local government. 2-The gentrification of the downtown has made it very hard for for residents to reside in the inner city. This challenge stems from the loss of many businesses that help support the year around residents.3- Create a better future for the generations to come.

What are your top three issues?

How do we prevent homelessness. Making the downtown core more livable for the residents who live downtown and helping the city be more prepared for disasters by becoming more prepared.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

my vision for the future is that we will not take 25 years to address the homeless issues and that there will be be more indigenous people in government positions at a local level.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

to have all addresses proper visible from the streets and that the street signs be written in the local indigenous language.

Ben Isitt

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I have served on City Council and the CRD since 2011. My achievements as an elected official include:

-Securing a $90-million investment in the Regional Housing First Program to reduce homelessness;

-Increasing funding for community centres and seniors’ centres by over 50%, while holding tax increases to the rate of inflation;

-Improving options for walking and cycling;

-Being the first municipality in BC to eliminate single-use plastic bags, a first step toward a broader zero-waste strategy.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I am committed to advancing social justice, environmental stewardship and good government in municipal decision-making. As a long-time Victoria resident, and as a father, I care deeply about this community, its people and the natural environment that sustains us all. Working with grassroots citizens and groups, I want to continue building a stronger community, “thinking globally while acting locally” for a more inclusive and sustainable city, region and world.

What are your top three issues?

Housing Affordability: The city can show leadership by assembling land to facilitate provincial and federal investment in non-market housing for youth, seniors and working families.

Sustainable Transportation: The city can advocate for high-quality, low-fare, fuel-efficient public transit, and expand walking and cycling options.

Strong Neighbourhoods: The city can embrace meaningful engagement on the implementation of affordable housing, new parkland, safe transportation and community amenities.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

If people embrace progressive values, work at the grassroots level to advance these values, and elect people aligned with these values, the city and region can make major advances over the next 25 years to guarantee housing rights, improve access to sustainable transportation and nutritious local food, and build strong neighbourhoods with vibrant cultural and community services. Respectful relations with Indigenous communities is fundamental to the transition to an inclusive, sustainable region.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

I favour a major expansion of decommodified, nonmarket housing to provide affordable homes for seniors, youth and working families. In this region, decommodified housing accounts for about 5 percent of the total housing supply. In contrast, a majority of housing is decommodified in some European jurisdictions. I support Victoria taking a leadership role in land assembly to facilitate provincial and federal investment in nonmarket housing, including apartment buildings governed as housing co-ops.

Jesse Jimenez

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I have a breadth of experience and knowledge which gives me a unique perspective. I love helping and serving people. I have been a long time resident of Victoria. I don't have any agenda of being a prominent politician. I just want to CONTRIBUTE in the decision making and creation of a thriving community for the next generation.

What are your top three issues?

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

Victoria will be the retirement capital of Canada. It will also be the best tourist destination catering to millions a year. The city will have innovative technological systems and networks which display efficiency and comfort with its citizens benefitting the most.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

I would like to engage every resident to have a backyard fruit and vegetable garden or even greenhouses. This program will significantly reduce the carbon footprint produce by the city.

Randie Johal

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Current community service includes Vice-Chair of the Board of John Howard Society, Block Watch presenter, Tour de Rock fund raiser , Facilitator in Restorative Justice since 2005 an Auxiliary Constable . Active member of the Sikh Temple.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

With a proven track record of building strong working relationships in a high-paced environment gives me the professional experience to be an effective City Councilor. My community service provides me with an understanding of the needs of our residents including the most vulnerable

What are your top three issues?

Transportation - streamline traffic movement and create more opportunities thru incentives to use buses

Homelessness- finding solutions that are long-term with proper supports where needed

Affordability- creating an affordable city for residents and businesses. City leading by example thru fiscal responsibility

Edison Kahakauwila

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I have served on both community and professional boards. I am currently in my 7th year serving as governance chair of the Vancouver Island Film & Media Commission. I also have been a liaison for industry partners in the creation of the Passenger Transportation Act for British Columbia.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

First thing that came to mind was why... I believe that Victoria represents the entire region and needs to have a strong business perspective at the table. We have had two councilors retire that understood the need for business to offer balance in a growing vibrant city. Their departure left a gap that I found necessary to try and fill.

What are your top three issues?

Affordability, Transportation, Governance. The cost of running the city falls to all citizens, renters and owners, affordability starts with the city in both operations and how it sets priorities. We need to look at options for transportation that truly includes all users. The cost to change the core areas will be much higher if we don't actually find options to bike only considerations. The next council will need to get governance and planning right to provide economic stability.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

Victoria will have grown and be perhaps home to corporate headquarters that attract a vibrant cross-section of young families. We will have incorporated LRT to the city and reduced the congestion. We would have preserved neighborhoods and the heritage of the city while adding to the areas that seek enhancements.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

I'd like to work on attracting reliable green businesses to Victoria. I'd work with my fellow colleagues on strategies to promote Victoria as "open for responsible business".

Anna King

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Anna King has nearly 15 years of experience in the nonprofit industry providing humanitarian aid overseas and specializing in fundraising locally. Anna has previous work experience on Parliament Hill in Ottawa where she was a parliamentary assistant to a Member of Parliament. In Victoria, Anna has volunteered at the Mustard Seed, Dandelion Society, and Living Edge communities.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

Anna King is running for city council to reflect the growing diversity of Victoria. Our city is changing and she represents that change. Over 40% of Victoria residents are under 35. Anna King is standing up for an under-represented generation whose lives and families are affected daily by affordability issues in Victoria. It is her hope that the City of Victoria is can be a place where people are welcomed and find a sense of belonging no matter age, ability, or socio-economic circumstance.

What are your top three issues?

Housing - We need to build more housing to meet the growing demands of the people who live, work, and play in the City of Victoria.

Efficient public transit - With a growing population and increasing urgency of climate change, Victoria and the CRD must provide efficient and affordable public transit.

Poverty & Homelessness - The city, along with provincial and federal governments, must provide increased recovery homes and support services for the most vulnerable in our community.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

In 25 years, people of every age and stage are thriving in Victoria. Couples need not leave the city in order find a home for their families. Youth are able to find fulfilling professional careers that allow them to afford a place to live. Seniors who rent have housing security and not fear eviction. There's an increase in cycling and use of public transit as an everyday means of commuting and recreation. The homeless are integrated in neighbourhoods where they are cared for and welcomed.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

We need opportunities to integrate youth and seniors, the rich and the poor, the abled and the differently-abled, and the old-timers and the newcomers. It is my hope that we can each extend our personal circles to include others different from ourselves because we each have so much to learn from one another together. Integrating social services and recreation within neighbourhoods is an important way our addresses can become communities.

Sean Leitenberg

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I am a socially conscious businessman with over 30 years of successful business experience.

I started Canada’s Reno Rebate 5 years ago after I realized the CRA was giving out false information helping nearly 1000 local residents receive $6 million dollars.

Working with Tasco Venture Management, I built rental housing in secondary markets, repurposing Schools and Hospitals into affordable Housing.

Other companies I’ve owned and operated include a Canadian record label, an independent furniture retailer and a restaurant. I run the Yellow Swing First Time Fishing Association taking underprivileged kids and seniors fishing.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I wants to lead Victoria’s City Hall into a fiscally responsible organization that is transparent and inclusive of its citizens.

I will use my experience, together with neighborhood consultation to build affordable housing for both the working families of Victoria and those in need of social assistance while protecting the character of our city.

With inclusionary leadership and a goal of democracy I am committed to making Victoria an affordable place to live with a City Hall that listens

What are your top three issues?

-Fiscal Responsibility

Taking the time to make educated decisions with proper public consultation on capital expenditures.

-Affordable Housing

Implement housing strategies that will increase the stock of affordable rental homes for Victoria’s workers and build subsidized housing with other levels of government while protecting Victoria's character.

-Addressing the Demands of Business

Increased consultation with our business community to make informed decisions on issues affecting them.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

A community that is diverse and sustainable with a mix of generations working together. Housing that is affordable and that our citizens feel safe and secure about their future. Walkable neighbourhoods were everyone knows your name and individuals do not feel alone but part of a community.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

The creation of public space that can house programs for children and seniors with music and art. A place where neighbours can work together with a common goal of increasing our well being and happiness. Where the future of our neighbourhoods can be planned, with true public input providing its residents with what they want, not just what makes the most financial sense for the developers.

Grace Lore

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I am a board member and long-time volunteer with the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, where I also serve as a senior member of the emergency response team. I have been heavily involved in the Daughters of the Vote program. I ensured that young people from across the were able to testify to House of Commons Committees and speak in the chamber in front of the Prime Minister, party leaders, members of the press and Members of Parliament.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I am motivated by the need to ensure that the experiences of families in Victoria are taken into account when decisions are made at City Council. Victoria needs more housing in our neighbourhoods and more housing that fits families. Plans for affordable and low-income housing must address the situation of families who are struggling. We need a proactive childcare strategy to build more before and after school care, as well as childcare spaces for infant and toddlers.

What are your top three issues?

