Wednesday, November 23, 2011


...For making Victoria Votes a success for its second year! We managed to reach about 10,000 individual voters this year, which is over half of the voters in this city. We hope that Victoria Votes has helped you to become more informed about the municipal election, and look forward to our next election together!

In the meantime, we will be looking for ways to sustain Victoria Votes throughout the Council term, so if you have any suggestions just email us!

Here is the City of Victoria election summary.

And here is B Channel's final report on the election.

And a Monday Magazine article on the election.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Click here for detailed results!

The new council is, in order of most votes: Geoff Young, Charlayne Thornton-Joe, Lisa Helps, Ben Isitt, Marianne Alto, Pam Madoff, Shellie Gudgeon, and Chris Coleman.

More on this later!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Marianne Alto Q&A

Marianne Alto is running for her first full term on Council after being elected to serve the remainder of Sonya Chandler's term in the 2010 by-election. Alto ran unsuccessfully in '05. She is a business consultant and facilitator - her website is here and here are her answers to our survey:

Q: Why are you running and why should I vote for you?

A: I bring people together, find common ground, balance competing interests and get
results. I think those are good skills to have at the city council and CRD tables. Elected just last fall, I’ve already secured city council approval for an integrated plan to help vulnerable residents get the health services they need, and a comprehensive open government initiative that will give easy access to information and bring city hall to TV.

I’ve scheduled regular Open Door sessions in my liaison neighbourhoods, made planning
decisions that preserve heritage and promote appropriate development, and made Victoria a ‘Blue Community’ to keep water resources public. I’m an activist Councillor and I'll get a lot more done with a three year term.

Q: What issue is most important to you and why?

A: I’d have to choose 5 issues, because they are inter-related and solving just one still leaves a gap for our residents. And I think they can all be achieved in the next three years:

1) mitigating the high cost of living in Victoria by facilitating more affordable housing (including co-ops and co-housing), more jobs and decent wages;

2) continuing to reduce homelessness, particularly for vulnerable people who need housing that comes with supportive social services and integrated health and harm reduction services;

3) regional planning and delivery of primary services, like transportation, police services and emergency preparedness;

4) implementing the open government and open date strategies recently endorsed by Council, and

5) finding new sources of funds so we can continue to deliver high quality municipal services and limit tax increases.

Q: What's something people don't know about you?

A: I love Canadian football.

Conservation Voters of BC Announces Endorsements

The full list of Conversation Voters of BC endorsements is here, but here are the names for Victoria:

John Luton
Philippe Lucas
Lynn Hunter
Lisa Helps
Ben Isitt
Rose Henry

Monday, November 14, 2011

Release form Paul Brown's Campaign

Sent out this morning:

Paul Brown’s Vision

If I am elected Mayor of Victoria, my key pledge is to deliver a Council and City Hall that is open, accountable and transparent to the public.

Here’s what I mean by that:

· Victoria will have a realistic and public plan for restoring or replacing its crumbling infrastructure, including its sewers, roads and public recreational facilities.

· Future city budget plans and financial forecasts will share with the public all the assumptions they are based on, not just those that make the numbers look better than they are.

· When taxpayers are told their rates will increase by only 3.9%, they will not get a tax bill later saying 7%.

· When city projects are budgeted, that is the amount taxpayers can expect to pay, not double or triple that amount due to a lack of financial controls at City Hall.

· City Council will devote itself to creating realistic and measurable targets and monitoring results, not micro-managing every issue and project that comes along.

· City Hall will be seen by the public as a collaborative partner in the development of proposals, plans and initiatives that address the stated objectives of the City Council and the community at large.

· City Hall staff will be non-partisan, free of political influence and perform to the universal standard of a professional public service.

· Council and City Hall will operate to a publicly-recognized standard for open government transparency and the timely sharing of information. By default, all information will be made public unless there is a sound and defensible legal reason for not doing so.

· City Council will not conduct in camera meetings without a legally sound reason. And if Council goes in camera, the specific reason will be shared with the public.

Paul Brown’s Action Plan

Here are 13 actions I will take to achieve this result:

· I will conduct an independent review of the City’s financial affairs and position

· I will eliminate the City’s Corporate Communications Office

· I will order a review of the City’s executive, management and administrative functions

· I will re-examine and re-structure the City’s public advisory committees if necessary

· I will develop and publish a list of the City’s infrastructure needs and conduct a public consultation to prioritize and build them into the City’s annual budget plans

· I will order the public disclosure of the financial status of the Johnson Street Bridge replacement and the prioritized list of risks associated with it

· I will open an immediate discussion with Esquimalt to determine possibility of renewing the Policing Agreement

· I will open discussions with Oak Bay, Esquimalt and Saanich to determine the feasibility of sharing garbage and organic waste collection services

· I will request the CRD to consider funding the Johnson Street Bridge replacement on the same basis as the replacement of Craigflower Bridge (92%)

· I will fund the implementation of the Official Community Plan and the Downtown Core Area Plan

· I will that Local Area Plans be updated

· I will order a review and public report on the City’s efforts to mitigate homelessness and the results to date

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Er... Where Do I Live?

