(Victoria Buzz)

The City of Victoria’s incumbent Mayor, Lisa Helps, launched her campaign for re-election this afternoon with a sneak peek of a few of her policies, should she win in the upcoming municipal elections.

If she is re-elected, Helps says she plans to implement lower speed limits on all local neighbourhood streets, bringing it down from 50 km/h to 30 km/h.

According to Helps, this platform commitment was formulated after extensive consultation with groups of residents who hosted “Kitchen Table Talks” in their homes across different neighbourhoods.

Her second key campaign promise is to expand the city’s garden suite program to include bigger suites on bigger lots.

“There are roughly 5,600 plus size lots in Victoria that are eligible for garden suite development,” reads a media release from the campaign.

“Currently, garden suites are restricted to one-bedroom designation, but with Lisa’s proposed changes to the zoning process, plus-size lots would be eligible for multi-bedroom garden suites for families.”

On John A. Macdonald statue removal

On August 11th, the Statue of John A. MacDonald was removed from outside Victoria City Hall. The decision to remove the statue came after a year-long process in which the city council made a City Family, and met with First Nations community members monthly.

The meetings ultimately lead to the Victoria City Council voting 7-1 in favour of removing the statue.

However the decision was not well received by community members who argued that there had not been enough public consultation before the statue was removed. Helps issued an apology in response, stating that she “didn’t recognize the great desire of Victoria residents to participate in reconciliation actions”.

This afternoon, Helps told members of the media that she has been working with the John A. Macdonald Society to come up with a way to reintroduce the statue in a public setting while maintaining “the right balance between commemoration and reconciliation”.

She also stated that there will be a clear public consultation plan brought to the table sometime before the municipal election on October 20th.

In the coming weeks, Helps plans to release a detailed plan to showcase her policies over the next four years if she is re-elected as Mayor of Victoria.

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