It is not possible to address anything in Victoria unless we are tackling our housing crisis. A strategy for family housing and a plan to address mental health & addiction are critical to this. Childcare is also a top issue. We have just 1 licensed spot per 8 children in our city. We need a city-wide childcare action plan. A prosperous, vibrant local business scene is also key. We need to attract innovation and entrepreneurs and make sure they can build the businesses our city needs and loves.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

Victoria is changing and growing – we can address our housing crisis by building community. My vision is for a city with walkable, diverse, inclusive and multi-generational neighbourhoods. It’s a vision for diverse housing near the things families need – like school, transit, and community centres. It’s a city where reconciliation is practiced through all our actions. I see a thriving local business scene, where innovation and entrepreneurship is encouraged, and where living wages are the norm.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

I want to see a city-wide childcare strategy. Work has been under way with the Mayor’s working group and some flexible zoning for childcare strategies, but much more needs to be done. Ask any young family and they’ll tell you how critical this is. It has been one of the top three issues identified by the Victoria Chamber of Commerce. We need a strategy that address onerous and long processes at the city, extends flexible zoning, and collaborates with the school board and developers.

Jeremy Loveday

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

-Elected City of Victoria Councillor in 2014

-First-Alternate CRD Director

-Founder and Director of Victorious Voices Youth Arts Festival

-Greater Victoria Public Library Trustee

-CRD Water Commissioner

-CRD Arts Commissioner

-Founding member and liaison to City of Victoria Accessibility Working Group

-City of Victoria Youth Council liaison

-Coalition to End Homelessness Director

-Co-chair of Create Victoria Arts & Culture Masterplan Advisory Committee

-Member of Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I was raised in Victoria and I am passionate about this city. My first term on council was challenging and rewarding and I would be honoured to continue to serve. I love working with residents to solve problems and helping to bring ideas to life. It is an important time in our city - there is a growing sense of opportunity but we are also in the midst of an affordability crisis. I want to help our community prosper while fighting to make sure no one is left behind.

What are your top three issues?

1.Fighting for affordable living and making sure everyone has access to housing, childcare, transportation options and recreational opportunities

2.Building a sustainable city where we are protecting the natural environment, taking climate action, and ensuring every neighbourhood is served by parks and greenspaces

3.Cultivating healthy communities where we invest in libraries, community centres and neighbourhood initiatives and prioritize meaningful, clear, and responsive pubic consultation

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

Victoria will be a “smart city” that has embraced innovation and technology in a way that addresses the needs of residents, makes life more affordable and our city more inclusive. Families will have places to live, city infrastructure will be accessible to seniors and people with disabilities, and we will have a thriving tech sector and arts and culture scene. We will live sustainably with protections in place for the natural environment and we will be using 100% renewable energy.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Whoever is elected on October 20th will need to heal the growing “us vs them” divide in our community. My big idea is a simple one: that elected representatives work to hear and understand residents’ challenges and seek solutions reflecting the complexity of these issues. We are rarely faced with only two options, and we need critical thinking, creative problem solving, patience, and empathy for each other’s perspectives. I will bring this approach to my work on City Council and the CRD Board.

Pam Madoff

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

My community experience began with becoming involved in neighbourhood issues in the 1980s. Subsequent to that I was elected to Council and have served on the Provincial Capital Commission, the CRD Board, Royal McPherson Theatres Society, Greater Victoria Public Library Board, Victoria Civic Heritage Trust, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, Victoria Heritage Foundation and the CRD Arts Committee. Since being elected to Council I have served as liaison to most neighbourhoods in the city and have developed an intimate knowledge of each of these communities, what makes them special, the opportunities they would benefit from and the challenges that they face.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

Victoria is experiencing virtually unprecedented growth and change. I bring a breadth of experience and knowledge on a wide range of city issues that can inform Council decisions. By encouraging community involvement in the development process we can work to retain existing, affordable housing, develop new affordable housing, support new development in appropriate locations and retain the heritage character of the city while encouraging high quality new development. Perhaps most importantly, I love this city.

What are your top three issues?

Affordable Housing - the City must ensure that neighbourhood contain a wide variety of housing options to ensure that they remain diverse.

Neighbourhood Planning - the City must undertake thoughtful and engaged processes to ensure that neighbourhoods are able to determine their future and plan for appropriate growth.

Maintaining and Expanding Parks & Green Space - public green space must be provided to serve the increasing population.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

The vision that I fear is that Victoria will become home only to the wealthy as the middle class, and others, will be priced out of the housing market whether that be ownership or rental My vision would ensure that a variety of housing options would result in a city that would be one of diversity in terms of income.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

A new central library that would become a community hub for learning, gathering.

DelMar Martay

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

 

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I have found solutions, no one else is willing to try.

What are your top three issues?

Homelessness/cleaning up the Streets, lowering cost of government, providing soultions based on problem solving skills.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

Educated, prosperous, and an accepting Society

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

To prove Basic Income via Government controlled Electronic currency, works.

Sarah Potts

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

For years I’ve worked in our community on issues of affordability, inclusion, and sustainability. I hold a degree in Political Science and Human Dimensions of Climate Change, I work at Our Place Society, I am a mother, renter, political and community organizer, and former residential and emergency shelter worker. As a Co-Chair and founding member of Basic Income Victoria, I led a local campaign that resulted in the City of Victoria becoming the first municipality in Western Canada to endorse a universal guaranteed income for all Canadians.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

Housing affordability. Renters are being squeezed by higher and higher rents. Seniors are at risk of being made homeless. Young families are being priced out of the market by out-of-town investors. Small businesses are struggling to attract workers and some businesses have already had to close their doors for good. We need a City Council that will work together to address the housing crisis and help our local economy and local businesses thrive.

What are your top three issues?

Affordability: We need to address the housing crisis so that families can grow here, workers can live here, and we can protect the city’s most vulnerable. Read our plan at togethervictoria.ca

Inclusivity: People of all experiences should feel welcomed in public spaces and we need to bolster public consultations so that more voices can be included in city plans.

A Thriving City: We need to ensure fiscal discipline at City Hall so we can spend our limited resources on the biggest impact items.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

My daughter loves living here. In just a few years she wants to start university here. In 25 years I hope she is here, living in a thriving Victoria. For this to happen we need to address the housing crisis before our city becomes an untenable place to start a family, buy a home, or start a business. I also hope for a Victoria that has grown with intentional, environmentally sustainable, design and transportation networks that enhance the quality of life for the residents of this city.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

The housing crisis is not inevitable. All developers can and should be building housing that is affordable for an ordinary wage-earner. Requiring half of new developments to be affordable, and ensuring that we have a workable, realistic definition of affordability, would go a long way towards easing our housing crisis. Opportunities have been missed, but Victoria will continue to see development, and that development needs to meaningfully contribute toward solving the housing crisis.

Andrew Reeve

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Reeve has an extensive resume of volunteering, public service, and a rewarding career. Formerly the Director of Communications & Government Relations for the Trust for Sustainable Development, he now works in Communications at the Legislature. He is also Chairman of Threshold Housing Society, a local non-profit. He has served on the board of Amalgamation Yes, was a Senior Fellow at the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee, and was twice a finalist of the Vancouver Island Top 20 under 40.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I'm running for council because I believe we need more people at the decision-making table with long-term visions for the city. Current council has set a precedent of inaction on big picture items in favour of micromanaging staff and focusing on trivial issues. As someone under 30, the decisions being made today directly effect my future, and the future of the city I grew up in. Let's revitalize downtown, bring back accountability as well as fiscal responsibility, and build a prosperous future.

What are your top three issues?

Andrew's three key priorities if elected are:

1. Fiscal responsibility and management

2. Downtown revitalization and future-forward city planning

3. Government accountability and evidence-based decision making.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

My vision for the Victoria of the 2040's is a healthy and livable, amalgamated city with efficient service delivery, a vibrant and accessible downtown core, featuring happy residents and tourists alike. Families will feel safe and welcome. It will have responsibly addressed the hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure deficit from 2018 and used the opportunity to make investments in sustainable replacements and environmentally responsible upgrades. It is where I hope to raise a family.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

One of the most ambitious things the City should embark upon would be the process of zoning reform. We have 687 different zones created by council's constant spot zoning and disregard for neighbourhood plans and the Official Community Plan. In comparison to our city of less than 90,000 people, the City of Vancouver with nearly 650,000 people has less than 100 zoning codes. Let's give both homeowners and developers predictability about the future of our neighbourhoods with zoning reform.

Jordan Reichert

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I previously ran in the 2015 federal election and 2017 provincial election in Victoria. I have worked for the past nine years in mental health and addictions with Island Health, and also work for the Animal Alliance of Canada. I am also a co-founder of the Vancouver Island Vegan Association, Vegtoria Veg Fest and Pets OK BC. Over the years I have volunteered with numerous organizations such as Every Step Counts, NEED Crisis Line, BC SPCA, LifeRing Canada, RASTA Sanctuary, and Basic Income Victoria, among others.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

My motivation for running is to serve my community. Born and raised in Victoria, I have a great appreciation for this city. As an independent candidate, I want to bring an authentic voice to council that will listen to the concerns of our neighbourhoods. Addressing issues of affordability, housing, mental health and addictions, poverty, environmental and animal protection, as well as transportation are all priorities for me. I also want to restore trust and increase accountability in council.

What are your top three issues?

Affordable housing, cost of living, mental health and addictions

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

In 25 years I want to see Victoria vibrant and thriving while maintaining its character. I envision a Victoria with affordable housing, a low cost of living, and no homelessness. It will have an low-cost, low-carbon regional transportation network for all. We will have a protected environment and safe communities. Arts, culture, and creativity will flourish. In 25 years I want Victoria to feel familiar and revitalized, preserving the best of what we have while inviting in new opportunities.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Creation of an Animal Advisory Committee which would report to council through the Legislative Services department. The mandate of the Animal Advisory Committee would be to advise city council on issues relating to the status and treatment of animals within Victoria by conducting research, reporting on findings and making recommendations to council on issues relating to animal welfare for domestic animals, urban wildlife, farm animals and animals for use in entertainment.

