Priorities – 2022 Election

For more than a year leading up to the 2022 election I met 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. I door-knocked for several months, attended events, and engaged on social media. Based on what I heard, 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 remain 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 it to be applied 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.
  • Create more homes within existing houses by extending the House Conversion Bylaw to apply to all years of houses, to include smaller houses, and to allow more living space to be added.
  • Allow duplexes and triplexes in all neighbourhoods immediately (regardless of the potential future of the Missing Middle Housing Initiative).
  • Eliminate parking minimums, which make housing more expensive.

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 support 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 throughout the City, and more bus lanes to get buses moving more smoothly.
  • More street trees and tree canopies to provide shade.

Great neighbourhoods

Every neighbourhood should be great for all our residents – welcoming, accessible, and safe for everyone.

Actions we can take include the following:

  • Prioritize City tree planting in downtown and other busy areas that are currently underserved.
  • Enliven 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.
  • Build village centres in walkable neighbourhoods.

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.