Victoria Goes To the Polls

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Full disclosure: I ran in the 1999 municipal election. I ran as a mayoral candidate. My platform was "Let's Get Victoria Going!" I saw that we were sacrificing transportation capacity by ceding control to a centralized transportation authority (ie. BC Transit)-- one that would poorly serve the ridership but make their role intractable in our transportation policies. Our municipal policies were not meant to remedy transit issues, but to frustrate people out of their cars. I thought our tax structure was going to make running a business too expensive to execute. I was concerned that the Heritage Committee didn't follow the TLC model and put it's money where it's mouth is and buy heritage properties. Instead the Heritage movement agitates developers until they do what Heritage wants or the developer gives up. I wanted to bring affordable housing and rental inventory back into Victoria. I was concerned that bureaucrats and politicians would be wooed by expensive developments and turn down properties intended as rental housing.

I was naive enough to think that good ideas got you elected. Really, the election is end game and you could have put all of my voters into two school buses. I came out of nowhere and went back to nowhere after the election. I have no intentions to ever run for office again. To run for office, you need a selfless and relentless capacity for public service. I don't have that. I want to fix a problem and move on. Government is a mechanism meant to fix a self-collapsing structure. It can never fix it well and never fix it for a long time.



The candidates I am endorsing have shown those qualities; some a little, some a lot. Mainly, I am voting for them because their goal is to serve the City of Victoria. And I applaud all of the non-incumbents who are running: you are asking to inherit a total mess.

Council Positions
I cast six ballots instead of eight. I looked at the list of candidates and these are the six I could get behind. They call this practice of voting for fewer than eight candidates "plumping" and it's frowned upon, but I don't care. I thought two of the incumbents have done enough job to come back for the next three years. The remainder of council are a cheering section for the current mayor so I lay some of his impact at their feet. The incumbents did not assert their control over the city bureaucracy, and that leaves me feeling abandoned.


Chris Coleman - Chris is a good and experienced city councilor. He's dedicated and connected with the people.

Shellie Gudgeon - She has experience in business - starting and continuing to operate the 5th St. Bar and Grill. She has also been quite active with the North Quadra Business Owners/Residents Association. I would really like to see Shellie take over from one of six incumbents.

Aaron Hall - Aaron, as part of the Open Victoria movement wants to bring about change in Victora's government. A lot of money evaporates inside of City Hall and transparency will shed some light on why our taxes are going up, but the service levels are falling. Aaron is lifelong Victoria resident, sensitive to heritage issues and in favor of more urban density.

Lisa Helps - In her capacity with Community Micro-Lending, she lives up to her name. Lisa Helps is a transformational force for small local businesses. Imagine what she would do in council?

Linda McGrew - Linda operates a local business, volunteers for the BC Green Party and the Victoria police department. She is a part of the Open Victoria team. She promises to bring vision to City Hall.

Geoff Young - I don't agree with Geoff Young but he is rational and dedicated to the work of governing Victoria.

Paul Brown for Mayor - I could spin my decision, but why lie: Dean Fortin needs to NOT be our mayor. Frivolous spending has run amok. Administration swallows up record amounts of taxes leaving little money to get into the field. Fort Street is dotted with For Lease signs. Bastion Square is more than half vacant. City Hall is killing the City with onerous taxes and bad policy decisions. Paul Brown promises to bring change. His pledge to transparent government is very important for the City of Victoria. If bureaucrats have to carry out their business in the light of day, they may be a little more budget conscious, goals oriented and make decisions in the public interest.
Of the available mayoral candidates, I am confident that Paul Brown stands the best chance of doing a good job and changing the course of the City of Victoria after unseating Fortin.


Cheryl's take on today's voting extravaganza

Information You Need To Remember Come Voting Day

General Voting Day is Saturday, November 19, 2011. On general voting day, all voting places are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Resident electors and non-resident property electors may vote at any of the following locations on General Voting Day:

  • Vic West's voting location has been moved to Vic West Elementary at 750 Front Street. The school is at the corner of Russell and Langford, just off Craigflower and very near the community centre.
  • Burnside Campus, 3130 Jutland Road
  • Central Baptist Church, 833 Pandora Avenue
  • Cook Street Activity Centre 380 Cook Street
  • George Jay Elementary School, 1118 Princess Street
  • James Bay Community School, 140 Oswego Street
  • James Bay New Horizon Centre, 234 Menzies Street
  • Margaret Jenkins Elementary School, 1824 Fairfield Road
  • Oaklands Elementary School, 2827 Belmont Avenue
  • Quadra Elementary School, 3031 Quadra Street
  • Sir James Douglas Elementary School, 401 Moss Street
  • Sundance Elementary School, 1625 Bank Street
  • Vic West Community Centre, 521 Craigflower Road (see above)

If you are not registered to vote, you may get information on how to register by contacting Elections BC by telephone at 1.800.661.8683. You may register on-line here by following the registration instructions.

Elector Identity Documents

When you come to vote, you will need to provide documentation that in combination proves your identity and your residence; one of the documents must have a signature.