Ted Smith

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I have worked with Inner City Youth Works Society, the Victoria Street Community Association, the greater Victoria Community Economic Development Association, the CRUNCH Initiative, the Bent Nail, the Victoria International Development and Education Association and Concerned Citizens for Clean Energy in the past.  For the last few decades I have focused on helping patients obtain cannabis products with my work at the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club. Most of my work has been to protect vulnerable citizens from poor laws and provide them with opportunities to become more capable of caring for themselves and others.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

It is very important that the transition of cannabis from an illegal industry to a legal market is properly, maximizing job creation while addressing any health and public nuisance issues that arise from its use.  No one in government on any level has direct experience in this industry and it will be my task to inform the process towards rational and practical solutions that will keep all stakeholders happy.  Moreover, I see myself being an advocate for the poor, vulnerable and marginalized, as other levels of government are failing in their responsibilities, leaving people dying in our streets. 

What are your top three issues?

Smooth transition of cannabis into legal regulations, including smoking lounges, cannabis restaurants, large herb-focused festivals, cannabis tourism and other related activities.

High density housing with a rapid transit route along Douglas Street from downtown to the Saanich border. The city could encourage the development of buildings with expensive condos on the top floors, and affordable housing, seniors housing, social programs and retail below.

A youth center for 18-29 year olds to gain work experience and life skills needs to be built, financially independent of government so it is not too bureaucratic but with the assistance of government in other forms.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

Victoria will continue to lead the world in quality of life, with beautiful neighbourhoods full of public amenities.  We will be world leaders in issues of accessibility, while being known for our compassionate treatment of marginalized communities.  By encouraging a strong presence of first Nations Peoples in our community, we will lead the way out of our dark colonialist past into a bright multicultural future.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Over the next four years I will be laying the groundwork for an integrated street youth project that will provide them with a place to learn skills, earn a  small amount of cash, a safe place to stay and provide them with a sense of community.  In my second term we will put the shovels in the ground and get this project up and running.

Douglas Stewart

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Co-chair of the John A. Macdonald for Mayor Campaign, past president of the Tough Love Society

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

We need less ideology and virtue signaling at city hall and more practical solutions.

What are your top three issues?

1. Overdevelopment

2. Free Speech

3. Corruption

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

I hope in 25 years time that Victoria will still retain some of its charm, that one will still be able to play frisbee at Beacon Hill Park and not all houses in Rockland will be modern. We need to respect what makes Victoria special - warts and all - and not turn the city into some generic metropolis.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

When Lisa Helps announced that she was to seek re-election, my big idea was to write a spoof of the goings-on at City Hall.

Check it out at citycouncilconfidential.com

If I can make you laugh, consider voting for me on October 20th.

William Tate

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Elected to the Community Resources Advisory Board (CRAB), Fairview-Mt. Pleasant area of Vancouver, BC, 1974 during Dave Barrette's BC Provincial Government. Responsible for all community grants and social services in the area. The board was terminated by the Bill Bennett govt. elected 1975.Our first program was dental care for children.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

Time for a change. Present mayor and council seem to cater to special interests and groups. My wide and varied background as a teacher, researcher, journalist, longshoreman, and retail, and working with people from a variety of backgrounds, such as Professionals, First Nations, disabled, tradesmen, and retail give me a strong background to deal with the varied issues of the city.

What are your top three issues?

1. Affordable housing for low income families and workers, housing the homeless

2. Supporting the arts community

3. Dealing with major social issues such as addiction and mental health, by working with the province to provide adequate services.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

A vital arts community, no more homelessness, and a community that all residents enjoy and support.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Ferry to West Shores to reduce the number of cars coming into the city every day to work.

Charlayne Thornton-Joe

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

Past: President of the Inter-Cultural Association and Director on the Women's Transition House and Lion's Society for Children with Disabilities.

Present: Executive on the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness and Chair of the Regional Housing Trust Fund.

Created the first Cold Weather Shelter, now a funded program called the Extreme Weather Protocol providing more shelter spots during extreme weather.

Animal welfare work with the SPCA has led the City of Victoria to be recognized as having the best animal welfare bylaws in the Region.

Involved with Canada Day celebrations for 18 years and created the annual Living Flag.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I believe I still have more to offer to the citizens, businesses, and visitors of Victoria. As an independent candidate, I bring a pragmatic balance to the decisions made at the Council table. I am known for being hardworking, and that I listen and gather all the information and make the best decision I can for the benefit of the community. I am told that my approach, my ability to work in a collaborative way and my caring nature is an asset at the Council table.

What are your top three issues?

1. Affordability: There are many solutions that need to brought forward and we must continue to bring partners to the table to make housing affordable for all.

2. Aging infrastructure: We have to work to receive funding from other levels of government to assist with the necessary repairs or replacement.

3. Safety: Continue to work towards the concerns of safety, whether it pertains to transportation, late night bar issues or issues involving mental health and addictions.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

My vision is a community and Capital City that has housing for all income levels. That emergency shelters are there for short term, for those who need them to help get back on their feet as they get assistance. That we have the right kind and the right quantity of supports for those with mental health and addiction issues. That our air and water quality still remains very high and that people continue to want to live, work and visit Victoria and have every opportunity to do so.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

My "big idea" or dream is to have a Chinese Historic Museum in our Chinatown---the oldest in Canada. The other is to have a much needed park in downtown which will include green space, a fenced dog park and a playground for children.

Geoff Young

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I have served many years on Victoria Council, though not continuously. I have also served as Capital Regional Board chair. I am a partner in an economic consulting business in downtown Victoria. My spouse and I raised our family in James Bay and Fairfield.

Why are you running? What's your motivation?

I feel the Council needs an independent and balanced viewpoint. As an economist I have been concerned about spending levels and the resulting residential and business tax rates. I recognize that Victoria must do its part to provide affordable housing, but want to preserve the liveability of our traditional residential neighbourhoods. I have become very concerned about the impact of downtown social service providers on downtown residents and visitors.

What are your top three issues?

Zoning and planning in residential neighbourhoods to allow for availability of modestly -priced housing while maintaining the liveability of our neighbourhoods.

Need to increase levels of support for treatment of mental health and addictions in order to reduce the impact of homelessness on residents and visitors.

Sound budgeting and focussing of spending and staff time on core services.

What's your vision for your community in 25 years?

A vibrant downtown with housing, shopping and entertainment, urban villages that are lively at a smaller scale, increase in medium density housing near both downtown and villages, but retaining many of the low-scale traditional neighbourhoods that some of us are happy to live in.

What's one "big idea" you have for your community?

Several: Rapid bus systems serving the suburban areas and our hospitals and education centers to minimize parking pressures downtown; housing combined with needed parking on some current surface parking lots; development of inner harbour parking lots to provide economic activity and even some parking rather than simple landscaping.

Policy and positions

We asked candidates to share positions on some of key issues facing communities and how they hope to address them. Here are their answers, organized by topic.

Click on a link to jump to that section:

Amalgamation

Gary Alberts

We should be looking at it. Are we being efficient with taxpayer money? In 2014 88% of Victoria residents voted yes to study amalgamation. No progress has been made in four years on this issue. Current Mayor and Council are again putting an Amalgamation question on the October ballot. It is time for a New Mayor and a New Council to deal with what 88% of the voters asked for.

Marianne Alto

I believe some amalgamation within the region will produce better land use and transportation planning, and better service delivery. I support having an informed conversation about the pros and cons of amalgamation, and will vote yes on establishing a citizens’ assembly to do just that. Whatever residents choose, I will support.

Stephen Andrew

While I do not believe amalgamation will reap major savings, I see the potential for the better delivery of services across the region. We can remove duplication of operations and redeploy any savings to provide more services, a wider array of options for affordable housing and to open our region to more avenues of government funding and partnerships.

Darlene Archibald

I am in support of amalgamated services. I see that there are 4 natural fits for municipalities to group together. I am not in support of Saanich and Victoria joining together at this time but I may change my mind as new information becomes known.

Vote yes to explore how amalgamation will or will not work for the city.

Laurel Collins

Municipal politicians should not be making the decisions on full amalgamation as the outcome directly affects their employment, and it is a conflict of interest. I think that there should be a citizen’s assembly and an arms-length body to support the decision making process on amalgamation. I personally support increased sharing of services, and the amalgamation of regional policing with Oak Bay, Saanich and Central Saanich Police Departments to reduce costs and improve public safety.

Sharmarke Dubow

I do not support merging cities without fully understanding which communities may be merged and what the goals are. Instead, I support forming a citizen’s assembly to study amalgamation and I support merging Saanich, Oak Bay, and Victoria Police Departments. I also support increasing the CRD’s role to improve regional services.

In many Canadian cities, amalgamation has not led to better services or cost-savings. Amalgamation may also limit the time officials have to spend on local issues.

Steve Filipovic

No way. CETA is an International Trade Agreement that we are signed into, it places City Services for Contract bidding. Amalgamation is being set up to serve our then larger City to Multinational Firms who will be bidding on services like Garbage Collecting, we will be obligated to accept the lowest bid, leaving our region without executive jobs. There is no cost savings to be had but much to lose. For this reason is it better to remain independent & continue to work together through the CRD.

Marg Gardiner

I'm a founding member of Amalgamation Yes and a Director. In 2014, Victoria and Saanich residents voted for an amalgamation study. While residents of most areas voted for study, only Victoria and Saanich are moving forward.

