Victoria mayor cheers city’s many accomplishments

Addressing business leaders from around the region, Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin took direct aim at his “main friendly competition” Wednesday.

“The cost of doing business in Victoria and Saanich is almost virtually the same,” he said, comparing his city’s 3.59 tax ratio to Saanich’s 3.78. He plugged the city’s recent decision to lower the business tax ratio for the third consecutive year, from 3.594 to 3.59.

“The great thing about being mayor is you get to be the biggest cheerleader,” Fortin said to attendees of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting.

Acting as more of a salesperson, he outlined the city’s successes in making the downtown a better place to do business. He pointed to a 26 per cent reduction in street disorder, and 76 homeless housed through the Streets to Homes program.

Up next, expect a call for more beat cops to further quell after-bar rowdiness. Also, expect a push to develop Rock Bay into a high-tech park, as part of the city’s ongoing economic development strategy.

B.C. Hydro’s land is the city’s last remaining brownfield site, Fortin said. “We’re seeking advice about how we can move this idea forward.”