EDITORIAL: Final thoughts on the election

We would all be remiss not to thank all the candidates for offering their time to public office

A few more thoughts on last weekend’s civic election:

Seven new mayors are gracing the halls of power in Greater Victoria municipalities, including Victoria’s new mayor, Lisa Helps, after last Saturday’s election.

A political shift is definitely taking place, but what is that shift – and what is the catalyst? Is it to younger, more dynamic politicians, the influence of the Green Party, or were Greater Victoria residents just in need of change for the sake of change? Only time will tell.

•n One thing for sure: people certainly weren’t happy with the status quo. This is always evident when you get a high voter turnout (which was recorded in almost every South Island municipality).

Each municipality has its issues. But the two overriding issues remain the sewage project boondoggle and, of course, amalgamation. And each of those will require a miracle worker to solve.

The province walked into the amalgamation debate two days after the election when it announced it will commit support and resources as required to the process.

As we noted in this space Wednesday, it is extremely important that Greater Victoria creates its own plans for amalgamation: a made in Victoria solution, not a provincially mandated solution that may serve the B.C. legislature rather than local residents.

To do that, mayors and councillors, new and old, will have to start by sitting down and seeing what first steps can be taken in terms of informal cooperation and sharing.

We would all be remiss not to thank all the candidates for offering their time to public office. It takes great courage to put your name before the electorate. Campaigning means a lot of work and money.

These candidates risk a lot when they decide to run for a seat on city council or the school board. It’s not as if they are going to be paid an exorbitant rate even if they win.

So thank you candidates.