As your Mayor, I have learned a lot over the past term. I’ve listened and worked hard on what I said I would deliver on my last 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. Here I lay out the next four-year plan. I’ve been working on this plan with a wide cross-section of the community since January. What’s become clear to me through this work is that enhancing our community’s individual and collective health and well-being is at the heart of what we need to do together over the next four years. And we also need to get ready for the future, future proofing the city in terms of affordability, climate change readiness and the ability to work together across difference to rise to all the challenges that face us.

We also need to take a more global perspective and draw on solutions from cities around the world. To this end, part of the inspiration for the next four years comes from the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular, Goal #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities. A key principle of the United Nations’ SDGs is that they’re inclusive of everyone – no one is left behind.

Here are my core platform commitments with links to the four main sections of the detailed plan  below:

Affordability

Affordability is more than the cost of housing. For decades we’ve let the cost of housing, childcare, transportation, and education rise far beyond incomes. That’s why I will continue to tackle these issues head-on. Tinkering with affordability will no longer work. Bold action is required.

Take bold action on housing
  • Build at least 2000 new affordable homes in the region including at least 400 units renting at $375 per month and the rest at rents that working people in Victoria can afford
  • Implement a Community Amenity Contribution policy that is fair and creates affordable rental units in new condo buildings
  • Allow larger garden suites for families (also known as laneway homes) on larger lots
  • Allow moveable tiny homes in backyards at rents of no more than $500 per month
  • Develop an inventory of city-owned land to provide affordable housing including co-ops and Community Land Trusts
  • Work with the community to develop an ambitious Community Land Trust program for people to pool existing properties to create speculation-free zones
Build a transit and transportation system for the future
  • Make transit free for kids in Victoria 18 and under, without raising property taxes
  • Complete rapid transit lanes to the Westshore and back, decreasing traffic congestion and increasing parking availability in the city
  • Bring Evo “floating” car share service to Victoria
  • Ensure that, by 2022, 75% of Victorians will live within a two-minute bike ride of a safe bike route
  • Work with businesses, the DVBA, and the community to make Government Street pedestrian only in the summer months
Create more childcare spaces
  • Continue the Mayor’s Childcare Solutions working group and develop a future-focussed Childcare Action Plan
  • Work with School District 61 and other partners to open at least 300 new childcare spaces in the next four years
  • Create opportunities for new childcare spaces in new developments
Sound fiscal management
  • Continue innovative, transparent and zero-based approach to annual budgeting
  • Keep tax increases to no more than inflation plus one at the most
  • Continue to develop alternative sources of revenue to property taxes and utilities
  • Ensure all major capital projects follow the City of Victoria’s new Project Management Framework and Estimates Policy, both developed from lessons learned from the Johnson Street Bridge Project

Well-Being and Prosperity

Many of us remember a time when retail vacancy downtown was high, and Victoria was a sleepy government town. That’s not the case anymore; Victoria’s economy is flourishing and our neighbourhoods are vibrant. We need to celebrate and build on this. We also need to ensure that the prosperity is shared widely and that general well-being is enhanced.

Keep our economy strong
  • Create a second Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Development and Prosperity to hit our target of 10,000 new jobs by 2041
  • Create a one-time business licence fee
  • Secure funding for the Bastion Square Creative Hub, an affordable creative programmed space for artists, makers, and innovators
  • Work with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations on First Nations led economic development
  • Create opportunities through trade missions for Victoria-based businesses to develop export markets for their goods and services
Keep our kids safe
  • Lower speed limit on all local residential streets to 30km/h and tactically enforce the new rules
  • Efficiently and cost effectively, complete the all-ages-and-abilities bike network so kids can safely bike to school
  • Expand the “Safe Routes to School” program to include education on riding public transit
Keep our neighbourhoods great
  • Take a neighbourhood-led approach to neighbourhood planning.
  • Ensure that even as Victoria grows and changes our neighbourhoods remain intact, inclusive and that they continue to feel like home
Take care of those who are most vulnerable
  • Work in partnership to ensure that money spent on addressing mental health and addictions gets people the supports they need at whatever stage or phase of their mental health and/or addiction they are in, from prevention to recovery. (See website for details.)
Invest in wellbeing infrastructure and public spaces
  • Secure Provincial and Federal funding for the Crystal Pool Replacement Project
  • Develop a plan for a new Central Library downtown
  • Hold “tactical urbanism” workshops to support citizens and businesses in taking small-scale actions to improve and activate public spaces
  • Increase the City’s tree canopy by planting more trees in every neighbourhood and keep existing trees healthy
  • Gather and listen to citizen input on Central Park, Songhees Park, Ship Point Park and Centennial Square

