JACK KNOX

Guess who’s run­ning for coun­cil again? An­gry Red-Faced Man, for one

Times Colonist - - Front Page - JACK KNOX jknox@times­colonist.com

They closed the nom­i­na­tions for B.C.’s lo­cal elec­tions Fri­day, and not a mo­ment too soon. By my count, there are 179 peo­ple stand­ing for mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment in the cap­i­tal re­gion, three shy of an epi­demic.

The fi­nal cred­its of Lord of The Rings weren’t that long. The Ari­zona Coy­otes draw smaller crowds.

It’s a shorter-than-usual cam­paign pe­riod this time, too.

Elec­tions used to fall in mid-Novem­ber, but then some bright spark fi­nally re­al­ized there’s more to B.C. than Vic­to­ria and Van­cou­ver and the peo­ple in The Land Be­yond Hope would ap­pre­ci­ate trekking to the polls when the snow isn’t at eye­brow height.

The change is good, but still leaves less time for vot­ers to be­come fa­mil­iar with the can­di­dates.

Never mind. You might not know their names, but you know who’s run­ning. They’re the same peo­ple who al­ways run. There will be:

• A Fresh Voice For Change who wants to blow up city hall be­cause ev­ery­one there is cor­rupt/lazy/thick as a brick. Ask what this can­di­date will do about af­ford­able hous­ing, the re­ply will be: “I’m go­ing to shake things up.” This will also be the re­ply to ques­tions about trans­porta­tion, ag­ing in­fra­struc­ture, cap­i­tal fi­nanc­ing, de­vel­op­ment cost charges, cannabis zon­ing and dog li­cences. You can be pretty sure this can­di­date had a re­la­tion­ship with Stormy Daniels/Vladimir Putin.

• A Busi­ness Rep­re­sen­ta­tive ad­vo­cat­ing “re­spon­si­ble growth” and “an ex­panded tax base to im­prove our qual­ity of life.” It will later emerge that this can­di­date was backed by ConCo Inc., a for-profit op­er­a­tor of U.S. pris­ons that has its eyes on Bea­con Hill Park.

• A Preser­va­tion­ist who wishes to pro­tect the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s “unique char­ac­ter.” Trans­la­tion: no multi-fam­ily hous­ing, no poor peo­ple, no road use by com­muters, sight­seers or non-res­i­dent cy­clists. Tradespeople may use the ser­vice en­trance at the back.

• A Re­cy­cled Politi­cian who was once part of a dif­fer­ent elected body: school board, leg­is­la­ture, Par­lia­ment, re­gional board … . It’s like the Cana­dian Foot­ball League, where ev­ery quar­ter­back plays for ev­ery team, even­tu­ally.

• An An­gry Red-Faced Man who ad­vo­cates not only no tax in­crease, but no taxes, pe­riod. He wants to re­peal gay mar­riage, the met­ric sys­tem, bilingualism, bike lanes, bikes and, what the hell, the French. Wants to send In­dige­nous peo­ple back where they come from. Wants Doug Ford to in­voke the not­with­stand­ing clause to ban all Trudeaus.

• An An­gry Red-Faced Man who will de­mand free homes for the home­less, free drugs for the drug­less, the con­ver­sion of all bour­geois golf courses into re-ed­u­ca­tion camps for their mem­bers, and a to­tal ban on in­ter­nal-com­bus­tion mo­tors and gen­der-spe­cific pro­nouns. He will have ab­so­lutely no idea how much or­di­nary peo­ple — the can­non fod­der in his class war — pay in prop­erty taxes.

• A Con­cerned Mother mo­ti­vated by the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to axe school mu­sic pro­grams/drain the pool/turn her lo­cal park into a tent city, com­plete with a safe-in­jec­tion site un­der the jun­gle gym. “Our chil­dren are our fu­ture of to­mor­row to­day,” she will say. Some­one will then point out that Greater Vic­to­ria has the low­est per­cent­age of chil­dren of any city in Canada.

• A Pro-Amal­ga­ma­tion Woman will ask res­i­dents of Esquimalt or View Royal or Oak Bay whether they think it would be OK to pos­si­bly start think­ing about po­ten­tially study­ing the ben­e­fits and draw­backs of merg­ing with neigh­bour­ing mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. She will then be burned at the stake as a witch.

• A Re­tired Busi­ness Ex­ec­u­tive with too much time on his hands, par­tic­u­larly now that his wife has left him for try­ing to boss her around the way he did his cor­po­rate un­der­lings. If not elected to lo­cal of­fice, he will be­come pres­i­dent of his condo’s strata coun­cil, where he will A) in­sist on re­plac­ing the roof ev­ery three years and B) chalk the tires in the vis­i­tors’ park­ing spots.

In ad­di­tion to all th­ese, there will be a sub­set of can­di­dates run­ning for school board:

• A se­lec­tion of Re­tired Teach­ers who, af­ter 40 years un­der the whip with the bit in their teeth, are look­ing for­ward to seiz­ing the reins.

• A Re­cently Grad­u­ated Stu­dent, look­ing to use the (spring) board to launch a po­lit­i­cal ca­reer/get re­venge on her old Bi­ol­ogy 11 teacher.

• The An­gry Par­ents of a child whose teacher laughed when the kid was hit in the nuts by a soc­cer ball. When chal­lenged on pol­icy, the par­ents will ac­cuse their ques­tion­ers of “bul­ly­ing.”

• Not run­ning will be a Small Busi­ness Owner. They all lost in­ter­est once school trustees lost the abil­ity to raise prop­erty taxes or ne­go­ti­ate big labour con­tracts.

Ac­tu­ally, no­body’s quite sure what school boards do any­more. Maybe some­thing to do with earth­quake pre­pared­ness.

• Also not run­ning will be a woman who in­tended to run on a fix-the-Mala­hat plat­form, but who failed to file her nom­i­na­tion pa­pers in time, hav­ing been caught be­hind a rock slide in Gold­stream Park.

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