City of Victoria councillors have presented two motions to help individuals and businesses cope with the demands of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
One idea is to develop an essential services delivery platform, while the other aims to make parking free at downtown parkades, particularly for frontline workers.
On Friday, March 27th councillors Charlayne Thornton-Joe and Marianne Alto issued a motion that, if carried, would make city parkades free for the month of April.
This motion was made after considering correspondences from essential service workers who have been travelling in personal vehicles rather than relying on public transit due to physical distancing concerns.
To provide relief to those who continue to work but may be receiving reduced incomes due to business closures in accordance with provincial health orders, the councillors recommend making downtown parkades free during the month of April.
The second motion, put forth by councillor Ben Isitt, suggests the creation of a ‘Made-In-Victoria’ dispatch app that would facilitate the delivery of food, groceries, and pharmacy products in the city.
Isitt argues that dispatch services should be treated as a public good, through the creation of a platform that provides an alternative to existing delivery apps and websites.
“There are also major disadvantages with emerging for-profit home delivery platforms, which often extract revenues (and economic opportunities) from local communities to large national and transnational corporations,” reads the motion.
This motion would see the creation of a platform that could dispatch goods and services including take-out food delivery and even ride-sharing and the dispatch of short term rental accommodations.
Isitt urges staff to reach out to the local Information Technology community to explore ways to jointly develop this ‘Made-in-Victoria’ platform.
Both motions from councillors will be discussed at a Committee of the Whole Meeting on Thursday, April 2nd.