Analysis of two municipalities, separately and as one city, will be more easily understood. The Citizens Assembly process will result in randomly selected residents from Saanich and Victoria assessing reports and making recommendations; it is 'Worth the Study'.

Riga Godron

Do the other municipalities need to pay their fair share for policing regional festivals? Yes. Should the municipalities that benefit from BC transit equally contribute to the infrastructure? Yes. In 2014, the representatives from Amalgamation Yes kept referring to Surrey as having a similar population as Greater Victoria, and using it as a model for streamling services. I do not want to live in Surrey. The RCMP has 500 members patrolling that City because of all the gang shootings. No thanks.

James Harasymow

Hoping one day our neighbors will see the strength of working together and all the things that could be gained from combined effort. If elected I will try to seduce them by making Victoria so wonderful they will have no choice but to become one with the Jedi, um, I mean our cool city!

Rose Henry

of essential services such as emergency services for disasters

Ben Isitt

I strongly support amalgamation of police services in the Capital Region, which accounts for more than 1/3rd of City of Victoria taxes. I believe amalgamation of police services would increase public safety and improve efficiency. I also favour exploring amalgamation of additional services through the CRD, with reform of CRD governance to increase accountability, including direct election of directors and representation of First Nations. I support retaining municipal authority over land use.

Jesse Jimenez

Early in life, I learned divided you fall and together you conquer. Having different cities and towns create division and dissonance among the residents. City planners design, implement and maintain more adroitly well-coordinated transportation, communication, water supply and sanitary systems in a unified network. The residents will benefit the most if the well thought out systems were executed. The amalgamation should be viewed as marriage of equal entities rather than corporate takeover.

Randie Johal

Amalgamation of Victoria and Saanich will give our new city of 200,000 residents a much stronger voice in our region and with provincial and federal governments. Efficiencies in delivery of services will be created through amalgamation.

Edison Kahakauwila

This topic is best proposed to the provincially elected candidates and the electorate by referendum. My personal views is that our current system should insure that regional considerations not be lost by local autonomy. I am not convinced a larger bureaucratic mega city is the answer and have concerns about the operational cost and effectiveness of the CRD.

Anna King

Yes, Anna King believes that the citizens assembly to consider amalgamation is a good step forward. The municipalities of Victoria and Saanich are similar and there are many opportunities for more streamlined communication and efficiencies that may result in cost savings for both municipalities.

Sean Leitenberg

I believe in an amalgamation that will help share the costs of services. We still need our separate municipalities though to continue to govern their growth and character.

Grace Lore

I support the referendum question for a citizens assembly. I believe that there is a serious need for a more coordinated strategy on housing and transportation in the CRD. I believe there are also benefits to be gained from police and fire services shared across the region.

Jeremy Loveday

I support enhanced regional cooperation including the creation of a Regional Transportation Authority and the amalgamation of emergency services.

Amalgamation has been discussed for decades and I support finally having an independent, objective study of its benefits and drawbacks. While I personally lean towards favouring amalgamation of core municipalities, I will respect the wishes of residents as shown through the referendum question on the ballot in this election.

Pam Madoff

Many of the goals associated with amalgamation could be realized through integrated service delivery. Amalgamation has not been shown to result in cost reductions. Emphasis should be placed on efficient service delivery. The advantages, and disadvantages, of amalgamation must be clearly understood before moving in this direction

DelMar Martay

Sharing information and costs to be more affordable

Sarah Potts

A properly constituted citizen’s assembly can be an effective way to examine this highly politicized issue. In addition to examining the costs and benefits of full amalgamation with Saanich, I support moving quickly to improve public safety and reduce costs by amalgamating the Victoria, Oak Bay, and Saanich police departments.

Andrew Reeve

Having served on the board of Amalgamation Yes, my position on this issue is clear. I am in favour of amalgamation, however I am not in favour of reducing 13 municipalities to a single super city. Reducing to four like the Peninsula/Core/Westshore/Sooke model would be ideal as it ensures local competition, respects some regional diversity, and would ensure greater accountability with four mayors as the face of the CRD.

Jordan Reichert

To support this, I would need to see a clear desire from the communities involved to undertake such a bureaucratic and cultural shift. At this point, it has not been an issue that people I have spoken with in the community have expressed concern about.

Ted Smith

Joining the municipalities together makes sense but it needs to be done slowly and carefully. By far the biggest problem to be faced is making sure that neighbourhoods have plenty of opportunity to have input on developments.

Douglas Stewart

I'm against amalgamation because I believe it is easier to drown out individual voices when institutions become too large. Also, I have serious doubts that there will be significant cost savings.

William Tate

I feel Amalgamation would streamline and coordinate services such as police, fire, and other services which the Greater Victoria area share.

Charlayne Thornton-Joe

I am supportive of finding ways to reduce costs and duplication. If it is found that Amalgamation achieves this and the citizens are supportive then I can support this. If not, then I believe we can still find efficiencies in at least the amalgamation of some services.

Geoff Young

The Citizens' Assembly, if approved, will allow a fuller look at amalgamation with Saanich, but I think the informal polls carried out last election showed a clear preference to reduce the large number of small municipalities sharing the governance of our modest sized city of Greater Victoria. A single larger municipality would allow voters to know and select their mayor and councillors with better information, and would allow leaders to negotiate better with federal and provincial governments.

Transportation

Gary Alberts

Bicycle lanes should not interfere with buses, vehicles or pedestrians. We all need to share the roads. The current designs on Pandora Ave and Fort St need changes. As a City Councillor, I will consult with Business owners, BC Transit, Delivery drivers, Pedestrians, and Bicyclists before we begin anymore construction. With a new Mayor and New Council, I will place a moratorium on further expansion, including the lanes on Wharf St., of bike lanes until proper consultation has taken place.

Marianne Alto

As the City and region grow, we must act now to create balanced options for transit riders, motorists, pedestrians, cyclists (electric and manual), embracing new sustainable solutions. We can create a regional transportation planning and operations commission, press for more buses on City and inter-City routes, offer free parking in public parkades for EVs, designate more anchor parking spots for car share, to start.

Stephen Andrew

In Victoria we struggle to overcome the divisiveness of cycling infrastructure. Improved consultation and leadership that does not create an “use and them” approach. We need balance for all options. We need more parking downtown. Every time we remove parking we lose revenue and space for cars. I want to see larger and increased disability parking. We must also look to create an effective regional transportation plan.

Darlene Archibald

"All methods of travel need to be accommodated; pedestrians, cars, bus, wheelchair and bikes. Each of us deserves to arrive safely to our destinations.

We need adequate parking. I am not supportive of parking variances. All developments need at least one visitor spot to allow for deliveries, services or supports. I am in support of carshare memberships and developments that purchase cars and memberships for the people living in their buildings. I love to see families on the bike lanes. "

Laurel Collins

I will work with BC Transit to reduce bus fares and improve routes. I support removing fares for youth, as a way to build a life-long relationship with public transit. I will push for improved walkability, for additional bus shelters and benches, and for bike storage on municipal property. On the CRD, I will advocate for light rail, and in the short term I will work to complete the rapid transit link to the West Shore, expanding infrastructure to support faster movement of buses in the region.

Sharmarke Dubow

I support removal of fares for youth under 18 as a measure to build habits of riding public transit and to provide a break for parents. We need to also look at more affordable passes for low-income people and other incentives that will get people to choose the bus over commuting by car. In addition, I will work to complete the rapid transit link to the West Shore and expand the infrastructure to support faster movement of buses throughout the region.

Steve Filipovic

Investment is Transit serves Victoria well. We have got to keep Victoria moving. I'd like to see Victoria invest in Buses fit with the necessary hardware so they can adapt to riding the rails! They could use the E&N rail line and bring people from the Western Communities into Victoria then return on the highway. Doing the loops the opposite way for the evening rush hours. This could greatly reduce the need for traffic into Victoria & build a business case for re-invigorating Train Service.

Marg Gardiner

"I support the City's transportation hierarchy; policies must consider needs of all users of our streets (sidewalks and roadways); accessibility for those with mobility challenges must be met.

Large vehicle fleets (BC Transit and commercial large vehicle transport) should be pressed to convert or set-targets for lower emission vehicles. Walking should be promoted, and new cycle routes (lanes) should serve neighbourhood needs."

Riga Godron

The City of Victoria cannot pass By-Law to force all residents to use the same 'people powered vehicles.' Just because Canada has a National Health Act and we all enjoy the benefit of knowing that if we injure our heads the tax payers will pay to put us back together, that does not mean that the Federal or Provincial government can force the wearing of helmets when not lying in bed. Should people ride bikes? If people want to ride bikes. Do not force your bike riding lifestyle on others.

James Harasymow

Amalgamation. Only as one can we get this done. Somebody hash tag that. Group think or we will sink. I could do this all day...

Rose Henry

needs to be affordable and accessible for everyone

Ben Isitt

I support the creation of a Regional Transportation Authority with responsibility for transportation planning and operations, transitioning toward high-quality, low-fare, energy-efficient public transit throughout the region to make transit the mode of choice for longer trips. I support investment in walking and cycling infrastructure to make active transportation safe, efficient and enjoyable. I support renewal of rail transport on the Island and mandating EV charging in new developments.

Jesse Jimenez

Transportation is a basic element needed in the prosperity of a city. The rate of transferring goods, workers and service providers in and out of the city determines the growth of that city. The faster goods are transported to the production site the more products are produce that can be sold and bought. The faster the employees get to their jobs and go home with minimal stress the better they will produce products or services. City of Victoria does not have full control of this system.

