Times Colonist – Survey Question Responses

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Philippe+Lucas/5575655/story.html

Candidate’s name: Philippe Lucas     Running for which council or school district?: Victoria  If running for municipal seat, indicate position: Councillor/CRD director      Occupation:  City Councillor, CRD Director/business co-owner (Hip Baby Victoria)/Drugs & Addictions Researcher

Community where you live: Victoria

Community where you work:  Victoria

Political experience

I’m currently a City Councillor and CRD Director. My responsibilities include: Chair of the City of Victoria Environment and Infrastructure Committee, Community Development Committee, Council Liaison to City of Victoria Youth Council, Council Liaison to Quadra/Hillside and North Park, Trustee on the Greater Victoria Cemetery Board, CRD Board, Hospital Board, Vice-President of the CRD Housing Corporation; CRD Environmental Sustainability Committee; Core Area Liquid Waste Committee & Solid Waste Advisory Committee. My previous experience includes being a member of the Student Teacher Advisory Committee and the Secondary Program Council while studying to be a secondary teacher at the UVic.

Community involvement

I have a long history of community involvement, largely focused on homelessness, harm reduction and food security. I’m currently on the Board of the Vancouver Island School of Art and the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, on the Advisory Board of the Center for Addictions Research of BC, the, and the Chair of the Victoria Downtown Public Market Society, a non-profit working to bring a public market back to our downtown core. Additionally, I am the coordinator of the Eat Here Now Harvest Festival, which drew over 10,000 residents in support of local food and farmers to Centennial Square last September.

What are the top three issues?

1. Lower Taxes & Keeping Resources Public: I was the only councillor to vote to lower the residential tax rate in 2011. At the CRD, I was the sole Director to vote to keep our sewage treatment project 100% public.

2. Homelessness & Harm Reduction: I’ve championed a significant in affordable housing and passed motions in support of increased harm reduction and supervised consumption sites.

3. Environmental Sustainability: I spearheaded a ban on the land application of sewage sludge on farmland in the CRD, and passed a motion calling for a moratorium on the installation of Smart Meters in Victoria.

Why should people vote for you?

I work hard to make pragmatic, well-informed decisions, and to represent a progressive voice on city council and the CRD. Over the next 3 years I’m going to promote strategies to boost our local economy; improve food security; increase civic engagement; reduce poverty, homelessness and addiction in our region; and create a more age and family-friendly Victoria. At the CRD, I’ll ensure good value for money and public ownership of the regional sewage treatment strategy, and continue to protect unique natural resources like the Juan de Fuca Trail and our regions farmland.

What are the best things about your community?

I love the diversity of age, cultures and ideas that distinguishes Victoria. The remarkable creativity, commitment and cooperation that this community displays when faced with both challenges and opportunities is what makes living and working in Victoria so inspiring and rewarding. A great example is the many groups and individuals who give so much of themselves to address poverty-related and environmental issues in our region, ranging from homelessness, to smart meters, to food security. In Victoria, change and progress truly comes from the community, and the city needs to more to encourage, promote, and empower community development and social enterprise.

What are the most vexing things about your community?

The most vexing thing is the long-time deferment of spending on infrastructure that has left so many of our facilities and core systems like bridges, roads, sewage and community centers vulnerable. Unfortunately, short-term thinking and poor spending decisions by past councils means that our city is now left with the responsibility to address a backlog of 50 years of basic maintenance and upgrades, and that continues to compete with other municipal goals and spending priorities. One solution is a shift to pragmatic, long-term planning and responsible management of our many municipal resources.

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