News reader questions whether Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and her managers are leaving some residents behind with the way they are operating the City. News file photo

Victoria’s mayor protecting enclaves of the elite: reader

Letter writer asks whether readers are welcome in mayor’s ‘community’ and the City?

Re: Helps to seek re-election in 2018 (News, Jan. 5)

Mayor Lisa Helps believes we’re all members of her ‘community’– contented constituents. Like the Empress Hotel symbol reigning over the jeweled Inner Harbour, this post-colonial politician and her managers preside over an exclusive enclave of the elite. They control the public purse, allot privileges and oversee the vital infrastructure and delivery of services to city residents and businesses.

Being open, fair and accountable, not to mention exercising due diligence that serves the public interest and ensures the sustainable future of this city, do not appear to be prerequisites for the position of mayor and head of a municipal corporation.

The City lacks meaningful public engagement, rigorous policy debate and public scrutiny of multi-million dollar development proposals, a.k.a. land-use licenses to print money. Whose interests are being served? Who calls the shots? A plutocracy comprised of real estate developers, construction contractors and financial investors.

The mayor has many special-interest voters to woo: cyclists, urban farmers, off-leash dog-walkers, marijuana consumers, millennial entrepreneurs, sharing-economy operators and community garden enthusiasts to name a few. All seek perks and access to public funds in the form of ‘community’ grants, amenities, contracts, tax exemptions (for selected heritage property owners) or deferred property tax entitlements for citizens over 55 years.

Victoria is a picturesque tourist destination, a capital which has preserved its imperial roots as a constant reminder that power, status and wealth are valued above all else. Ridding the city of eyesores, ‘ingrates’ and vulnerable citizens seems to be at the heart of the mayor’s social-cleansing mission. Her ‘master’ prosperity plan is based on building a safe, secure, privileged paradise ruled by anonymous property owners, corporate financial interests and invisible real estate speculators.

Are you welcome in the mayor’s ‘community’ and in this city?

Victoria Adams


Just Posted

Artists craft Souper Bowls in Cedar Hill studio

Souper Bowls of Hope supports urban youth

Six stories a non-starter at Sidney’s Cedarwood Inn site

Site redevelopment plans go back to the drawing board

Mount Douglas Mathletes enjoying success by the numbers

Saanich Grade 9s walk away with top five spots in Island math competition

Songhees Wellness Centre event immersed in Indigenous cuisine and culture

Camosun and Songhees cook together for reconciliation while fundraising for student scholarship fund at March 23 event

Victoria Women’s Expo showcases the latest trends

Over 100 vendors feature lots of beauty, health, food, jewelry products and more

Celebrating our transit drivers on their day

March 18 is International Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

World Cups soccer festival coming to Lochside Park

Victoria’s long running youth soccer festival, the Peninsula Co-op World Cups Soccer… Continue reading

LETTER: Lowered voting age would engage youth in political process

Saanich high school student supports giving a vote to 16-year-olds

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

B.C. VIEWS: Speculation tax, cabin tax or asset tax?

Targeting empty homes seems confused and ineffective

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Most Read