Four candidates for mayor of Victoria in 2018 municipal election so far
Four people have stepped forward to run for mayor of Victoria so far.
Current mayor Lisa Helps, child poverty activist Rob Duncan, Tesseract Computers co-owner Gary Beyer, and Canada’s Reno Rebate principal owner Sean Leitenberg have all declared their intent to run. C-FAX conducted interviews with most of them, and here they are arranged in the order they declared their intent.
Helps declared her intent to run again on January 1, 2018. She said she believes she set out a plan for these past four years, and completed everything she wanted.
“In this past term of council we’ve cleaned up a lot of things that needed cleaning up and made a lot of good plans for the future,” Helps said. “The parks plan, arts plan, economic development plan, housing plan. So we’ve got the mess cleaned up from the past, and plans for the future. I would like four more years to get those done.”
Helps said she wants to follow through with the projects started in the current term.
“I’d like to get the $90-million Regional Housing First program, that I helped to create, done and get 2,000 units of housing built,” Helps said. “I’d like to get the fire hall finished, I’d like to get Crystal Pool finished, and most of all I’d like to make sure that Victoria remains a place that people can get good jobs and raise families, and where people who are at the end of their lives, the seniors, also have affordable places to live.”
Duncan has been reached for comment but has yet to respond. He declared his intent to run February 15, 2018. He ran in the 2014 election for mayor position under the name Changes the Clown, and earned 253 votes.
Beyer declared his intent to run on Joe Perkin’s Noon Show on May 29, 2018. He said there are a number of issues in the city he would like to address.
“We’re trying to grow too big, and we shouldn’t,” Beyer said. “We have issues that need dealing with, we have housing issues that aren’t being addressed properly, we have homeless issues that aren’t being addressed properly, [and] we have cycling issues that are hindering the growth of the city.”
According to Beyer, one reason he decided to run was because of the anger he was seeing in the city.
“I’ve never seen people so angry,” Beyer said. “We’re got people angry with city hall, we’ve got people angry at businesses, we’ve got cyclists angry at motorists, buses angry at cyclists, pedestrians are angry. I’m seeing people shout at each other. A lot of this can be directly attributed to decisions made by city hall in how the city is being run.”
Leitenberg declared his intent to run on May 31, 2018. He said one thing he would like to focus on is affordable housing.
“I’d definitely bring in more affordable housing, I have a background of building affordable housing, and I’d make sure that’s done,” Leitenberg said. “The homeless people need housing, they’re dealing with mental health issues, and that needs to be dealt with together with the housing.”
Leitenberg said he thinks the current council makes decisions too quickly.
“It’s also difficult, I understand, in a four year term to get something done, and I feel the current council and mayor look to get things done in their term in case they’re not re-elected,” Leitenberg said. “I would spend more time properly assessing situations even if that means passing it on to the next mayor to get it done properly.”
The B.C. municipal elections will be taking place on October 20, 2018.