Provincial and municipal leaders discussed restoring rail service on the Island in early December. (File).

Greater Victoria mayors united over transportation, housing and community building

Seven mayors discuss their political and personal goals for 2019

Transportation, housing and community building loom large on the political agendas of local mayors.

Speaking with Black Press, the mayors of Saanich (Fred Haynes), Victoria (Lisa Helps), Oak Bay (Kevin Murdoch), Esquimalt (Barb Desjardins), Colwood (Rob Martin), View Royal (David Screech) and Metchosin (John Ranns) shared their top political priorities for 2019.

RELATED: Seven Greater Victoria mayors face 5 questions

While some of their answers highlighted specific issues in their respective communities, others spoke to regional issues that cut across municipal boundaries, with transportation perhaps emerging as the most important one.

“Traffic congestion is affecting people’s quality of life,” said Martin. “We need the determination to follow through on existing plans, the courage to invest in innovative solutions, and the foresight to plan for shifting technologies.” Helps agreed. “We need an integrated multi-model transportation network that is convenient, green and affordable,” she said.

Desjardins and Screech specifically mentioned the restoration of the E&N Railway line as a possible solution, with Screech repeating familiar demands for a regional transport authority.

RELATED: Provincial, municipal leaders meet to discuss E&N Railway service

Speaking for many of his colleagues, Haynes said if he could change one aspect of Greater Victoria it would be to improve the housing supply and make that his top priority of 2019.

Haynes said he would also like to improve services for residents, a point Murdoch and Helps echoed when they spoke of the need to build community.

Climate change also appears high on the agendas of the two mayors representing the region’s two largest municipalities — Saanich and Victoria.

If the seven mayors broadly agreed on the big issues facing the region, they disagreed on which political personality (other than Premier John Horgan) had the greatest influence on Greater Victoria.

Desjardins and Haynes identified provincial finance minister Carole James as the “most influential politician living in Greater Victoria not named John Horgan.”

RELATED: Saanich councillor leads CRD as board chair

Murdoch identified local MLA and provincial Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, while Screech favoured federal Green party leader Elizabeth May. Ranns identified Desjardins, while Helps identified Saanich Coun. Colin Plant, who recently assumed the chairperson-ship of the Capital Regional District. Martin, meanwhile, identified the South Island Prosperity Project.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Volunteers needed for annual Mother’s Day walk

Breast Cancer Society of Canada hosts annual Mother’s Day event

Saanich rental project wins silver by going ‘green’

The Verve rental housing project stands at the corner of Boleskine Road and Whittier Avenue

Sidney Lions dish $4,000 to help build on growing trishaw bike charity

Cycling Without Age Society draws attention as far off as Washington

420 celebrations turn over new leaf at B.C. legislature

Cannabis is legal for the first time in the 21-year existence of the 420 event in Victoria

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read