Friday, September 7 ~ VICTORIA.
Well, this is coming right out and saying it…. regarding the number of people heard to be running for Mayor in the City of Victoria: “Certainly a lot of people are very unhappy with the current mayor and some of the decisions she has made,” says Michael Geoghegan who is running for Mayor of Victoria.
Geoghegan’s lead issue is housing. “The obvious solution is we need to build low income housing, throughout the region,” he told West Shore Voice News this week. He suggests cutting the red tape – as Langford has done – to more quickly advance affordable housing development. “It should not take years to get projects approved.”
He says the BC Energy Step Code adds significantly to the cost of every unit built in Victoria and Saanich, which gets passed on to the buyer. Shovel-ready projects are key, so that construction can begin promptly once funding is achieved.
“Tent city is a crisis.” He says even just a few years ago a person could rent an entire floor of a house for now what’s required to rent a 1-bedroom suite in an older building. “We need to go after the federal and provincial government for low-income housing dollars,” he says, adding that municipalities take an unfair share of the burden when people are homeless or struggling with housing. Studies have shown – when it comes to health care and social services system – it’s far more expensive to have people homeless than to provide them with basic housing. “And if we build enough rental, rents stop skyrocketing.”
Geoghegan, 52, believes in healthy communities, and would like to see anyone under age 18 get a free annual rec pass. “Healthier more active kids get into less trouble and become healthier adults. We save save on health care costs down the road as a society.”
The bike lanes have been a “$15 million disaster”, resulting in reduced flow of traffic in the downtown core, increasing congestion, and people have been injured. “Bike lanes should have been one lane going down secondary roads not two-way lanes down major arterial roads.”
He wants to see Victoria become a notable tech centre, similar to what’s seen in other major cities, as a way to boost the economy and provide jobs.
Geoghegan served for seven years on the City of Langford planning and zoning committee. He also worked at the BC legislature as a provincial ministerial assistant during the 1991-1996 government of NDP premier Mike Harcourt, and now for over 20 years has been a government relations consultant (lobbyist).
A few weeks ago he took a hiatus from his ‘Monday Morning Mike’ radio show on C-FAX.
::: This article was first published in the September 7, 2018 print-PDF issue of West Shore Voice News.