The BC Liberals have controlled the province for the past 16 years, but during that time many Vancouver Island ridings have remained orange and committed to the NDP.
With leader John Horgan about to take over as premier of the province next week and elected to represent the riding of Langford-Juan de Fuca, we wanted to reach out to local mayors to get their thoughts and expectations for the greater Capital Region over the next four years.
Here is a sampling of what they had to say:
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps –
- Priorities: Increasing affordable housing, improving mental health and addictions services, creating a regional transportation commission, better child care, and finishing off the Belleville Terminal.
- Quote: “Whatever the province can do to stimulate more workplace housing is critical to the economy of the city.”
Langford Mayor Stewart Young –
- Priorities: Highway improvements, affordable housing supply, E&N rail corridor.
- Quote: “What we’re looking for and working with John on, is highway improvements out to Sooke.”
Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins –
- Priorities: E&N rail corridor, resource management, turning bio-solid waste into energy.
- Quote: “We’ve got to get something happening between the West Shore and downtown. Esquimalt is smack in the middle of it and we get clogged up with traffic. That, for me, is the top priority of any government.”
View Royal Mayor David Screech –
- Priorities: E&N rail corridor, affordable housing.
- Quote: “I hope we’re going to see movement on the E&N as a transportation corridor and a train service between Langford and downtown. Right behind that is the desperate need to address the affordable housing crunch and rental shortage in the region.”
Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell –
- Priorities: Sewage project, transportation, amalgamation.
- Quote: “For the last 16 years the government has been in place, (and) to be frank, there hasn’t been much in the way of representation in the government from the local MLAs. The MLAs that we’ve elected haven’t made up the government, and I think the region has suffered for that.”
Sidney Mayor Steve Price –
- Priorities: Affordable housing, critical infrastructure such as redevelopment of Beacon Wharf.
- Quote: “I believe our new MLA, Adam Olsen, will work extremely hard in representing the needs of Saanich North and the Islands, and in particular Sidney.”
Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor –
- Priorities: Interchange at Keating Cross Road, balancing the preservation of farmland with development.
- Quote: “I would say that our priorities and approach won’t really change all that much.”
Highlands Mayor Ken Williams –
- Priorities: Roadway infrastructure, bike lanes, controlling invasive species, and more police enforcement.
- Quote: “Speeding motorcycles have always been a concern for us, especially along Millstream and Ross-Durrance roads.”