I hope you are enjoying the spring weather. With the season comes an exciting line-up of festivals and events in our city. Please check out the CityVibe catalogue for information on musical events, public markets, cultural festivals and other recreational activities around our community. I look forward to seeing you at many of these events!
On the political front, I know that many of you would have preferred a different outcome in last week’s provincial election. My advice is “Don’t mourn, organize.” By working together, we can make progress on social and environmental priorities.
In this spirit, I would like to draw your attention to several initiatives in our community:
Speed reduction initiative
Last month, delegates at the annual convention of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) adopted a resolution from the City of Victoria calling for amendments to the provincial Motor Vehicle Act to make the default speed limit in a municipality 40km/h, rather than the current 50 km/h. The motivation behind the resolution is to save lives by reducing the speed limit on local roads. I reached out to many delegates at this convention, as did Councillors Shellie Gudgeon and Lisa Helps, and following a fullsome debate the motion was approved by 60% of delegates. It now goes to the Union of BC Municipalities in September. In advance of that convention, the City of Victoria is reaching out to municipalities across the province to raise awareness of the benefits of reducing speed on municipal roads.
Reclaim PKOLS — May 22
You may have heard about an initiative led by the WSANEC (Saanich) First Nations to restore the indigenous name PKOLS to Mount Douglas. This Wednesday, May 22nd at 5pm, the WSANEC Nations are inviting people from across Victoria and the Capital Region to come together to reclaim this traditional name, which holds an important place in the history and culture of the WSANEC people. The event begins at the parking lot at the base of the mountain (where Shelbourne meets Cedar Hill Rd) and proceeds with a walk to the summit, where a re-enactment of the signing of the Douglas Treaty will take place, culminating in the installation of a new sign and the serving of food. Everyone is welcome to attend in the spirit of co-operation and reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people. For more information, watch the Youtube video below, join the event on Facebook, or visit www.PKOLS.org.
People and the Planet Before Profit — May 29
Later this month, I am helping to organize a community forum on the topic “A Province that Puts People and the Planet Before Profit” — exploring ways that citizens and community organizations can work together to advance social and ecological justice, whatever the political party in power. The event is taking place on Wednesday May 29 at 7pm at the Friends Meeting House, 1831 Fern Street (view map). It includes speakers from the Ancient Forest Alliance and SocialCoast.org, as well as a reading by Victoria’s Poet Laureate Janet Rogers and a musical performance by Oliver Swain. For more information, visit www.SocialEnvironmentalAlliance.org or join the event on Facebook.
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
At the end of May, I will be in Vancouver representing Victoria at the annual convention of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. A priority for me at this convention will be to connect with other progressive municipal leaders from across the country to share best practices and discuss opportunities to work together in pursuit of shared goals. I will also be attending forums relating to increasing the involvement of young people and women in politics. Issues relating to environmental regulations, the protection of the coastline, and energy are likely to figure prominently at the convention.
As always, I welcome your feedback and ideas on issues in our city, region and beyond. Feel free to give me a call anytime at 250-882-9302.
All the best,
City Councillor and CRD Director