Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps announced today she will run for re-election in 2018, to serve the city for a second term. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Victoria mayor Lisa Helps to seek re-election in 2018

Affordability, sustainability, transportation, transit focus of fall election, said Helps

Mayor Lisa Helps announced today that she intends to run for a second term in the fall 2018 municipal election.

Helps addressed the media in her office after hosting the annual New Year’s Day Levee at city hall.

“It’s been a real pleasure for the last three years to work on behalf of, and alongside our community,” Helps said. “We’ve got an amazing community and so it’s for that reason that I’ve decided to run for election in 2018, for one more term.”

While the mayor made it clear this was not the official launch of her campaign, she wanted to honour a promise she made to constituents that she would reveal her plans on the first day of 2018.

Looking to the election, the mayor said the key issue this time around will be the future and hopefully not just bike lanes.

It’s no secret Victorians are polarized on the issue of bike lanes, infrastructure Helps has prioritized since taking office in Dec. 2014. She said, it’s not about getting people out of cars who want to drive but about providing more transportation choices.

In the next ten to 15 years, Helps estimates close to 10,000 more people will call downtown Victoria home. “If each one of those people feels compelled to bring a car because they don’t have another way to get around, we’re going to have instant gridlock and increase our greenhouse gas emissions.”

Affordability, sustainability, transportation, and transit will be the focus of the fall election: “All those things that we want to live well in a city in the 21st century.”

That includes regional transit to the West Shore, something Helps said if not done, will leave the region behind in terms of proper growth.

In terms of affordable housing, Helps said for the first time ever, there is both money and plans in place.

The Victoria Housing Strategy, a ten-year plan to increase the development of rental housing runs until 2025; the Regional Housing First program – currently a $60 million project that could see up to 2,000 units of mostly below-market housing – is also moving forward.

One of the biggest challenges the mayor said she and council faced this term, was the fact that no affordable or rental housing had been built in Victoria for over 30 years.

“We’re playing catch-up,” she said. “I agree it’s a big issue.”

When Helps launches her campaign this summer, the goal will be to build a platform alongside the community. Ideas and input from residents are essential, she said, to make sure the plan put forward for the next four years meets the needs of Victorians.

“Victoria is an amazing place,” Helps said. “Our community is rich with ideas, rich with potential and my job as mayor is to really unleash that potential.”

For more from the announcement at city hall today, check out our live Facebook stream.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Saanich resident sends distress signal over cell-phone tower

Wes Solomonson says proposed cell-tower will undermine value of his rural Saanich home

Caring trumps racism for retired Langford fire chief

Support for Haitian orphans continues

Passengers bound for Victoria say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

Third Victoria person pricked by needle in past week

Police say this one appears to have been deliberately placed

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

Boat capsizes in Caddy Bay

Two members of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club Race Team spent part… Continue reading

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Witnesses sought to reported sexual assault in downtown Victoria

Early morning incident happened near Quadra and View streets

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Most Read