Dean was elected the 51st Mayor of Victoria in 2008, and was re-elected in 2011 with the strongest popular mandate ever received by a mayoral candidate in Victoria. Prior to 2008, he served two terms on council and spent 17 years as executive director of the Burnside Gorge Community Centre. Dean is 55 years old, and lives in the Oaklands neighbourhood of Victoria with his wife and two daughters. He is a committed commuter cyclist and a volunteer basketball coach.
Why should I vote for you?
I am the only candidate with the proven ability to bring council together to get things done for the people of Victoria. Since my election in 2008, I have led a diverse council forward together, and today Victoria is a more dynamic, vibrant and progressive city than it was only a few years ago. We’re growing a diverse economy, creating new jobs and attracting new industries. We’re tackling tough problems like affordable housing, and taking significant steps to reduce homelessness. We’re revitalizing our downtown and neighbourhoods through smart development, improving bus service and creating more parks and green spaces. We’re making progress on all fronts, but there is still work to be done. In 2014, we brought in the lowest tax increase in 14 years, after bringing increases down each year since 2008. We did this while increasing support for community centres, seniors’ centres and libraries – vital services that our city depends on. Working together, we can keep moving forward on our shared hopes and aspirations for this extraordinary city – a livable, prosperous and progressive Victoria that leaves no one behind.
Your main goal if elected?
My main goal for a third term is not to lose ground on our fight to stop homelessness and build affordable housing. In the last six years, we’re worked together with the province and BC Housing and built over 250 new supportive housing units and 450 new affordable housing units. That’s over 700 homes for people in our community. This month, we’ve moved forward on building another 150 units of affordable housing. Building housing is the most important thing we can do to fight homelessness.
Rent supplements and other programs such as Streets to Homes, are important parts of the progress we’re making. But let me be clear: the solution to the crisis is building new housing. It is not to give tax breaks to private landlords, as others have argued. There are no gimmicks or short cuts that we can take. Creating new housing stock must be our focus, and it is my priority.
We have worked closely with senior levels of government to deliver funding and build new housing since 2008. The Coalition to End Homelessness estimates that we need another 250 supportive units and 1500 more affordable units – I am committed to getting those units built.