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Capital Daily's 2022 municipal election coverage

For weeks, we've been reporting on issues at the centre of this year's local elections—and candidates' thoughts on those topics. Now we've updated it with what has changed following the election

By Capital Daily Staff
October 13, 2022
City Hall
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Capital Daily's 2022 municipal election coverage

For weeks, we've been reporting on issues at the centre of this year's local elections—and candidates' thoughts on those topics. Now we've updated it with what has changed following the election

Photo: Ryan Hook / Capital Daily
Photo: Ryan Hook / Capital Daily
City Hall
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Capital Daily's 2022 municipal election coverage

For weeks, we've been reporting on issues at the centre of this year's local elections—and candidates' thoughts on those topics. Now we've updated it with what has changed following the election

By Capital Daily Staff
October 13, 2022
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Capital Daily's 2022 municipal election coverage
Photo: Ryan Hook / Capital Daily

The 2022 local elections took place on Saturday, Oct. 15. See the full election results here.

Since then, a lot has changed. We've updated our list of election stories, below, with new context on what these stories mean now.

Look for the label that says "After the election" for new information.

Key Issues

Candidates agree there's a lack of housing—but where and how to build it is another story
Nearly 90% of Greater Victoria council and mayoral candidates told us there is a housing supply shortage. Disagreement on whether densification is the solution—and if so, where it should go—presents opportunity for voters to differentiate between candidates

After the election: Victoria’s Missing Middle Housing Initiative (MMHI) is now likely to pass with the support of the new mayor and council. Mayor-elect Marianne Alto supports the policy with the amendments made by the outgoing council, which reduced the allowable height for new developments and doubled the contributions developers whose projects do not meet affordability requirements will have to make to the city’s affordable housing trust fund.

“Those two things solved almost all the issues that most people have brought to our attention,” Alto said during a mayoral debate hosted by the Victoria Downtown Residents Association.

New councillors Jeremy Caradonna, Matt Dell and Dave Thompson all spoke in favour of the policy during the public hearing phase while Marg Gardiner and Stephen Hammond opposed it.

Cuncillor-elect Susan Kim has said she would like to see the policy approved with “stronger protection for renters” and Krista Loughton has also expressed support and noted that MMHI is one piece of the puzzle when it comes to the city’s response to the housing crisis. Meanwhile, Chris Coleman suggested the public is not supportive of MMHI as previously presented. Creating “more housing solutions for a wide range of needs” is one of Coleman’s top priorities as a councillor, according to his response to Capital Daily’s municipal candidate survey.

Alto, along with the mayors-elect of Esquimalt, Oak Bay and Saanich, all committed to meeting with community coalition Greater Victoria Acting Together during their first 100 days in office to work on its municipal housing platform. GVAT is calling on local governments to prioritize creating housing for homeless people, build thousands of units of affordable, climate-friendly non-profit housing and protect renters while increasing rental housing stock.

Meanwhile, in Metchosin, mayor-elect Marie-Térèse Little wants to work with the province to address housing with a focus on adding supply in “areas in Metchosin that are already zoned for multiple families or dwellings.” 

By Shannon Waters

What can municipalities do to attract health-care workers? Greater Victoria candidates have ideas
From subsidized clinic spaces, to housing and childcare options, municipal election candidates share their plans to make the region more affordable for health-care workers.

After the election: Stew Young lost his seat in Langford, and Mayor-elect Scott Goodmanson has said he is interested in working with developers to get purpose-built medical facilities added to new developments. Rob Martin was booted from Colwood, and Mayor-elect Doug Kobayashi has suggested driving developer amenity contributions toward medical needs.

The idea also has support in Victoria where mayor-elect Marianne Alto expects to see council consider broadening the scope of amenities packages for developments during its review of the city’s Official Community Plan next year. 

Alto has also proposed giving tax exemptions to non-profit and co-op health services, as well as multi-provider clinics. Her platform includes offering housing and financial incentives to health professionals.

By Brishti Basu and Zoë Ducklow

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Mental health and amalgamation dominate Victoria candidates’ policing priorities
Candidates across the region agree that police should not be the sole responders to mental health calls

After the election: In Esquimalt, incumbent Mayor Barb Desjardins led the charge to divorce Esquimalt’s policing from that of Victoria, a move that her opponent Sonya Gracey resisted. Desjardins, having been re-elected, will be free to pursue the course she set prior to the election.

Newly elected Mayor Marianne Alto wants to pursue a regional policing strategy, something VicPD Chief Del Manak has promoted as well.

“It seems extremely arbitrary and inefficient to me to confine those responders to a particular municipality, when you could literally be across the street needing similar, if not exactly the same, type of response and be hampered by the fact that someone drew a boundary,” Alto said. “I think you need to have a force that has the authority to respond in all of those areas.”

