Following Wednesday morning’s glass-smashing spree that left 14 Victoria buildings with damage, city council unanimously voted to create a one-time relief fund.
The details of the fund are still being worked out, but Mayor Lisa Helps said the money will come from the city’s 2021 contingency budget and be delivered through the Downtown Victoria Businesses Association (DVBA). Funds will likely be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and will also be available to businesses targeted in recent sophisticated glass-removal incidents.
“We want them to know that we’ve got their backs,” Helps said. She added that she was shocked when she learned that the same man who had stolen a water taxi on Tuesday was the person who damaged 14 buildings on Wednesday.
“It’s very surprising and troubling to see someone released and then go on a rampage,” she said. After speaking with Victoria Police Chief, Const. Del Manak, Helps said she was assured that he will be deploying extra police downtown in high visibility vests. She said she hopes this alleviates the need some businesses are feeling to provide their own security.
Helps said the fund will be “realistic” and won’t cover vandalism incidents from “six months or a year ago.”
Council, she said, will be sitting down with the DVBA over the next few days to develop the relief program.
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