Randie Johal

Transportation is key to our future, suggested improvements should focus on: Ensuring safe and maneuverable roadways for all modes of travel. Synchronized lights for improved traffic flow. Greater attention to repairs and maintenance to all roads.

Edison Kahakauwila

The CRD must tackle this as it’s not going to get better and study after study kicks the can down the road with huge costs. The city has tried to find some alternative measures but has actually caused more congestion and difficulty for delivery and transit operators in core areas. We have a city that requires all modes of transportation to work we have a population that needs parking to support our local businesses. If we are to truly find long term solutions we need to consider some LRT routes.

Anna King

Efficient transportation is needed in Victoria. Some ways to increase efficiency is to have dedicated bus lanes during rush hour, having GPS tracking info on buses publicly available to passengers to plan trips accordingly, and exploring the feasibility of a light rail along the existing rail line. Further, reviewing the bus transfer/ticketing system, especially for low-income passengers is essential in increasing overall affordability for families in Victoria.

Sean Leitenberg

We need to increase our public transportation, by creating a bus system within the city with areas on the outskirts of the downtown to park your vehicle or bike and take a bus into the city for free. These buses will run frequently and on a dependable schedule.

Grace Lore

Public transportation is critical to a healthy and equitable city. I will support free transit for children and pursue a sliding scale for those with low incomes as has been done successfully in other cities. Active transportation makes for healthy communities and families, and walkable neighbourhoods increase support for local businesses in the area.

Jeremy Loveday

Getting from one neighbourhood to another should be safe and convenient no matter what mode of transportation you choose. To accomplish this we need to invest in active transportation including upgrades to improve pedestrian safety, and moving forward with safe and well-planned cycling infrastructure. I will advocate for the creation of a Regional Transportation Authority and for investments in public transit to lower user costs and increase ridership by improving frequency of service.

Pam Madoff

A focus on integrated, affordable, transportation options. Utilizing the opportunities provided by the E&N corridor.

DelMar Martay

More park and ride with Buses

Sarah Potts

There are no school buses for public school students in Victoria. To give parents a break, and get more cars out of rush hour traffic, I support free youth bus passes. I would make transit more affordable for low income earners by way of sliding-scale passes. To get people moving efficiently through the region, I would install high occupancy vehicle lanes, complete the rapid transit link to the West Shore, and expand the infrastructure to support faster movement of buses throughout the region.

Andrew Reeve

Transportation is a common theme on the doorsteps. People are frustrated with downtown congestion, the lack of parking, poorly-designed bike lanes, and unreliable public transit. I believe the city has failed to listen to these concerns. When I talk about the need for a city that works for everyone, I mean everyone. Drivers, cyclists, transit-users, pedestrians, and those with mobility issues all need to feel safe and welcome throughout Victoria. We need to do better.

Jordan Reichert

I have heard from many people in the community that they find it difficult to get around Victoria by public transit. By advocating for a Regional Transit Authority, I would bring about a comprehensive, environmentally sustainable, affordable, safe, and efficient transit network that served the needs of our neighbourhoods in and between municipalities. I will also support enhancing active transportation including improvement of sidewalks and crosswalks, and a region wide bike network.

Ted Smith

We desperately need a rapid transit system to Langford and a working, daily rail system bringing workers, shoppers and tourists into downtown. This would dramatically improve the business climate in the downtown core, help the environment, save travellers time and be safer than pouring all of our money into highway improvements. We need low budget bike lanes. We need sound signals on all lights and crosswalks for the visually impaired.

Douglas Stewart

We need to make downtown more accessible whatever your preferred mode of transportation. Fifteen hundred parking stalls have been removed from the core since 2010. This does not encourage people to shop downtown.

William Tate

Have a few more buses, explore new ideas such as a ferry to Colwood.

Charlayne Thornton-Joe

We need to support and improve all modes of transportation. Transportation and affordability are tied together as we need to make it easier for people to live close to where they work so that travelling to and from work is quicker and easier. We need to improve transit (timing and routes) to encourage more people to use. We also need more late night transit to assist in getting late night workers and shift workers to and from work.

Geoff Young

Dedicated bus lanes to the western communities will help alleviate the congestion on our highways by creating more bus commuters. Safer bike routes will also divert commuters to that mode. I do feel we moved ahead too quickly after the Pandora bike path was completed and should have paused to gain more experience on how well bike paths work, what can be improved and how they can be built more economically. Construction markets are tight right now and delay might have produced lower costs.

Affordability

Gary Alberts

As a Councillor I would shorten the time it takes for Building Permits to be issued. Delays add to developers costs resulting in higher home prices. I would encourage developers to get funding from the Government of Canada and their Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi). A new Mayor and New Council should make more land available for organizations to take advanatage of the CRD's Regional Housing First Program (RHFP)

Marianne Alto

Continue neighbourhood planning with measured densification, balance growth with affordability and livability, review Local Area Plans every 5 years, incent large home conversions to multi-suites, reinstitute a secondary suite grant program, allow garden suites on lots with legal secondary suites, incent co-operative housing, explore subsidies, tax deferments, and other programs to support new home renters/buyers, pilot a project matching seniors with eligible lodgers, to start.

Stephen Andrew

I want to tackle affordability through a number of paths. Reduce property taxes, any increase makes our city more expensive. More units that entry homebuyers, young families and lower income members can afford. Work with experts in the field such as the Greater Victoria Housing Society and Pacifica Housing. I support opportunities to offer tax incentives for residents who want to add rental suites or studios. This could include a period of relief from the increase in property taxes

Darlene Archibald

It is important that we pay attention to the impacts of developments and how they increase the value of surrounding areas, therefore potentially make housing less attainable. The idea of affordability is relative. Encouraging high paying jobs is something we could look at attracting to our city while increasing services to support lower income groups.

Laurel Collins

We have a detailed housing plan to tackle the housing crisis on our website. I am committed to ensuring that at least 50% of all new housing built is affordable, tying the definition of affordability to people’s income, as 10-15% below market value is not affordable for many. On council, I would use the new rental zoning powers to protect and expand rentals by 4,000 units. We also need to support families by building 3+ bedroom units and increasing the number of childcare spaces available.

Sharmarke Dubow

I propose addressing affordable housing crisis by: requiring that at least 50% of all new housing be affordable; using new rental zoning powers to protect and expand rentals by 4,000 units; and building 6,000 new units of affordable housing for workers, families, seniors and people transitioning out of homelessness. Beyond housing, I propose reducing bus fares to make transit more affordable and ensuring we have new childcare spaces, playgrounds, and 3+ bedroom units.

Steve Filipovic

Housing pays for itself. Ownership housing is the cheapest form of housing. Yet most of the affordability programs are aimed at renters & the subsidies go to landlords. This isn't a fix. Victoria needs to step up & Create a Partnership Program assisting long term renters with good credit ratings into Ownership Opportunities as an Investment.This is a win win win, as the City gets its investment, the people get opportunity to own, & pressure on rental market should subside in Victoria.

Marg Gardiner

Housing costs beyond reach. 5000+ units, approved or being prepared, may ease crunch. $90 Million Federal/provincial/CRD funding addressing affordability is good; Nigel Valley project (796 affordable-supportive) serves Saanich & Victoria. Inclusionary housing will help. 25% condos provide rental. Impact of AirB’n’Bs is evident, and must be addressed. CRD family housing could be expanded. Tenant affordability may be eased with reintroduction of a 'renters grant' similar to the homeowners grant.

Riga Godron

The City of Victoria can and should do everything in its power to alleviate the skyrocketing cost of living. People who have worked and lived in Victoria for many years can not afford to stay in this municipality. The City of Victoria should be investing in housing diversity for multiple types of households. The City could help in all the areas that are of difficulty for residents trying to make ends meet: housing, childcare, parking, transportation, etcetera.

James Harasymow

We need solutions to housing now. Homes for seniors and people who work, not more million dollar condos. The solution is nano-housing. I recommend dense housing close to the downtown cores amenities and employment opportunities. Ultra space saving units with beautiful common spaces like gardens, theaters, cafes and gyms. The key is fitting several units into the same space as a traditional one bedroom.

Rose Henry

of...? housing as a way to prevent homelessness

Ben Isitt

I support Victoria playing a leadership role in acquiring land to facilitate provincial and federal investment in affordable, nonmarket housing for seniors, youth and working families. I support strong inclusionary zoning policies to mandate affordability in new projects. I support fiscal restraint in policing expenditures, to limit the financial impact on taxpayers. I support partnerships with all levels of government to increase access to nutritious local food and reduce child care costs.

Jesse Jimenez

Affordability is determined by the amount of money one has. Money is created and controlled by people and not by nature. In an insane community, money is horded by few individuals, thereby creating lack or scarcity to others. In a sane community, money is shared for the benefit of everybody. In order to raise the income of workers, industries are needed to start and flourish here.

Randie Johal

Work with neighborhoods to encourage them to be more receptive for new and expanded housing opportunities

Edison Kahakauwila

This is a position based question as affordability is a moving target. We can and should think before we spend as we have many renters and home owners that become marginalized by simple tax increases. I believe public projects should incorporate opportunities to save tax dollars and offset their cost thereby reducing the cost to the tax payer. City council has the tools to reduce paperwork, reduce building code duplications and allow tax holiday options for purpose built facilities.

Anna King

Housing across the spectrum needs to be built in order to meet the demands of a growing population. Victoria needs affordable housing suitable for young families (2-3 BR units) especially. Increased childcare options are also necessary as there are heightened wait lists and high costs associated with childcare. Rezoning single detached homes into duplexes, quadplexes, coops, and small townhomes in all areas of Victoria will increase the number of units available overall.

