Varying priorities in Vancouver Island communities for NDP majority government

Varying priorities in Vancouver Island communities for NDP majority government
WatchFrom homelessness and addiction problems to support for the resource sector and COVID-19 economic recovery, Vancouver Island mayors have a long wish list for the new NDP majority government.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says the main issues facing mayors across most of B.C. is mental health, addictions and homelessness.

The BC Urban Mayors Caucus met with premier-elect John Horgan before the election about how to deal with the issues and now feels that a majority government is a step in the right direction.

“John Horgan assured us that he was willing to sit down with us, with local governments across British Columbia and work out a new fiscal relationship that will put more predictable funding in the hands of cities and local governments so I’m very optimistic now that there’s an NDP majority we’re going to see this transformational work happen,” said Helps.

Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams says it may take some time for Horgan to find roles for all of his new MLAs but he knows what is important to him and other north Island communities.

“The main economic drivers are the resource-based industries of aquaculture and forestry and a greater advocacy at the provincial level for the sustainability of both those economies is what we’ll be looking for,” said Adams.

One of Horgan’s new MLAs is now outgoing Campbell River councillor Michele Babchuk who is eager to join a majority government.

“You know our COVID-19 economic recovery is something that John has laid out very clearly and I’m very versed with what’s needed here in regards to the resource sector,” she said.

In Parksville-Qualicum where mail-in ballots will have to be counted to confirm a new seat for the NDP, Mayor Ed Mayne says people may not notice a difference with a majority government.

“Well it’s interesting, I thought the minority government was working very well I really did,” he said. “It really wasn’t an NDP government or a Green government or a Liberal government for that matter it was a government of the people.”

Mayne said the growing city of Parksville will be looking for provincial funding for projects like a new pool and recreation centre

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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