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

Surprise coming to elderly Esquimalt woman who had $1,100 stolen from purse

Man had bumped into her while she was shopping, next thing she knew, the money was gone

VIATEC’s 2018 “Startup of the Year” heads to Vegas for global spotlight

Victoria-based boat security company Barnacle Systems set for Consumer Electronics Show

Man dies after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Man climbed railing of the Johnson Street Bridge, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Mommy’s Inside Voice: Santa is real

The holidays are a truly magical time of year

Musicians, community programmers wanted for summer concerts and events

City of Victoria adding to roster of pre-qualified, local musicians to perform June to September

Langford elementary school kids test their hand at entrepreneurship

Students sold their own products at a Young Entrepreneurs Fair Friday

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

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

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘Ghost bikes’ installed to remember teen cyclists who died in Port Alberni

Cycle Alberni installs memorials to remember teens, remind all about road safety

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Most Read