So it occurred to us that there are 13 municipalities and something to the tune of a million candidates running in the Capital Region. This makes it prety hard to figure out who to vote for if you're coming at it for the first time. To help you along, here are:

A map of all the municipalities in the CRD so you can figure out where you live...

...and for those of you living in Victoria, a map of the city's neighbourhoods so you can get a sense of where your closest polling station might be.

Finally, if you check out the How To Vote page on this website, you'll find a map for each polling station in Victoria.

That's all for now. If you'd like us to look into something before the election, drop us a line and let us know!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Remaining Candidate Interviews

So far, we have received survey answers from all but four candidates. In lieu of answers to our questions, here are the B Channel interviews for those candidates:

Saul Anderson

Marianne Alto

Sukhi Lalli

Robin Kimpton

Monday, November 7, 2011

Finally Updating That Video Page

That's right! But here's a sneak preview:

B Channel mayoral interviews are here.

B Channel has more mayoral candidate interviews - this time on fiscal policy, infrastructure, and poverty. We can't stress enough how awesome B Channel news is, especially on local elections. Despite being a volunteer indie news site they have by far the most comprehensive overview of candidates in Victoria, and being on video just makes it so much easier to browse through.

B Channel's council backgrounders are equally fantastic. More council candidate interviews will be posted before the election.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Events Update

Hot off the e-press. 

Nov. 8 - Victoria West Community Centre(521 Craigflower Rd)  6:30 to 9 pm

Nov. 14 - Burnside Community Centre (313 Jutland Rd)  7 to 9 pm

Nov. 15 Oakdlands Community Centre (#1-2827 Belmont Ave.)  7-9 pm

Friday, November 4, 2011

B Channel Council Interviews

Are here and we will re-post them here in a little while.

Chris Coleman Q&A Plus News

Before we get into this, a couple of notes: We have just decided to allow comments, although several stored comments have been deleted because they were pretty offensive.

Beyond that, there are just about 2 weeks left before the election, so GET READY TO VOTE. Remember you get to vote for eight councillors and one mayor as well as 3 CRD directors (more on this later) and the school board. For this reason, you might want to make a list to take with you to the polling station and really give it some thought rather than just show up and start ticking boxes. Lots of people we've talked to will sit down with other civic-minded friends (or hopefully friends who are new to voting) and discuss who to vote for on November 19th as a group, which makes the selection process less tedious.

Moving right along... Chris Coleman is running for his fifth term on Victoria Council. Chris received 6102 votes in the last election, or 5.95% of votes cast. His CV includes a number of boards and commitees across a wide spectrum of local issues, so Vic Votes can't really pin down one issue that Chris is all about. His website is here and here are his survey answers:

Q: Why are you running and why should I vote for you?

A: I have 12 years experience in the municipal governance model, and have a good track record of working with diverse interests in seeking common solutions

The skills that I bring to Victoria City Council table are:
- an aptitude for meeting with people & listening to their problems;
- an ability to weigh various (often competing) perspectives; and,
- a desire to find solutions that make our community better & safer for everyone.

I would like you to support me in being re-elected to Victoria City Council & elected to the CRD Board.

Q: What issue is most important to you and why?

A: If the noble goal is to continue building a "sustainable", but affordable community for all, then one of the cornerstones has to be a range of housing options. Of particular interest to me are initiatives that address options for:

1) young families entering the housing market;
2) Seniors, particularly those on fixed incomes; &,
3) homeless citizens.

Q: What's something people don't know about you?

A: Not many realize that I sit as one of 75 elected members on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities National Board (only 8 members are from BC, and I am the only one from Vancouver Island). We advocate on behalf of all cities & communities with the Federal Government on a range of issues, lobbying for:

- a national "Housing & Homelessness Strategy",
- a national "Transportation Strategy",
- broad programmes which allow Canadian communities to address the "Infrastructure Deficit",
- the municipal interest in the nation's "Immigration Policy",
- the role of cities & towns play in "Climate Change Adaptation".

Of this work I am very proud.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Jon Valentine Q&A

Jon Valentine is running for Victoria Council. He ran in '08 and got 257 votes, or 0.25% of votes cast. Not much else to say, here's his website and his survey answers:

Q: Why are you running and why should I vote for you?