Support for Peer-Assisted Crisis Teams (PACT), something Alto has called “exciting,” was nearly unanimous among candidates. Newly elected Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock has also expressed interest in civilian-led mental health response.

By Brishti Basu / Update by Jimmy Thomson

Local governments need to step up on affordable and supportive housing, non-profit coalition says
Calls to action outline six “very tangible steps” municipalities can take to increase and retain affordable housing

By Shannon Waters

What Greater Victoria candidates say about young people—and who they think young people are
Candidates say priority issues for young people in the region are housing and recreation

After the election: While the majority of those elected were older, a few younger candidates have won seats on council: Colby Harder, Zac de Vries, and Niall Paltiel were among those elected who are under 30 years old. Harder won the most votes out of any mayoral or council candidate in Langford, and will be part of the council majority belonging to the Langford Now slate. De Vries and Paltiel, who were incumbent council candidates in Saanich and Central Saanich, respectively, were both reelected to council by comfortable margins.

By Michael John Lo

Election news and investigations

Election analysis: Marianne Alto is Victoria's next mayor—and Stew Young is ousted in Langford
What the turnovers across Greater Victoria councils mean for the municipalities' futures
A new ‘non-partisan’ slate in Victoria's election has extensive ties to the People's Party of Canada
VIVA Victoria's municipal and school board election effort is in line with successful conservative movements elsewhere—prompting some progressive candidates to join the race

After the election: The only slate in Victoria, VIVA Victoria, had a disastrous result Saturday: not a single VIVA council candidate cracked 1.3% of the vote. Of the seven VIVA candidates running for city council, only one surpassed more than 1.2% of votes cast: Julia Alvarez. Six VIVA candidates ran for the Greater Victoria School Board (SD61), and Leslie-Ann Goodall received the most votes with 1.58% of the total vote. To have been elected, candidates would have had to receive close to 5% of the votes in both the council and school trustee elections.

By Ryan Hook, Shannon Waters, and Jimmy Thomson

UPDATED: VIVA Victoria fires communications manager over allegations of sending misleading ‘Island Health’ email
The account has been deleted, but it may be linked to VIVA’s media representative, who has since been let go

After the election: Every candidate who boycotted the "Candidates for Change" event was elected to council: Matt Dell, Jeremy Caradonna, Susan Kim, Krista Loughton, and Dave Thompson.

By Tegwyn Hughes and Ryan Hook

Students sparse at UVic early municipal voting despite efforts to encourage youth vote
Young people are too busy with “a struggle to even exist,” and midterms, student representatives say

By Michael John Lo

Most municipal candidates own homes, live locally and are over 40, according to responses from 103 candidates
Demographic details from Capital Daily’s candidate database reveal those running are older and wealthier, on average, than the populations they hope to represent

After the election: The candidates' backgrounds in the two biggest municipalities are well represented in the backgrounds of those who were elected.

The average known age of Victoria’s newly elected city council is 52—not counting Marg Gardiner, who did not respond to the age field in the candidate survey. Gardiner is over 60, so the average age is likely nearer 54. That’s comparable to Saanich, where the average age is 53; Susan Brice, 79, is the oldest member of either council.

Every member of the next Saanich council, and the mayor, are homeowners, and three of its eight council members also own vacation or investment properties. Victoria elected two renters (Susan Kim and Krista Loughton), while two members (Mayor-elect Alto and Stephen Hammond) own other properties in addition to their homes.

In Victoria, three of the new councillors ride bikes for transportation, three drive, and two walk. Alto told us she uses her vehicle, walks, and takes transit. There are comparatively more cyclists in Saanich—three councillors and the mayor-elect—while just two say they drive as their primary transportation.

By Shannon Waters / Update by Jimmy Thomson

A Langford challenger offered freezies at an event. Then she received a letter from the election officer warning of vote-buying
Unclear communication had ‘a chilling effect’ on campaign activities, the Langford Now slate says

After the election: The entire slate of Langford Now candidates was elected on Saturday night, upending the status quo in the community that had previously only ever elected one mayor. Stew Young and all of his allies were defeated.

By Shannon Waters

Victoria mayoral candidates present their twists on incentives for health-care workers
Stephen Andrew and Marianne Alto share common ground when it comes to municipalities finding new ways to attract health-care workers

By Brishti Basu

Wanted Victoria council candidate arrested in Langley
Riga Godron is facing multiple charges related to an incident on Canada Day

After the election: Godron received 721 votes after her arrest, beating three other candidates but falling far short of a seat.