Sean Leitenberg

My 20-20-20 plan for affordable housing would demand that 20% of all new homes in multi-unit projects be made available for 20% below market rent for 20 years or more. Victoria has missed the opportunity over the last 4 years to demand more below market rental units. These properties have been in the hands of private landowners for years and once plans are approved, the ability for Victoria to receive additional benefit from them is lost forever.

Grace Lore

My top priorities on affordability are more attainable housing in neighbourhoods. We need to build more housing near schools and on transportation routes, and plans for development should include incentives and requirements for affordable, family-friendly units. Childcare is also critical to an affordability plan. I have spoken to many families who have lost or had to leave employment because they lack access to safe, reliable care. I will push for a city-wide action plan on this issue.

Jeremy Loveday

Affordability is my top priority. We must act now to make sure Victoria doesn’t become like Vancouver or San Francisco. I will continue to stand up for housing rights, protecting existing rental stock, and boldy expanding non-market housing options. I pushed for inclusionary zoning which will see 15 percent of new large developments downtown designated as affordable rental housing. More needs to be done to ensure development works for residents and creates affordable and appropriate housing.

Pam Madoff

Take advantage of partnership opportunities to create affordable housing units. Retain existing affordable units. Incentivize adding units to existing building stock. Support projects that offer a variety of housing options.

DelMar Martay

Implementation my Solutions to end homelessness and poverty

Sarah Potts

Affordability is a word I hear on nearly every doorstep, but, with respect, the housing crisis has not been a priority for all current councillors. Inaction has meant that we, unlike surrounding municipalities, have missed out on the community amenity contributions that, by now, could have built hundreds of units of affordable housing. We need a council that will demand our fair share from developers and ensure Victoria does not become the next Vancouver.

Andrew Reeve

Affordability is on most people's minds this election, but it means something different to nearly everyone I speak with. To some, it's the lack of affordable housing. To others it is the lack of affordable transit, or rental availability, or even the high cost of goods and gas. Victoria needs to spend more time and resources listening and responding to these real affordability concerns of residents instead of spending tax dollars on unnecessary things such as musical parkade stairwells.

Jordan Reichert

Affordability is what I've heard from people in the community as the number one issue affecting them. Whether it is lack of affordable housing or the cost of living, people are struggling to make ends meet in Victoria. I want to change this by mandating and supporting affordable housing buildings and rental units across the city. I will also advocate to the province to freeze rent increases and for a guaranteed living wage to be trialed in Victoria.

Ted Smith

Every large development should be required to have a section of affordable housing and other amenities. Protecting existing affordable housing and only allowing redevelopment when there is an increase in affordable housing is also important.

Douglas Stewart

The only reason Victoria has a housing crisis is the government/banking system/real estate industry has conspired to put the interests of foreigners ahead of the needs of Canadians. The corrupt immigration system needs to be completely overhauled, investor programs/scams eliminated, and money laundering brought under control.

William Tate

Require affordable housing included in new developments, protect existing residents from renovictions

Charlayne Thornton-Joe

We have been struggling with the issue of affordability for many years as other levels of government were not at the table to assist with the building of affordable and/or rental housing. More affordable housing is now being built throughout the Region but not at the pace that is needed. We need more affordable housing for populations such as families, students and seniors. We need to protect from renovictions, and we need more supportive housing spread out throughout the Region.

Geoff Young

New federal and Provincial funding will help create new units in buildings that house people of different income levels. The private sector is also creating hundreds of new units, and fairer assessment practices would encourage some units now used as hotel rooms to be transitioned to residential use. However, we must not forget that many of our most affordable units are found in suites and carriage houses in traditional residential neighbourhoods, and redevelopment may mean loss of these.

Homelessness

Gary Alberts

The provincial government spent $3 million in legal fees and site cleanup after homeless people camped on the Victoria courthouse lawn in 2016. Money that could have been targeted at the root of the problem, chronic poverty and homelessness. We need programs aimed at giving our less fortunate residents a chance to break the cycle and become contributing members of the city. With a new Mayor and New Council I will get the CRD, VIHA, the BC Govt. and the Federal Govt. to provide the beds needed.

Marianne Alto

Homeless Victorians need our compassion and action, while we build more homes and increase economic parity, public safety and effective social service delivery. We can help facilitate harm reduction training and professional development, foster additional harm reduction services in the region, facilitate enhanced palliative and elder care services, construct a supportive housing policy to distribute units throughout the city, to start.

Stephen Andrew

Almost 600 people in the CRD are identified as Absolutely Homeless. Working with organizations such as the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, we will implement a proven Housing First strategy to shelter every one of them within the CRD and eliminate the need to sleep in parks and on the street.

Tent cities, piecemeal approaches and short-term plans are not acceptable. For the health of everyone, we must ensure lasting safety, dignity and hope for our most underserved.


Darlene Archibald

All people should be housed. There are some that are not able to be responsible enough for themselves to allow them to live alone or unsupported. Demanding Federal and Provincial support is essential in addressing this need.

Changing zoning and making suites legal will help by increasing the rental stock.

Laurel Collins

support a Housing First approach that prioritizes getting people off of the streets. We need both long term and immediate solutions, and housing is one vital step. We need pathways to treatment and recovery for those struggling with addiction. I am committed to addressing youth homelessness by providing 150 new housing units for youth. I would advocate for increased shelter spaces, and I support establishing an emergency response fund for community responses to the opioid crisis.

Sharmarke Dubow

It is a deadly time for people living on the streets: in 2017, 82 people were killed by fentanyl. The best solution to homelessness will always be a home. I support a Housing First approach that gets people off of the streets and into pathways to treatment and recovery. I want to triple the targeted future social housing developments from 2,000 to 6,000 units by leveraging regional, provincial and federal funding, and I will advocate that the over 150 homeless youth in Victoria are prioritized.

Steve Filipovic

The situation was created by actions of an outgoing NDP Gov & the inactions of the incoming Liberal Gov, in closing mental health facilities. A Temporary but Proper support facility complete with wash rooms and a common Kitchen could to be place on Provincial property. The City could raise Accommodation Taxes to pay for it. Once it is set up with proper supports & agreed to rules, we can get our Parks back knowing the people are cared for & immense pressures are on Provincial Level to act.

Marg Gardiner

Eliminating homelessness for the City, region, or country, is an impossible task. The end-line keeps moving. Tenting must be permitted when shelter beds are not available. That does not mean 'tent cities'. The City can't solve local

homelessness by itself. It has neither fiscal capacity nor land-base to house everyone who wants to live here. The main responsibility lies with the federal and provincial governments; the City must send problems to these governments.

Riga Godron

Build 20% low-income housing units in every high end luxury building. Get away from the model where we green light gentrification. Where we allow highly expensive housing to be built. Where we allow residents to be renovicted from affordable housing. Where we think it is alright to build low-income housing separate from high end units. Homeless people are not only individuals on income assistance. Families need affordable housing options too. The City of Victoria should capture more amenities.

James Harasymow

Addictions and mental illness ere the real issue when it comes to homelessness. We need facilities to help with these issues.

Rose Henry

we need to work on preventing this situation from getting of control. The downtown core should not have to carry the brunt of all services such as food banks , shelters and health care nor should the un-housed be moved around like farm stock. They need a place to store their possessions during the day while taking care of their most basic needs...like health, hygiene, jobs and finding shelter.

Ben Isitt

I support implementation of the Regional Housing First Program, to ensure housing with supports for people in need. I spearheaded this new regional program, harnessing $60-million in provincial and federal funds alongside $30-million for all municipalities and electoral areas in the region. A key component of this program is provincial operating funds for 24/7 staffing, to ensure people have the support they need to remain stably housed and supported in leading healthy lives.

Jesse Jimenez

The physical, emotional, mental and spiritual anguish that bears with this condition must be extremely unpalatable for anyone to experience. Unfortunately, we have several individuals amongst us who are tolerating this. This situation has plagued cities for centuries and it is still not fully understood with remedies readily available. We cannot just discard them as they are sentient beings. I think that the first step is to have a real communication with them to solicit a workable solution.

Randie Johal

Following models of Nigel Valley Neighborhood and modular home construction. Creating a positive community within the residential housing with all supports to achieve independence. No more band-aid solution.

Edison Kahakauwila

Dealing with the issue of homelessness is multi-faceted and cannot be solved by one government, agency or community. To effectively deal with this issue, governments must be adaptive and creative in their solutions. The need for collaboration with other government bodies is key to the success of helping those in need. Public green spaces are not a reasonable alternative to housing the homeless.

Anna King

Victoria needs supported recovery housing for those below the poverty line and/or have additional vulnerabilities such as addictions or mental health illnesses. Increased low-barrier shelter spaces that can accommodate a variety of circumstances, such as families with children, couples, and transgendered peoples are also needed. Housing the vulnerable people in small pockets within vibrant neighbourhoods is important for a fully integrated community where neighbours can care for one another.

Sean Leitenberg

We must work with social services and the province to address the issue with subsidized housing and a program that helps identify individuals at risk before they end up on the street.

Grace Lore

Mental health, addiction, and homelessness are major issues in our city. The city needs to identify city-owned land for the development of supportive housing. In particular, we need more low barrier recovery housing. I support harm reduction and we need to also ensure that those seeking treatment are able to access housing which supports their recovery. Further, at present we have no emergency housing for families. This must be addressed.