A: Ran for Victoria City Council in 2008, and have been fortunate to meet people from all walks of life related to the political scene. The momentum seemed to be there, and a good number of people thought it great that I was running again. I do this for them, and for my sense of wanting to do something nice, big, and significant, that is for a greater good. As part of this, I intended to work for practically nothing, by donating most of my city councilpersons salary back to the community, via local projects and such.

Q: What issue is most important to you and why?

A: Housing/Homelessness. We have to invest in people first, before anything else happens.

Q: What's something people don't know about you?

A: A Hollywood legend once put it that "a little mystery goes a long way". So I suggest going to my website (as well as the "Jon Valentine" Facebook Page), for more info.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Oh Look, News

First of all, Focus magazine has two articles about the election - one from Gene Miller about the election as a whole, and one from Aaren Madden endorsing Geoff Young.

The Time Colonist finally has an election page up here.

Finally, B Channel News is amazing. They have posted the first of many, many video interviews to come over the next few weeks. The first run is an introduction to mayoral candidates, but will be followed by a series of interviews with each council candidate as well as a second round of follow-up mayoral interviews.

These interviews are probably the best way to get to know this year's candidates. B Channel asks all the right questions, and video allows you to get a sense of each candidate's personality.

So here goes:

Geoff Young Q&A

Geoff Young is running for re-election to Victoria Council. According to Victoria Vision, Geoff is Victoria's longest-serving councillor, with 23 years in office. He has been an advocate for alternative transportation, sound financial management, and environmental protection. His website is here and here are his survey answers:

Q: Why are you running and why should I vote for you?

A: The city needs experience and a balanced approach to ensure our city remains inviting and affordable for young people, families, seniors and business. I bring an understanding of the wide range of issues that affect the city and the region through my experience at council, the CRD (the last three years as chair) and the community, and through my professional training as an economist.

Q: What issue is most important to you and why?

A: Addressing climate change is our most important long term priority.

Our best way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is through good regional planning - I support rapid transit systems, density in the downtown, and walkable communities, but regional planning to reduce energy consumption and preserve the environment would be easier if everyone paid the true cost of travel, particularly road travel.

A carbon tax on a global scale would also mean more demand for local food as the price of distant-sourced food rose to reflect transportation costs. We must not sacrifice the benefits of compact communities to guarantee local food supplies, but we can have some land that does double duty, providing open space and recreation as well as food.

Q: What's something people don't know about you?

A: It is my views and how I have voted on the issues of concern to you that I hope will determine your vote. Have a look at my website, which is full of my thoughts on many topics, or give me a call, if you are curious.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Stuff

First of all, the Saanich Civic League isn't a Victoria thing, but you should check them out.

Moving right along, the Victoria Chambe of Commerce has asked business-related questions to all of the candidates in the CRD, including Victoria. That's here.

We've also finally found some dates for all candidates meetings, which are:

TODAY! (Tuesday) Nov 1st 6pm James Bay Community School

Monday Nov 7th 7pm Fernwood Community Assoc 1923 Fernwood Road – Mayoral candidates only

Wednesday, November 9 at 7 pm. All-candidates meeting on housing and poverty at First Metropolitan Church on Pandora.

Enjoy! - VV

Charlayne Thornton-Joe Q&A

Charlayne Thornton-Joe is running for her third term on Victoria Council. She is the highest polling elected representative in the city, having garnered more votes in the last election than even either of the mayoral candidates (9887, or 9.64% of votes cast). Her record on Council seems to focus on the issues of homelessness and economic development - her website is here and here are her survey answers:

Q: Why are you running and why should I vote for you?

A: I am running for the same reasons that inspired me the first time that I ran, I want to make a difference and I want to be able to serve the community to the best of my abilities. I have been involved with many non-profits and I wanted to see how I could become even more involved. You should vote for me because I am compassionate, a hard worker, and am a team player. I work with others to try to find solutions to issues in our community.

Q: What issue is most important to you and why?

A: Unfortunately, there are so many issues that we deal with every day, and I try to put what the citizens say is the most important to them to the top of my list as well. I have put a lot of my energy to the issue of homelessness, mental illness and addiction....and because of the complexity of the issue of homelessness, it has also included poverty and cost of living issues. Anyone that knows me, knows I am also passionate about animals, so I have also tried to be a voice for them as well! Why am I involved with these issues? I don't like to see suffering of any kind, so I work to try to solve human suffering and abuse of animals.

Q: What's something people don't know about you?

A: Hmmmmm, my life is pretty much an open book so it is hard to think what is unknown.....when I was 8, I got to go on stage with Diana Ross and the Supremes at Caesar's Palace!


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