By Jolene Rudisuela

Four Greater Victoria mayors acclaimed in fall municipal elections
Across the Island, 11 mayors are running unopposed

By Jolene Rudisuela

Rebecca Mersereau can’t afford to live the life she wants in Saanich
The one-term Saanich councillor won’t be seeking re-election and plans to eventually leave the province due to the cost of living

By Shannon Waters

Victoria Coun. Geoff Young decides against re-election bid
Long-serving councillor will miss the platform that comes with public office but not the “all-consuming” demands of the job

By Shannon Waters

Suspended school board trustees McNally and Paynter reinstated by BC Supreme Court
The judge ruled the board had exceeded its authority in removing the two elected officials.

After the election: Rob Paynter and Diane McNally were re-elected following their court-ordered return to the Victoria school board. Nicole Duncan was the only other incumbent to be re-elected. She had challenged the board's authority to remove the trustees after the vote—which turned out to be beyond its authority. Ann Whiteaker, who had also supported the pair, was not re-elected, nor was Jordan Watters, who had opposed them. Chair Ryan Painter did not seek re-election.

By Jimmy Thomson

Q&As with Westshore mayoral candidates

Q&A with Langford's mayoral candidates
Scott Goodmanson takes on 30-year mayor Stew Young

After the election: Scott Goodmanson took on 30-year mayor Stew Young—and won. He was as surprised as anyone on Saturday night, and reiterated his commitment to listen to Langford residents. The main reason he decided to run was because he was frustrated at the lack of response he saw from Langford’s current council. “Any politician, myself included if I’m elected, we work for the residents. And I take that to heart. I'm tired of the community being ignored by the people that they voted in,” he said.

By Zoë Ducklow

Q&A with Colwood's mayoral candidates
Coun. Doug Kobayashi v. Mayor Rob Martin

After the election: Coun. Doug Kobayashi beat out incumbent Mayor Rob Martin in a landslide, with a promise to listen and consult—something he communicated through a robust door knocking campaign. He estimated he visited 4,000 homes in Colwood during the campaign. “Our job is to listen to them and reflect the will of the community,” he said.

By Zoë Ducklow

Q&A with View Royal's mayoral candidates
Sid Tobias challenges David Screech

After the election: Sid Tobias successfully challenged David Screech in View Royal. His campaign featured a similar theme of community consultation, listening to residents who feel shut out of municipal decisions, and promising a new style of collaborative, transparent leadership.

By Zoë Ducklow

One-term councillor now a mayoral hopeful in Metchosin
Marie-Térèse Little running for mayor

After the election: Marie-Térèse Little clinched the mayoral position against long-time councillor Kyara Kahakauwila by a narrow margin of 82 votes. Both mayoral contenders promised a more open government, and their platforms equally focused on rural protection and sustainable farming strategies.

By Zoë Ducklow

Five-term councillor announces bid for mayor of Metchosin
Kyara Kahakauwila launches mayoral bid
By Zoë Ducklow

Debate and panel recaps

Council candidates near consensus on mental health support and safe supply—and divided on involuntary treatment
At a forum attended by 15 candidates, public safety discussions exposed a wide gulf in plans and priorities

After the election: Camping in city parks could be a contentious issue for Victoria’s new council. Three new councillors—Jeremy Caradonna, Susan Kim and Dave Thompson—support allowing unhoused people to set up tents in parks, as required by the BC Supreme Court, while government works toward housing solutions. Councillors elect Chris Coleman and Marg Gardiner oppose park camping while Matt Dell, Stephen Hammond and Krista Loughton said “it’s complicated.”

The new council is on the same page when it comes to the need for more accessible mental health services in the city and the majority are supportive of harm reduction measures like safe supply and supervised consumption sites, which only Gardiner and Coleman do not support.

When it comes to policing, Coleman believes council should consider the Peelian principle—that lack of crime, rather than police response to criminal activity, is proof of effective policing—when eyeing the police budget and related programs, such as restorative justice and school liaisons.

Loughton wants to see the police focus on crime prevention and investigation rather than responding to mental health calls. Next month peer-assisted care teams (PACT) will begin responding to some mental health calls in the city and assess whether police or paramedics need to be called.

By Shannon Waters, Brishti Basu, and Jimmy Thomson

Three mayoral hopefuls pitch their policies during Victoria Downtown Residents Association debate
Alto, Andrew, and Marshall on housing affordability, homelessness, good governance, and more

By Shannon Waters

Explainers and resources

The Capital Daily Candidate Database
Get to know your Greater Victoria municipal election candidates

By Jimmy Thomson, Michael John Lo, and Shannon Waters

Get to know who’s running for your local school board
There are three school districts across Greater Victoria and 47 candidates running

By Jimmy Thomson, Michael John Lo, and Shannon Waters

What are they running for? A local government explainer
Capital Daily breaks down the responsibilities of municipal councils, school boards, and the Capital Regional District

By Zoë Ducklow and Shannon Waters

To read about what local councils have been talking about over the past months, catch up by reading our weekly Council Roundups.

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