Michael Geoghegan announces his candidacy in the rose garden at the B.C. legislature. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

‘Lack of leadership’ prompts former Saanich council hopeful to run for mayor of Victoria

Mike Geoghegan supports high density housing, financial breaks for small business

Proclaiming the need for better leadership for the City of Victoria, Michael Geoghegan confirmed Wednesday he is running for mayor.

“I come to this position with already a wealth of politicial experience,” said Geoghegan, a former ministerial assistant in Mike Harcourt’s NDP government and a member of Langford’s planning and zoning committee for seven years.

Until just a few days ago, Geoghegan, who rents a property in Victoria and owns a condo in Saanich, had been campaigning for a councillor seat in Saanich. In the 2017 byelection he garnered 863 of the total 9,521 votes cast.

“Where I saw the need for capable, connected leadership is Victoria,” he said, citing a housing crisis and unreasonably slow bureaucratic process.

RELATED: Saanich candidate calls for scrapping controversial EDPA bylaw

The 52-year-old regional political pundit who has a BA in economics from the University of Victoria favours high density housing, pointing to neighbourhoods like Harris Green for potential to build.

For social and affordable housing, Geoghegan said it requires calling on the federal and provincial governments for a collaborative effort.

“For the rest of these candidates, housing is a talking point, for me it’s a deliverable,” he said, classifying them as representing the NIMBY vote. “We don’t need any more wealthy elitists with contempt for the poor.”

RELATED: New mayoral candidate, three more council candidates step forward

Flanked by members of the Vancouver Island Building Trades, Geoghegan pledged to do more to promote B.C.’s shipbuilding industry, improve cruise ship facilities in the name of tourism dollars and increase funding to the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission.

Also part of Geoghegan’s platform: working with neighbouring municipalities like Esquimalt and Saanich to improve the synchronization of street lights along major roads and implementing a one-time fee for business licenses. “I think it’s time that the small business sector got a break.”

RELATED: Local business owner vies for Victoria mayoral seat

And on bike lanes, he’s clear – halt the impending Wharf Street phase of the project and relocate existing lanes to secondary roads to make it safer for cyclists and improve the flow of traffic in and out of downtown.

“Am I prepared to rip up some of the lanes if we can come to a much better alternative for relatively less dollars? Yes I am, but I want to see the detailed numbers first,” he said.

In an effort to build a healthier city, Geoghegan proposes free recreation passes for those 18 and under and encouraging more strata buildings to be pet-friendly.

RELATED: Sculptor of John A. Macdonald statue speaks out

For more on Michael Geoghegan visit VoteMikeForMayor.ca.

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