Mayor Helps recently expounded on one of her favorite topics: How to bring Victoria into the 21st century – but left citizens with many more questions than answers.

If “Victoria is a leading edge capital city …where human well-being and the environment are priorities”, why doesn’t it provide accessible washrooms in all its facilities, including the Crystal Pool and the new Capital City Station on Douglas Street?

Are public places of ease now considered an “amenity contribution” that must be negotiated by taxpayers as part of a developer’s density bonus package?

If affordable housing is a top priority, why did Mayor and Council consistently ignore more than 600 James Bay tenants’ concerns about “renovictions” in a city that has next to no available, reasonably-priced rental units?

Does Victoria have an empty home syndrome like Vancouver? How do floors of unoccupied suites in View Towers help to relieve the pressure of a severe rental crisis?

Why does the City fail to regulate Airbnb suites that allow condo owners to favor short-term vacation occupants over long-term tenants who live and work here?

Why should citizens trust City Hall in the face of excuses about construction delays and soaring costs of the publicly-funded Johnson Street Bridge, or its hapless role in the taxpayer-funded billion-dollar sewage treatment plant fiasco?

Why does the cost of bringing Victoria into the 21st century mean saying “yes” to multi-million dollar ventures like the Capital Park project, while making homeless individuals, elderly modest-income renters, and physically-disabled people unwelcome in this “livable, affordable, prosperous and vibrant” City?

V. Adams