Our View: Poll results send message

Mayor Dean Fortin enjoyed a sound victory Saturday, but results suggest he can’t take his support for granted during his second term.

Victoria’s new government must tread carefully

Mayor Dean Fortin enjoyed a sound victory Saturday, but results suggest he can’t take his support for granted during his second term.

The electorate sent him two distinct messages at the polls.
On the one hand, the majority of voters generally approve of his direction and track record on affordable housing and plans to build a strong downtown economy.

On the other hand, fully one quarter of voters supported an alternate candidate whose slogan was “Stop the momentum.”

Paul Brown didn’t just present an alternative vision for the city. Instead, he ran a fierce attack campaign, warning that Mayor Fortin is on a dangerous path to nowhere good. Tax hikes are unsustainable, the city’s infrastructure deficit threatens to cripple the economy, and city hall is secretive about bad news, he charged.

His accusations didn’t have much chance of ousting a popular mayor, but they resonated with enough people to be taken seriously.

There are other signs that all is not well among the electorate. First, two councillors on Fortin’s slate were not re-elected — a rare phenomenon in a city where incumbents almost always win their seat.

Second, Coun. Geoff Young won more votes than any other candidate.

Young has made a name for himself as the consistent and often only voice of opposition on council. He boasts there would be no discussion during council meetings, if not for him.

Council has already taken the first steps toward many of the reforms Brown called for. They include a more proactive approach to maintaining infrastructure, and a policy of posting all documents to the city website.

If the new council is responsive, they’ll be sure to follow through with thoroughness and haste.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria resident sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Boat says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Victoria to reassess 2020 budget in light of COVID-19; more hotel rooms found for the homeless

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps provided an update on municipal measures on March 31

Tents, sleeping bags donated to Our Place from local Victoria store

Robinson’s Outdoor Store received funds from PwC Canada to make the donation

Victoria police seek public help finding high-risk missing woman last seen on ferry

Mariah Konchak has shoulder-length dark hair, scars above her right eye and may be missing a tooth

Victoria police arrest man in stolen Jubilee Hospital worker’s car

Suspect found in car with drugs, stolen property and weapons

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Most Read