Jeremy Loveday

In my first term, I pushed for the creation of the CRD Regional Housing First program which ultimately secured $90 million for affordable housing and will build 2000 homes over the next 3 years. To eliminate homelessness we will need further investments in housing. We will also need courageous and compassionate leadership that will work to destigmatize mental health and addictions and to attract treatment and recovery options to our region.

Pam Madoff

As Victoria becomes less affordable there are no easy solutions. Working people now face the threat of homelessness. A continuum of housing options in order to allow people to transition through the system, and free up space for others, is greatly needed.

DelMar Martay

Spend the money now to save it later. These are people's lives were talking here!

Sarah Potts

The homeless population in Victoria is diverse. Seniors living in their cars, youth aged out of foster care, people struggling with poor mental health and addictions, and workers forced to sleep in tents because of a lack of affordable housing. Studies have shown over and over that a Housing First Strategy saves lives and costs half as much as alternatives. To further alleviate the issue we need more pathways to treatment and recovery, more supportive housing, and more youth shelter spaces.

Andrew Reeve

As Chairman of Threshold Housing Society, I know the tremendous amount of good that can come from tackling the homelessness issue in Victoria with smart policy and effective resource allocation. Our transitional housing & life skills programming for at-risk youth has helped countless young people stay off the streets and build healthy futures. We need a regional approach that focuses on providing facilities and services to our most under-served and vulnerable across the entire housing spectrum.

Jordan Reichert

Having worked in the field of mental health and addictions for over a decade I have seen homelessness continue to rise along with the cost of living and lack of affordable housing. We must act with compassion towards people experiencing homelessness and prioritize finding them safe affordable housing. In tandem, we must provide more beds for addictions recovery, short and long term, and more mental health services to support people once their lives have stabilized with housing.

Ted Smith

We need to start creating facilities that can accomodate for the extremely poor and difficult to house without pushing them from park to park every night or forcing them to live in horrible conditions like 844 Johnson St. Building tiny homes, portable homes and other options for the extremely poor can give them a sense of community, cost less emergency resources and minimize public disorder. We cannot simply build our way out of this problem as it is much larger than Victoria.

Douglas Stewart

It seems Nancy Reagan was right after all.

William Tate

Work with the Provincial and Federal Government on creating residences with mental services as well as possible modular structures, portables.

Charlayne Thornton-Joe

The Mayor's Task Force results showed that if we did not do anything, our homeless population could increase to a maximum of 30% each year. We have not seen this increase due to the housing and shelters that have been built, however, we have not seen the numbers reduce as we are not building enough supportive and affordable housing to meet the need and at the pace that is necessary. It is exciting that a Therapeutic Community is being opened in October as this will greatly assist.

Geoff Young

In the long run, housing at low cost can help those who suffer only from a shortage of income. For others, housing combined with adequate support and supervision is needed. At present, adequate support and supervision is often not being provided. In the short run, we should put our resources into providing sufficient safe, warm, supervised shelter beds that we can prohibit parks or street camping. Tent camps have a proven record of failure to provide minimal levels of safety or supervision.

Taxes

Gary Alberts

Property taxes have increased more than the rate of inflation, under the current Mayor and Council. Taxpayers, both young and old, cannot be asked year after year to help a City that does little to curb its spending. An audit of the Johnson St bridge will help a New Council be more proactive with developing a proper plan for the Crystal Pool upgrades.

Marianne Alto

The City raises money primarily through service fees and property taxes, which then provide residential amenities, infrastructure development and maintenance and other City services. Property taxes should be capped annually at an average rate of inflation + 1%.

Stephen Andrew

I support zero based budgeting and do not believe inflation plus 2% is an acceptable goal. Do you get a 2% increase every year? What about seniors ? We need to be responsible with your money, no more poor management such as the Johnson Street Bridge - $70 million plus over budget, the Bike Lane Project $7 million plus over budget, an estimated $2million spent on the former Police Chief investigation. We have a $500 million infrastructure deficit and we need to fix our aging city.

Darlene Archibald

Taxes should be set at a reasonable amount and the increase should be closely tied to inflation.

Sound money management through responsible spending will allow for minimal tax increases while using funds for needed infrastructure upgrades, projects and services.

Laurel Collins

This council initially stated they would raise property taxes by 2.6%, as city policy limits tax increases to inflation plus 1%, but went back on this commitment when they raised residential property taxes by 4%. I would not have broken that commitment to residents. Also, I support introducing more tools to reduce speculation. The Empty Homes Tax, which the province only allows the City of Vancouver to collect, should be extended to Victoria as a tool to crack down further on speculation.

Sharmarke Dubow

I want to push the province to reduce local government dependency on property taxes as the single tool local governments have to raise revenue. Local governments play an increasingly important role in building strong communities, and they need revenue tools to match their expanding responsibilities. I would support a land value capture tax to ensure that large windfalls in land value increases are fairly taxed.

Steve Filipovic

In 2001 our City’s Operating Budget was $105 Million/yr, now its approaching $250 Million. During this time the issues the citizens of Victoria have been facing have grown exponentially. Also In 2001 The Federal Government invited Mayors & City Managers to a conference where they were told how to increase revenues from their residents through increased Taxes, Fines & Fees. Clearly we can see the Mayors & City Managers took these lessons to heart. This trend has to stop.

Marg Gardiner

We need a “zero-based budget lens” overlaid on all programs in Victoria.

Years ago a City study looked at the residential/business divide of taxes. By pitting businesses against residents the City distracts from the real issue, taxes are too high.

My kids live in condos in Vancouver. Assessed value of their residences, combined, are more than the value of my home. Yet, their combined property tax is about 1/3 of my Property Tax. City tax increases should be within CPI.

Riga Godron

The City does not need to add to housing insecurity by increasing property taxes beyond what is currently assessed. This would allow those on fixed incomes to age in place and have some assurance that their taxes were not going to cause

their homes to be foreclosed upon. Businesses that own property should be

paying their fair share. Development that occurs in the City should be

taxed for any zoning variance.

James Harasymow

Nobody likes taxes. Spending less is what I do over here in the real world. I’m going to suggest not spending on things we don’t need. That being said, two thing are inevitable, and death is one of them. I don’t make bad promises.

Rose Henry

at this time I do not know enough about taxes to make any recommendations.

Ben Isitt

I support progressive taxation of property and income, while limiting the rate of increase of residential property taxes. For this reason, I opposed the 4% property tax increase that a majority of Council members imposed on residential rate-payers in 2018, compared to a 1% increase on commercial rate-payers. I support fiscal measures to discourage speculation in real estate and encourage the use of residential property to provide housing, including vacancy taxes and other anti-speculation taxes.

Jesse Jimenez

Reducing taxes is like restricting the flow of blood to your brain. Tax is what the government needs to function as a leader for its citizens. The problem arises in its collection and disbursement or appropriation which is managed by human beings. In a large system, weeding out the few individuals who are causing the corruption is very laborious and intricate. These individuals are the cancer cells of our progress and prosperity.

Randie Johal

No more tax increases greater than inflation, control spending. Full and accurate project costs must be determined before a shovel goes in the ground.

Edison Kahakauwila

Every citizen is one tax payer. When the city raises taxes and the CRD raises taxes it relates it to only a X-number of dollars increase but fails to address that its compounded on decades of increases. Do we receive more in services do we get better roads or bigger parks these are important but how have we done and how accountable have we been.

Anna King

Taxes provide funding for much-needed social services and municipal infrastructure. The only area of review should be regarding taxes on small, local businesses where there should be increased incentive for entrepreneurs to create innovative services and products that serve Victoria's local economy.

Sean Leitenberg

I believe with fiscally responsibility we can grow this city and reduce taxes. I want to manage this city like a business with proper budgeting and projects done on time and on budget. The increase in density of high end condos should be increasing our overall tax base and reducing our taxes, but our taxes keep going up with unnecessary projects and over spending.

Grace Lore

Taxes paid by homeowners, renters, and businesses in our area must be treated with respect and spent wisely. Property taxes in Victoria are currently the third lowest in the country and they should be kept low to ensure that housing costs are not further increased and that business are encouraged to operate in our communities.

Jeremy Loveday

Many homeowners in the City are having trouble making ends meet. I opposed both the 2018 Budget and the 4% residential tax increase because I believed it was more than many residents could afford and because the budget did not do enough to address the housing crisis. To ensure the city does not repeat the costly mistakes from the Johnson Street bridge project, I voted against major capital expenditures until we received the “Lessons Learned” report from that project.

Pam Madoff

A balancing act in terms of funding the services that the public needs and expects with the ability to pay. It is important that each year Council goes over the budget, on a line by line basis, having previously identified a goal related to a cap on potential increases.

DelMar Martay

Make the ones, creating the harm, pay the Tax

Sarah Potts

Many people increasingly struggle with our property tax burden. To reduce the pressure the city places on homeowners, I would support diversifying our tax base by implementing a land value capture tax. This would provide the city additional revenue when property values increase due to infrastructure projects or similar changes. I would also lobby the provincial government to allow Victoria to tax empty homes, as Vancouver does.

Andrew Reeve

Property taxes have increased over the rate of inflation for years, amidst a building boom, with residents seeing no noticeable benefits or increase in services. In the case of renters such as myself, those tax increases are passed down to tenants contributing to a lack of affordability. Let's bring back some fiscal responsibility to City Hall so that we can reduce the tax burden, cut frivolous spending, and re-allocate funds to increase the budgets of important core services to residents.