The following are valid identity documents for proving elector identity:

  • a British Columbia Driver's Licence
  • a British Columbia Identification Card issued by the Motor Vehicle Branch
  • an Owner's Certificate of Insurance and Vehicle Licence issued by the Insurance Corporation of BC
  • a British Columbia CareCard or British Columbia Gold CareCard
  • a Ministry of Social Development and Economic Security Request for Continued Assistance Form DES8
  • a Social Insurance Card issued by Human Resources Development Canada
  • a Citizenship Card issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • a real property tax notice issued under section 369 of the Local Government Act or section 21 of the Taxation (Rural Area) Act
  • a credit card or debit card issued by a savings institution as defined in s.29 of the Interpretation Act
  • a utility bill issued for the supply of electricity, natural gas, water, telephone services or coaxial cable services by a public utility as defined in section 1 of the Utilities Commission Act:
    • a gas utility as defined in section 1 of the Gas Utility Act,
    • a water utility as defined in section 1 of the Water Act,
    • the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, or
    • a corporation licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for the purposes of that supply.

Non-Resident Property Elector Qualifications

If you own property in Victoria but live elsewhere, you may be eligible to vote in the Victoria local general election as a non-resident property elector.

In order to be eligible to vote as a non-resident property elector on Voting Day you must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • age 18 or older; and
  • a Canadian citizen; and
  • a resident of British Columbia for at least 6 months immediately before the day of registration; and
  • a registered owner of real property in the City of Victoria for at least 30 days immediately before the day of registration; and
  • not entitled to register as a resident elector; and
  • not disqualified by any enactment from voting in an election or otherwise disqualified by law; and
  • the only persons who are registered owners of the real property, either as joint tenants or tenants in common, are individuals who are not holding the property in trust for a corporation or another trust; and
  • if there is more than one registered owner of the property, only one of those individuals may, with the written consent of the majority of the owners, register as a non-resident property elector.

If you are not registered as a non-resident property elector on the City's list of electors but qualify to be registered as a non-resident property elector, you may register as such prior to voting. You may apply for a certificate to register as a non-resident property elector by coming to the office of Legislative Services, Victoria City Hall, 1 Centennial Square, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday (excluding holidays). In order to receive a certificate to register as a non-resident property elector, you must prove your identity (two pieces of identification which must between them prove identity and residence, one of which must have your signature) and your eligibility to register (for instance, a property title deed or current City of Victoria property tax receipt, and a letter of consent from joint owners, if applicable).

We suggest that you apply for a Certificate to Register prior to voting. Presentation of such a certificate will allow you to vote without having to produce other proof of ownership of the property in question on voting day.

When applying for the certificate you will be asked to show:

  1. Two pieces of identification: one with residence address; one with signature of elector.
  2. Property title deed or property tax receipt.
  3. Consent Form - it is available at Legislative Services, Victoria City Hall.

    - This is required only if the property is owned jointly with other individuals.

For further information about registering to vote as a non-resident property election, contact Legislative Services at 250.361.0571.

What if I Need Assistance to Vote?

All local governments are required to make voting places as accessible as possible to people with disabilities or impaired mobility. If you find it difficult to get into a voting place, but can make it to the parking lot or the curb outside, you may request an election official to bring you a ballot. This is called curbside voting. If you are unable to mark your own ballot, you may ask an election official, friend or relative to help you. If you need a translator, you may bring someone to assist you.

Mail Balloting

If you are unable to attend either the advance voting opportunities or a voting place on general voting day you may be able to vote by mail. For information, should contact 250.361.0571.

Campaign Organizers

Legislation requires people or organizations seeking to affect the outcome of the municipal election by organizing a campaign to be known as "campaign organizers", and places the same requirements for financial reporting on those individuals or groups as it does on candidates or elector organizations.

Campaign organizers who intend to campaign for or against a candidate or try to affect the outcome of elections based on specific issues, but who can not endorse candidates in the manner elector organizations can, must appoint a financial agent, must open an election-specific bank account and must account for both donations and expenditures in the same manner as elector organizations. The reporting requirement for this disclosure is set at $500 in donations or $500 in expenditures - after receiving $500 in donations or expending $500, the campaign organizer must advise the chief election officer.


Information about the other municipalities:

SAANICH:
Campus View Elementary – 3900 Gordon Head Road
Cedar Hill Middle School – 3910 Cedar HIll Road
Cloverdale Elementary – 3427 Quadra Street
Cordova Bay Elementary – 5238 Cordova Bay Road
Doncaster Elementary – 1525 Rowan Street
Frank Hobbs Elementary – 3875 Haro Road
Glanford Middle School – 4140 Glanford Ave
Gordon Head Middle School – 1671 Kenmore Road
Hillcrest Elementary – 4421 Greentree Terrace
Lochside Elementary – 1145 Royal Oak Drive
Prospect Lake Elementary – 321 Prospect Lake Road
Reynolds Secondary – 3963 Borden Street
Royal Oak Middle Oak School – 4562 West Saanich Road
Spectrum Secondary – 957 Burnside Road West
Tillicum Elementary – 3155 Albina Street
Victoria Pacific Rim Alliance Church – 1792 Townley Street

OAK BAY:
Monterey Centre, 1442 Monterey Avenue (Monterey Avenue entrance only)
Emmanuel Baptist Church, 2121 Cedar Hill X Road
Monterey Middle School, 851 Monterey Avenue (Gymnasium; use Oliver Street entrance

ESQUIMALT:
Esquimalt Municipal Hall

VIEW ROYAL:
View Royal Elementary

LANGFORD:
Ruth King Elementary School 2764 Jacklin Road
Millstream Elementary School 626 Hoylake Road

COLWOOD:
Colwood Municipal Hall

METCHOSIN:
Metchosin Community Hall

SOOKE:
Edward Milne School

CENTRAL SAANICH:
Central Saanich Municipal Hall and Cultural Centre

SIDNEY:
The Shoal Centre

NORTH SAANICH:
North Saanich Municipal hall











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