In my mind, the two most significant things Victoria Council has done in the last three years are:
- React to the court ruling that homeless people are allowed to camp in parks if there are insufficient shelter beds
- Secure funding to replace the Johnson Street Bridge
Having tent cities in parks would spur people to action about homelessness. Council couldn’t have that, so they appealed the ruling and passed a law requiring tents to be removed during the day. Because council votes are secret, it’s hard to tell whether everyone voted for it, but Philippe Lucas, the most left-wing councillor, is on record in support of the bylaw.
I want radical solutions to homelessness, not just buying a motel to house a handful of Victoria’s hundreds of homeless. So I won’t be voting for any incumbents based on their advocacy for the homeless.
Replacing the bridge was a good decision, but Council’s gross disregard for civic engagement or even basic public relations will cost the City millions of dollars due to the borrowing referendum. Council themselves have not yet been punished and I don’t see any evidence that they’ve learned a lesson. Geoff Young was the sole opponent on Council to the bridge process. Although I don’t agree with Young on many issues, I respect his courage to go against the groupthink and value his role as a dissenter so he has my vote.
I will vote for John Luton because his blog is the only way I get any idea what’s going on in the extremely secretive Council. I also like have an anti-car advocate on Council, although it’s hard to tell how effective he is at this role. Plus he always shows up at downtown events.
My impression is that no one else on Council has done much of anything, so I’m going to vote for non-incumbents in the hopes that they’ll do something.