Vote Lisa Helps for Mayor on October 20
I have learned a lot over the past term. As your Mayor, I listened and worked hard to deliver on my campaign platform, and on initiatives enhanced and refined thanks to engaged citizens from all segments of our broad community.
Four years later, revitalization, renewal and acts of reconciliation are taking place across Victoria. It’s an important, interesting and exciting time in our city’s history. We are evolving and we are getting younger.
There is more work to be done. Let’s continue to work together to complete what we started. I want to work together through the challenges of change and celebrate with you as we create a strong, smart, resilient and sustainable city. Let’s create a city that inspires, intrigues and honours the values of our citizens today and ensures the well-being of future generations. We’re all in this together.
Affordability is more than the cost of housing: it includes transportation, childcare, and food. Tinkering with affordability won’t work. We will take bolder action on housing, including affordable units in new buildings and more creative ideas like community land trusts, new housing co-ops, tiny homes, and Affordable Sustainable Housing (ASH). We will create free transit for K-12 students in Victoria. And, we’ll keep the Childcare Solutions Working Group and create more affordable childcare in all neighbourhoods.
Well-Being and Prosperity
Because of private sector investment, the creativity and innovation of Victoria’s entrepreneurs, a City Hall that now works with business, and strong regional cooperation, Victoria’s economy is flourishing. We will continue all our efforts to support sustainable economic development. We will ensure that even as Victoria grows, everyone benefits from ongoing change. And we’ll measure our progress on well-being.
In Victoria, we don’t yet feel the negative impacts of climate change. We haven’t, for example, had to pack up our whole village and move because of sea level rise. As a result, we are complacent and not on track to meet our goal of reducing GHGs 80% by 2050. Next term, with the community, we will implement the City’s Climate Leadership Plan and take courageous action on buildings, transportation, and waste to create low-carbon prosperity.
We’re all in this together
Even though we’ve taken a broader, more inclusive approach to engagement and hosted more events, we need to push ourselves even further at City Hall to work better and to work differently with the community. We need to truly harness the intelligence, energy, and goodwill of the community. We need to learn and co-create with the community. And together, we need to find a way past the increasingly uncivil state of public dialogue. In order to meet some of the big challenges facing Victoria and all other 21st century cities, we need to be able to talk about solutions with clear minds and open hearts. And in coming together to solve these and other problems, we need to create a stronger social fabric.
What We’ve Accomplished (2014 – 2018)
- Fast-tracked all rental buildings and seen over 1000 rental units started, more than in the last 30 years combined
- Used city-owned land for affordable housing
- Made it faster to build garden suites, 22 approved in one year compared to 18 in last 12 years
- Approved the 2015-2026 Victoria Housing Strategy
- Attracted $90 million for affordable housing in the region
- Put in strong protections for renters
- Formed Childcare Solutions Working group to increase affordable childcare
Well-Being and Prosperity
- Reduced downtown retail vacancy rate from 11.3 to 3.8%.
- Created the five-year economic action plan, Making Victoria: Unleashing Potential
- Opened Business Hub at City Hall to support small business and cut red tape
- Hosted “capital missions” to showcase Victoria as a great place to invest
- Nurtured more diverse economy including working harbour; seeing local industry make significant investments in upgrades that protect the environment, and commit to new infrastructure creating hundreds of new jobs with wages that sustain families
- Seeing tech, tourism, financial services and the creative economy – arts and culture – grow and thrive
- Helped found South Island Prosperity Project and in the process of attracting $10 million through Smart Cities Challenge
- With urging of community adopted two ambitious goals: being 100% powered by renewable energy by 2050 and reducing GHGs 80% over 2007 levels by 2050
- Started all ages and abilities bike network
- Continued waste reduction efforts with a ban on single-use plastic bags
- Adopted an accelerated BC Energy Step Code for new buildings
- Developed incentives for energy retrofits for existing buildings
- Got sewage treatment plant under construction after many years of talk
- Adopted a Climate Leadership Plan to guide future action
- Created City’s first Parks and Open Spaces Masterplan to steward natural assets for next 25 years