Sustainable City

Victoria has the potential to be a global sustainability trendsetter. We’ve won awards for our leadership, and we will win more. We must continue to implement the City’s Climate Leadership Plan and take courageous action on buildings, transportation, and waste to create a sustainable future for our children.

Make buildings greener
  • Single Family Homes:
    • Deliver a program for bundled and easy-to-achieve home energy retrofits
    • Collaborate with heritage organizations to identify and promote energy retrofitting opportunities for homeowners
    • Partner with all levels of government to develop consistent energy-efficiency incentives and funding mechanisms
  • Deliver customized, deep energy retrofit programs for commercial buildings
  • Support the development of a Victoria 2030 District or voluntary energy benchmarking program for commercial buildings
  • Implement a transition plan to phase out oil in residential, commercial, and institutional properties by 2030
  • Remove regulatory barriers to promote the installation of renewable energy systems
Make transportation greener
  • Implement the Smart South Island Plan to improve affordability and convenience for public transit, walking, cycling, car-sharing and ride-sharing using data and technology to improve quality of life
  • Design and implement an EV charging strategy, including design guidelines for new development projects
  • Invest in programs for Victoria households to increase use of public transit and active transportation
  • Advocate to the Province for significantly improved commercial vehicle performance, higher fuel efficiency, and tighter air quality standards
  • Advocate to the Provincial government to require ICBC to offer distance-based or pay-as-you-drive automobile insurance
  • Work with the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to supply on-site renewable energy for marine vessels
Manage waste more sustainably
  • Work with the local business community to reduce food waste and to divert it from landfills
  • Reduce and divert other materials that produce methane when landfilled (e.g. wood, paper, textiles)
  • Further reduce single use items
Make municipal operations low-carbon
  • Adopt a City of Victoria Corporate Energy and Emissions Management Plan that takes into account social, environmental, and financial realities
  • Support deep energy retrofits for existing buildings
  • Incorporate climate action performance measures into the City’s annual budgeting process
  • Develop a Climate Action Economics App so residents can identify the greatest cost savings and GHG reductions by different climate actions
  • Include GHG production and waste reduction as criteria for city hall’s procurement policies
  • Transition all city-owned vehicles to electric or low-carbon models

We’re All In This Together

To meet the challenges facing us, we need to move past the increasingly uncivil state of public dialogue as a community, and talk about solutions with open hearts. Together, we will create a stronger social fabric where our first impulse will be love, connection and understanding, even when – and especially when – this feels hard.

Build a strong social fabric
  • Initiate proactive, community-led consultation, in which residents of local neighbourhoods define the agenda and terms of consultation in terms of what’s important to them
  • Develop and deliver a workshop series to train community leaders and staff in facilitation, appreciative inquiry, consensus-building and creating a safe space for all voices
  • Identify with the community on an annual basis where potential flashpoints or conflicts will be in the coming year. Ensure that the community members and staff that will be engaged in these issues have the education and support they need through regular offering of the workshop series
Refine the community input process on large-scale developments
  • Require proponents of large-scale development to engage early with local residents in a professionally moderated public discussion in order to align each party’s vision for the community even before formal Community Association Land Use Committee process begins
Continue work on reconciliation
  • Open conversations about reconciliation in Victoria to all people, while keeping Indigenous leadership at the centre through the Witness Reconciliation Program
  • Host a series of meetings on reconciliation at City Hall to determine a new public location for the statue of Sir John A. MacDonald.
  • Continue to to take action on reconciliation guided by the Principles of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Read the full four year plan:

Affordability

Well-Being and Prosperity

A Sustainable City

We’re All In This Together

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