Eleven of Greater Victoria’s 13 mayors have sent a joint letter to the three provincial party leaders and all local candidates to gauge commitment to addressing issues of regional importance.
The broad-based letter calls on parties and candidates to respond to a list of nine specific questions about much-needed services and actions on the south Island, asking them to detail how their party’s platform would implement them.
The questions focus on three main areas: child care; mental health, addictions and treatment, and transportation from Nanaimo south.
“Our municipalities are facing challenging issues that we as local governments can’t address in isolation,” said Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes in a release. “As a regional group of municipal leaders, we collaborated to identify some of the most challenging, complex issues and we want our residents to know how each of the provincial parties and regional candidates intend to provide support to these issues.”
The only mayors not to sign the shared letter were Metchosin’s John Ranns and Central Saanich’s Ryan Windsor.
There are many issues affecting local municipalities and residents, stated View Royal Mayor David Screech. But the mayors chose to narrow the focus to those crossing boundaries, from ensuring adequate, accessible child care spaces exist and providing more treatment and recovery options, to treating the south Island as a specific and significant transportation zone was critical.
“While it is difficult to isolate only three issues, these ones are worthy of serious discussion during this election campaign,” Screech said. “We are hopeful that we will receive some clear commitments from all parties and local candidates.”
Candidates and leaders were given a deadline of Oct. 14 to email back their answers, and encouraged to voice their answers during election town halls to allow interested residents to be informed before voting.