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With Housing As Key Election Issue, Here Are My Picks for Mayor and Council

The City’s new Fire Hall #1 and public safety building, with 130 units of non-profit run affordable housing for families above, nearing completion on Johnson Street.

With so many candidates running and so many vacancies on Council, I’ve been asked many times over the last month for “my list” – who will I be supporting in the upcoming election. Having completed our final Council meeting last night, I now feel free to make my endorsements.

I thought about all the ways I could approach this question, and kept coming back to housing. The housing shortage we currently face touches all aspects of life in the city.

Employers can’t find workers because workers can’t find housing. Families are living in spaces too small for their needs because that’s what they can afford. Young professionals are stuck in the rental market because there are no homes they can afford to buy, which means students are competing with them for rental accommodation, making it difficult for students to secure housing. Some students are living in vans.

Low-income seniors are vulnerable if they are forced to move, with few new affordable senior’s homes available. And even after working so hard with the Province during the pandemic and beyond to create more supportive and affordable housing, there are way too many vulnerable people in our community still living in tents.

On the upside, the federal government is back in the housing business and is about to unleash a $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund into Canadian cities. And NDP leadership front runner and potential next BC Premier David Eby announced a bold and ambitious housing plan that needs local governments as partners to succeed.

The next Council is going to need to meet these challenges and seize these opportunities with gusto and determination.

For these reasons, my list mirrors that of the Homes for Living group that has landed on these names after detailed analysis and candidate surveys. But please keep reading! I have more to say about why I’m supporting Marianne Alto for Mayor and a more refined list of five council candidates in particular who will help to build a vibrant, prosperous and caring city.

Marianne Alto for Mayor

I’m supporting Marianne Alto for Mayor because she will bring a thoughtful, balanced and progressive approach to leading the Council and the city. We’ve been at the Council table together for the past decade, and in that time I’ve seen her make thoughtful, practical and evidence-based decisions that take into account both the present moment and the future needs of Victorians.

She has the ability to keep the big picture in mind, to not get mired in small details, and to make decisions that will benefit the majority. And, with at least seven new members of Council, she has the experience to lead through what will be a big transition for the Council, city staff, and the city as a whole. Also, she’s got an excellent and very detailed and transparent platform that you can read here.

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