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Gary Beyer, Victoria BC

A Vibrant and energetic city with a great future.

Known the world over as a city full of charm, history and a west coast beauty, Victoria needs real leadership focused of Responsible Governance.

STATEMENT

It is with mixed feelings and no little regret that I distribute this statement today.

A number of months ago, I announced my intention to run for Mayor of the City of Victoria in opposition to the current Mayor, Lisa Helps. I did so because I had heard from many Victoria residents that they were unhappy with Mayor Helps and the current council, in particular with their unwillingness to engage in meaningful consultation before taking actions that could significantly impact the lives or livelihoods of some residents. I was, and am, fully in support of those concerns.

I was worried that if no viable contender for the Mayor’s chair stepped forward, Mayor Helps would be re-elected with little challenge to her past performance, and city residents would face another four years of the same type of civic government.

Since I announced my candidacy, however, other credible candidates have stepped forward to join the race for Mayor.

The last thing I want to do is to split the vote of the opposition in such a way that Mayor Helps ends up getting re-elected with only a small plurality of votes. This has happened before in Victoria, most notably in 1990 when sitting council members Frank Carson and Ron McKenzie both ran for mayor chasing the same block of voters. The result was that David Turner, later dubbed “Mayor Moonbeam” in the media, was able to slip through the middle and win with only 33.9 per cent of the popular vote.

In an effort to ensure that this does not happen again in October, I am announcing today that I am withdrawing my candidacy for Mayor.

I would urge others who have announced their candidacy, or are planning to do so, to weigh carefully their options to ensure that those who do not support Mayor Helps have one clear choice to vote for on October 20.

I hope that other candidates adopt some of the principles I believe are important for mayor and council to govern well during the next four years: clean, safe streets; financial accountability for tax dollars spent; and, most of all, an assurance that they will govern on behalf of all the citizens of Victoria, not just cater to special interest groups of whatever stripe.

I think it is too early yet to endorse any one candidate, but I will be watching the performance and platforms of the candidates in the coming weeks and, before election day, will announce where I am going to place the X on my ballot.

For those who wish, I will be updating my website to reflect this decision, and to post my thoughts and hopes for the city going forward.

In conclusion, I would like to express my most sincere thanks to all those who have helped and supported me in the campaign work to date, and would also like to encourage them too to stay involved in this most important electoral process.

Gary Beyer

Stumbling Like a Child

As I sit at my desk on a Sunday morning (taking inventory) I have the opportunity to watch what appears to be a very high person stumbling about like a child first learning to walk - while trying to load his basket with spilled bottles and cans.

There are at most 6 cans and a few bottles.

The question burning itself through my brain is, what decisions were made? What circumstances in his life led to where he is today? It is with compassion that I must ask, at what point do we as a society need to, or should we, step in and say, you are a danger to yourself?

Can we as a society justify forcing help upon those who really can no longer make those decisions?

Plastic Bag Ban a Joke

Victoria's ban on single use bags is a joke.

To ban what essentially is a multi use product while still allowing truly single use (small plastics that wrap and separate your produce etc.) is much too focused. Let's develop a strategy to not only phase out the use of as many plastics as possible, (shorter and longer terms) and also step up on educating people in how to reduce a plastic foot print.

At the same time we as a society, and in Victoria as a community, need to make recycling of plastics easier.

Elsner Process in Question for Years

Mayor Helps; people have been asking questions about Chief Elsner for two years.

Please tell us the whole story and quit hiding behind euphemisms like "I'm frustrated too, I'm a tax payer too."

Please lay out your entire process, all allegations and a full reasoning for not firing a person whom we all agree, and based on your letter of reprimand that never saw light of day, was not only engaging in behavior unbecoming a top public official, but also was sexually harassing his female staff, oh and that we still paid him until recently?

Shame on Mayor Helps.

Celebrating Canada Day

Many years ago, a little more than a decade after the most devastating conflict the world had gone through, my father and separately my mother, immigrated to Canada from the country responsible for atrocities unimagined by civilized people.
On this, the 151st anniversary of a nations birth, in a land peopled by others for thousands of years, I would like to thank Canada for being a tolerant and welcoming nation.

While bigotry, and hatred do exist, and as we see south of us do not need much fuel to ignite and burn hot, I truly believe that we as a nation are better, and stronger in diversity of race, religion, color, gender, than others who demand assimilation. Nations that scream, be like us or get out.

For without Canada showing compassion, without a young nation welcoming others as her own, Canada would be a lesser country, and I would never have had the privilege of being a citizen.
Happy Birthday Canada, and Thank you.

Do we have a homeless problem?

While I am a firm believer in the adage that we are our brother’s keeper, and that as a society, we are defined by how well we take care of those who for many reasons may end up on the street or in the care of societies doing great work in Victoria. I am also of the belief that we need to separate them from those who would take advantage of what we as society have to give, thus detracting from limited resources.

Do we have a homeless problem? Yes.

Are there those that abuse our generosity? Yes.

The Welcome mat can only be extended so far. I think we are at that point.

Stop wasting money. Save the Crystal!

With an election now only a few months away, I find it very interesting that the city of Victoria and its Mayor and Council seem hell bent on trying to get as much money spent on a new pool as possible. With very little funding in place, and both Federal an Provincial funding not forthcoming at this time, would it not be better to stop, regroup and consult further with the community and stakeholders?

My personal preference is to renovate, and refurbish the pool we have. Not only does this save the taxpayer a rather large sum, (Can you say bridge), it's also the greener option, in that there will be a lot less waste ending up in the landfill. The Mayor and council tell us we need a community center for the area, add it to the the Crystal. We are told we need better equipment, then add better equipment. We are told we need new pumps and pipes and filtering? Then renew what we have.

The Crystal Pool has been a part of the fabric Victoria for almost half a century. It's a unique De Castri design. Let's save a bit of our 20th century heritage, and at the same time, lets save some money.

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