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

Victoria

Just Posted

Two popular Oak Bay art pieces to be installed permanently

Bodhi Frog and The Hunt stay thanks to public support and Oak Bay arts laureate Barbara Adams

Deadline looms for second annual Acorn Arts Award

Nominations for Oak Bay award must be in by Jan. 19

VIDEO: Murdoch to run for mayor

Two-term councillor Kevin Murdoch announces his intent to run for mayor’s chair in fall election

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Murdoch to run for mayor

Two-term councillor Kevin Murdoch announces his intent to run for mayor’s chair in fall election

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Late charge in Portland sees Victoria collect third straight WHL win

Matthew Phillips leads the way with three-point night in 4-2 win, Giants up next

UPDATE: Police release new footage, launch website in hunt for 13-year-old’s killer

IHIT say no one has been arrested or charged in connection with Marrisa Shen’s death

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Fines and extra patrols not happening at this time as ban begins Monday

Most Read