I’m Dave Thompson, and I am running for Victoria City Council.
For more than a year, I’ve been meeting with residents and visitors, workers and business owners, youth and seniors, front-line service providers and community organizations to discuss Victoria’s future, and what City Council should (and shouldn’t) be doing. Based on what I’ve heard to date, and my own work and community volunteer experience, my priorities include:
Housing accessibility and affordability
We need to support more housing diversity and housing choices to help individuals and families stay here in Victoria. This will also help to reduce suburban sprawl and clear-cutting, commuting and traffic congestion, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Actions we can take include the following:
- New public, cooperative and non-profit housing – work collaboratively with regional, provincial and federal partners to accelerate approvals and secure funding for truly affordable housing throughout the region.
- Improve our Tenant Assistance Policy, and advocate for the province to allow its application to all types of housing.
- Enforce the Short Term Rental (STR) Regulation Bylaw, and work with other municipalities to advocate for phasing out the provincial exemption for pre-2018 whole-home, year-round STRs.
- Update zoning bylaws to reflect the 2012 Official Community Plan, and launch a Plan update.
- Incentivize creation of more homes within existing houses by improve the House Conversion Bylaw so it can apply to all years of houses, include smaller houses, and allow more living space to be added.
- Allow duplexes and triplexes in all neighborhoods immediately (regardless of the potential future of the Missing Middle Housing Initiative).
- Eliminate parking minimums, which make housing more expensive.
Action and results on the climate emergency
Cities across BC, Canada, and the world are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Victoria needs to move forward more quickly, show leadership, and get results.
We can reduce emissions while we create good jobs, make our homes and our City more comfortable, and improve our transportation systems. Actions we can take include the following:
- For new homes, advance the effective date of the low-carbon energy system bylaw from 2025 to 2023. Clean electric heat pumps save money in the long term and can also provide air conditioning, protecting residents from heat domes.
- For existing homes, provide top-up financing for low-carbon heating retrofits, focusing on lower income households.
- Provide rebates for electric bikes, focusing on lower income households like Saanich has done.
- Require that all new private parking include electric vehicle (EV) charging, and accelerate the rollout of public EV charging stations.
- Transit improvements, such as bus signal light priority, and more bus lanes to get buses moving more smoothly.
- More street trees and tree canopies to provide shade.
Great neighbourhoods – welcoming, healthy, and safe for everyone
Every neighbourhood should be great for all our residents. Actions we can take include the following:
- Prioritize City tree planting in downtown and other busy areas that are currently underserved.
- Animate the public realm and get more eyes on the street by widening sidewalks, providing benches and bathrooms, and facilitating and encouraging more outdoor cafes and parklets.
- Invest in making transportation safe and practical for everyone, whether they walk, cycle/roll, take the bus, or drive.
- Support a clean, vibrant, livable downtown that is appealing for visitors and residents, and that supports good jobs and local businesses.
A well functioning City Council
We need a City Council with experience in key areas, competence, and the ability to work cooperatively and get things done. Actions we can take include the following:
- Focus Council on performing its role (engaging with the public, and setting overall direction and policy), and supporting City staff to do theirs (management and implementation).
- Stricter time limits on Council member speeches and Council meetings.
- Invest in asset maintenance to reduce higher repair costs in future.
- Implement the recommendations of the Governance Review Report.
- Keep our City services, programs and assets public.
I practiced law in Ontario and BC as an environmental offences prosecutor, and as counsel advising on law reform. I have Masters degrees in law and in economics. I’ve worked for governments, non-profits, and the private sector. I’m currently a small business owner and a community volunteer. I live in the City of Victoria, and my partner and I are raising our kids here.
I’m fortunate to work with good people on improving governance systems, analyzing government budgets, improving climate action, serving Indigenous communities, creating good green jobs, promoting fair wages and just transitions, and building safer, healthier and more liveable communities. Some examples:
- Strategic planning, policy and governance advice for charity clients in BC and Alberta.
- Co-founder of a firm that supports Indigenous communities in addressing industrial development in their Territories (land use, business planning, Traditional Knowledge studies, impact and benefit agreements, etc).
- Author and co-author of a number of publications, e.g. on energy efficiency building retrofits, achieving climate goals while creating green jobs, and adjusting municipal budgets to improve sustainability.
- Prepare the calculations, and write the reports, for the Greater Victoria Living Wage campaign (the hourly wage required for two adults to support a family of four).
Victoria is changing and growing, and we need to make sure it remains a great place to live, work and raise a family. I’m continuing to listen, and I’d love to hear what you want to see in our future. Please email me at email@example.com.
Election day is October 15, 2022, and there will be advanced polls in early October. Please mark your calendars, and please vote!
Thank you for your support.
We respectfully acknowledge the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) peoples on whose traditional territory we live and work, and the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.