Jordan Reichert

It is essential that council always be mindful of striking a balance between capital investments and services, and lowering taxes. Spending can greatly enhance the community with downstream positive benefits, but the community must also see the projects as in their interest while the burden of costs must stay within what the community can afford. I would seek to obtain a balance of spending to serve the community best while not raising taxes outside of what they felt was reasonable.

Ted Smith

As a business owner and manager I have seen the taxes constantly going up faster than inflation. It would be my aim to never let taxes go up faster than inflation. While I think it is great the city is in such a great financial position, it does not seem fair that this public institution be allowed to profit so much from taxes every year that it accumulates wealth.

Douglas Stewart

Of all levels of government, municipal spending is the most out of control. By far the largest expense in any budget is wages, which is why the unions work so diligently behind the scenes to install some of their shills on council. With all the construction going on in Victoria, how come the city coffers aren't full?

SHOW ME THE MONEY

William Tate

Home owners deserve a council that is frugal with city tax money, not starting major expenditures like a new Crystal Pool, which just needs maintenance.

Charlayne Thornton-Joe

It is never a desire to raise taxes but we have heard that citizens would like to keep the level of service or even improve on it which often means an increase on taxes. Also, we must continue to put money into reserves to assist with our aging infrastructure.

Geoff Young

Often our council has wanted to do too much and become involved in too many issues. Leading the way on every initiative is costly in staff time, sometimes at the expense of providing basic services efficiently. Our public engagement and planning processes are time consuming and expensive, but often leave citizens feel unheard. We need to keep taxes at reasonable levels for both residents and businesses. 

Candidate's choice

Gary Alberts

I am committed to a more open and comprehensive consultation process. Residents and business owners tell me that they are not being heard by the current Mayor and Council. Decisions affecting taxpayers will be held in open Council meetings after receiving input from all stakeholders.

Marianne Alto

Strong business supports strong community, city and social services. We can enable and support business to grow in a measured way that fits the city and region. We can keep our average cap on tax increases to inflation + 1%, streamline consistent planning and business processes, put a modern value on industrial land and its use, explore tax relief for businesses affected by city construction, collect and share construction and investment data, and work together with small and large businesses to sustain the engine of service-providing revenue.

Stephen Andrew

Accountability is lacking. Council must listen to citizens. No more 11th hour decisions constructed behind closed doors. We need transparent government. And we need our local politicians to acknowledge when they make mistakes and not hide behind misleading statements.As your councillor I will listen and show you respect even when we disagree. I will also acknowledge when I am wrong.

Darlene Archibald

When you live in a city you are either contributing to or destroying it. That may seem a bit extreme but we need to look at our actions and their impacts to see if we are contributing to the health of the area in terms of livability and a heathy economy. Do you know who your neighbours are? Do you shop online or do you visit your local stores? By supporting quaint little stores and welcoming tourists and people from outside the city to come, we help keep businesses and our city thriving.

Laurel Collins

I love living here, and I want to ensure we are building a thriving, resilient city. To me that means supporting our entrepreneurs and local businesses, and removing barriers to businesses creating vibrant spaces, like food trucks, patios, and play spaces. It means encouraging placemaking, protecting and expanding green space, and making our community more walkable. It also means protecting our watersheds, protecting our coast and having a concrete plan to meet our climate leadership targets.

Sharmarke Dubow

Creating inclusive, welcoming and safe communities for everyone is important to me. I support adopting policies and programs that support seniors, youth, Indigenous and racialized people, immigrants and refugees, people with disabilities, LGBTQ and other people from historically disadvantaged communities. I also want to work with business and education institutions to retain international students so that Victoria s economy has the best possible talent.

Steve Filipovic

Climate is an issue on every bodies minds and it seems a topic rich in misinformation. This is why I'm concerned about City Hall getting sucked into PR Campaigns. The levels of co2 is near its record low being only 233 ppm above it. The levels during the last Ice Age were the lowest in Earth s History, cold brings co2 levels down, its recovering now. Co2 is plant food and there is no evidence Climate is changing beyond its established path. Sea level rise is a great indicator & it says its a steady trend 0.6 mm/yr since Victoria was founded.

Marg Gardiner

Normalization of Drug use/culture: The current approach to drug use (and abuse) is not working. Current policies are normalizing drug use rather than addressing problems. I urge all TC readers to explore the Portugal solution. Portugal went from heavy drug use to one of the the lowest drug problem areas in Europe. Their approach is based on societal expectations, obligations, and a determination to not accept drug-based communities. Treatment must lead.

Riga Godron

I choose a council that reflects the demographic of Victoria. Statistics Canada 2016 indicated that the median income of Victorian's is $30 000. I would like to see a council that reflects all socio-economic groups that comprise Victoria. Individuals that live in Victoria need to see themselves reflected in Council. If you walk into the Victoria City Hall Chamber and look to your left you will see a wall of older Caucasian men and two Caucasian women. While the current council may have gender parity, there is more diversity needed.

James Harasymow

Political lawn signs. They don‘t help a single person except the person who‘s name is on the sign. They are as healthy for the environment as plastic bags, except plastic bags are functional. Let's please get rid of these political relics and even the political battlefield at the same time.

Rose Henry

Besides affordable housing, transportation and hydro there is the issues of establishing a truth full relationship with people in authority positions and being heard in a good way by all its time. We struggle with being given enough time to have our voices and thoughts from being heard.

Ben Isitt

Access to greenspace is integral to the quality of life, including neighbourhood parks in close proximity to a person’s home and access to wilderness areas in the region. Protecting and restoring natural areas and shoreline areas safeguards biological diversity and increases resiliency in the context of climate change. As a CRD Director, I have advocated consistently for protection of natural areas through the Regional Parks Acquisition Fund and for the expansion of the Regional Trails network.

Jesse Jimenez

The marijuana dispensaries are sprouting in Victoria like wild mushrooms. I have no qualms with patients using them for prescribed medicinal purposes. Is there a statistical prediction that more of citizens will become ill to need marijuana medication? After a deep and thorough study, New Zealand concluded that marijuana has no medicinal benefit and banned it forever.

Randie Johal

Crystal Pool cost and location. Greater community consultation has to happen before a major commitment is made. Central Park needs to be fully preserved and potentially increased by looking to build elsewhere.

Edison Kahakauwila

The city has several projects to consider, ships point inner harbor, Ogden Point and proposed separated bike lanes for example. These in fact effect several communities with in Victoria. If elected I would consider how best each of these projects effect people in a positive non-intrusive way. How will bike lanes effect traffic in the Cook Street corridor, how will James Bay manage growth and how will we enhance our Inner Harbor image?

Anna King

Protection and creation of increased greenspace for animals and humans alike are important, especially in the downtown core where parks are extremely limited. Increased parklets and shared spaces to gather (urban picnic areas and outdoor event space) as community amenities are desired.

Further, considerations for those with limited mobility and those with disabilities are important in the downtown core as car access is increasingly limited.

Sean Leitenberg

Our neighbourhoods are feeling like they are being lost to developers. I want to make sure the appropriate developments are being produced through gentle density and with proper neighbourhood consultation.

Grace Lore

The infant-toddler childcare and before-and-after school care in this city is at a crisis point. The lack of representation of young families on city council has resulted in inadequate attention to this issue. See position & idea below.

Jeremy Loveday

We are overdue for a comprehensive third-party review to evaluate city decision-making processes and ensure public input is heard and respected. I propose that the City undertake a governance review to help foster good governance, gain from citizen expertise, and centre public input in City decision-making processes. This review could cover everything from committee structures to land-use decisions with an eye towards making sure residents are heard and processes are efficient and effective.

Pam Madoff

 

DelMar Martay

Soultions

Sarah Potts

Our City Council can do more to ensure all Victorians are heard and that their needs are addressed. I want to improve neighbourhood consultations so it s easy for residents and community organizations to share their perspectives and ensure that those perspectives are incorporated into city planning. To do this I would ensure transparency and accountability to residents with door to door outreach, online tools for consultation, and childcare at meetings.

Andrew Reeve

Another complaint I regularly hear has to do with the lack of engagement and transparency at City Hall. People are frustrated, feeling that our local government talks the talk on consultation but rarely follows through. They believe they aren't being heard. People also see a real lack of transparency when it comes to decision-making. I am in favour of shifting our Citizen Engagement department to focus on real consultation rather than PR spin and creating an online tracker of all council votes.

Jordan Reichert

Development is another issue that is regularly raised by people I speak with in the community. People are concerned about the changing identity of their neighbourhoods and loss of heritage. I believe that affordable housing which respects the character of our neighbourhoods is possible, but that we need to genuinely consult with our communities and restore trust in them that council is independent and acts to validate their concerns through policy.

Ted Smith

 

Douglas Stewart

CRUISE SHIPS

It would benefit many a downtown merchant if cruise ships were required to spend more time in Victoria. No more dine and dash. Make the ships spend an entire day in port

William Tate

Fully supporting the Film Commission which brings in millions to the City.

Charlayne Thornton-Joe

Land use issues are important in every neighbourhood. There is a need to built more housing but maintain the unique character of each of the neighbourhoods. Some neighbourhood plans need to be updated and we need to work with each neighbourhood to find that right balance of growth and maintaining attributes that are valued.

Geoff Young

(Besides the fundamental issues of housing, planning and homelessness) we hope to obtain federal grants to allow us to replace our current swimming pool. We don't want to sacrifice more park space to provide parking for the pool, and need to figure out how to use existing parking to serve the pool as well. I have advocated moving the pool and/or its entrance to allow this to be practical.

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