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

Police briefs: stolen bikes, unlocked cars and falling trees

Oak Bay police files from Sept. 17 to 23

Bookstores fundraising for four Victoria elementary school libraries

10th annual Adopt a School program runs Sept. 15 to Oct. 7, with four locations in Victoria

Municipalities can help tent cities with provincial aid, says UBCM president

Provincial housing efforts can be facilitated on local level

Cool Aid Society cleans up Woodwynn Farms

Casual labour pool helps to clear debris

Recent rash of thefts in Sidney similar to past sprees

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP warn residents to lock their vehicles

Live bear cam: Let the fishing begin

Watch bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park catch their dinner live.

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

‘I’ll never forgive you:’ Victim impact statements at hearing for Calgary killer

Curtis Healy was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday in the death of Dawns Baptiste.

Man accused of mailing bomb to his brother in B.C. has died

Leon Nepper was found in ‘medical distress’ at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre on Sunday

It’s shaping up to be quite a finish in CFL’s West Division standings

The Calgary Stampeders (10-2) are first, four points ahead of the Saskatchewan Roughriders (8-5).

Twice-convicted killer set to inherit multimillion-dollar company found guilty of father’s murder

A Toronto judge ruled that Dellen Millard is guilty of first-degree murder in death of his father,

Campaign seeks to add Farsi to B.C. school curriculum options

Group wants Farsi added to list of nine languages in policy covering second language requirements

Trudeau urges leaders to follow Nelson Mandela’s example at UN tribute

Peace summit in New York marks 100th birthday of former South African president

Most Read