October will be voting month for municipal elections taking place in four provinces and one territory. In British Columbia, it seems many of the new faces running for city council and school trustee positions are doing so at least in part to see a strengthening of democracy and a depletion of radical ideologies leaking into municipal policy making.
In today's report, I sit down and interview three prospective city councillors who agree on the vision for Victoria, even though they may differ in policy that they would like to champion if elected.
All three candidates are part of a new non-partisan movement called Viva Victoria, which currently has seven candidates running for city council and six running for school trustee seats in the upcoming civic election that happens on October 15.
“We're a group of liberals, conservatives and social democrats who want to work together for practical solutions and want to make our city better,” said Mr. Jeremy Maddock.
Despite Maddock’s description of Viva Victoria being consistent with what can be found on the group's website, a Capital Daily article written mid-September about the non-partisan group may have mislead some to believe Viva Victoria is far-right and extensively tied to the federal People’s Party of Canada.
“There was never any ideological litmus test to join” said Maddock, adding that their broad range of values and perspectives and the slates diversity is their strength.
My interview with the candidates also gives a glimpse into how the candidates are comfortable and eager to work together to improve Victoria if given the chance to despite not all being cut from the same cloth.
While affordable housing and homelessness are both pressing issues, candidates Emmanual Parenteau and Sandy Janzen have slightly differing visions on how to address Victoria’s homeless problems.
Parenteau, who says the driving force that led him to run is to make Victoria a place where his children and working families can afford to live, does not believe that Victoria’s plan to ban all new housing developments heated with natural gas by 2025 is a good call.
“The cheapest way to power your home is through carbon-based fossil fuels like natural gas which we have plenty of in Western Canada,” said Parenteau, adding that this type of ban would further curb affordable housing and the homelessness issue so he would revoke the decision to implement such a ban if elected.
“I’m really passionate about reinstalling good government” candidate Sandy Janzen told Rebel News. Janzen, who says she’s had a lifelong goal of becoming a public servant, says her own adult children reside in Alberta due to the province’s more affordable housing.
Janzen also moved to Germany herself at one point to enjoy more affordable housing, and says the main pillars she’s looking to tackle if elected are affordable housing, homelessness and mental health. Janzen says that the epidemic of depression “bleeds into the homeless issue” and is “overlapped with affordable housing.”
Parenteau, who highlighted some of the concerning crimes that have happened in the city in connection with Victoria’s homeless community, says that Victoria no longer needs to be a free for all for homelessness. On the other hand, Janzen believes housing should be a human right and that everyone should have access to one even if that means the some would have module homes while they are being assessed.
For more reports from Rebel News on municipal and provincial elections in this province please head to BCLeadershipReports.com. If you appreciate the kind of journalism we bring you to Rebel News, please consider donating what you can do there to help cover the costs is do so.