Top cop’s dirty laundry aired in council

It’s my job to make municipal politics interesting; to sift through bylaw amendments and filter out the painfully dull language

It’s my job to make municipal politics interesting; to sift through bylaw amendments and committee agendas and filter out the painfully dull language of bureaucracy to bring you the slightly more biased and considerably more palatable soundbites to which we’re all accustomed.

Sometimes the news lends itself to this process, usually with the help of organizations like the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group. Last week, the folks responsible for the research-project-turned-campaign Out of Sight: Policing Poverty in Victoria turned their attention to near-infamous Chief Jamie Graham of the VicPD with a presentation detailing the former Vancouver chief’s turbulent history.

“Jamie Graham has a notorious reputation for promoting discrimination against street-involved people,” said VIPIRG committee member Gordon O’Connor. “He still refuses to apologize for widespread police violence during his tenure as Vancouver police chief. Since coming to Victoria, Graham has actively persecuted addicts by cutting off access to harm reduction services.”

The workshop came on the heels of a presentation to Victoria City Council requesting several dramatic changes to bylaws which VIPIRG says unfairly impact the city’s homeless population. The resulting motion by councillor Ben Isitt to repeal bylaws banning nearly any physical presence on Pandora Green boulevard and allowing for the confiscation of inconveniently placed possessions will be discussed on April 19.

That’s the news that makes my job easy. More often than not, current events here in the capital are far less accommodating — something I had ample time to dwell on this week at a presentation entitled “Distribution of Property Taxes amoung Tax Classes.” Fortunately, it’s a short leap from discussing taxes to expounding on the myriad ways in which we the public are left to deal with the haphazard expenditures of local government.

The presentation outlines changes to the city’s tax policy, which, if implemented, would decrease the portion of the city’s income drawn from the business community and peg future tax collection to the city’s desired levels rather than the assessed values of homes and businesses in the community. In short, this new policy would ensure that ratepayers rather than the city bear the brunt of any major decline in the city’s economic health.

It may be bias that ensures the moral to every story is “You’re getting screwed,” but I prefer to think I’m just doing my job. M

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Gettin’ Higher Choir will be performing alongside Wavelengths Community Choir and special guests during an online concert Jan. 30. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria choirs team up for online concert fundraiser

Valdy among performers for free concert

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy Everett Bumstead.
The tree planting life on Vancouver Island features in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Juno-winning Toronto dub poet Lillian Allen is VIU’s Gustafson Distinguished Poet for 2021. (Photo courtesy Karen Lee)
Juno-winning dub poet is VIU’s Gustafson Distinguished Poet this year

Lillian Allen will present online lecture, reading and Q-and-A

James Summer, the City of Victoria’s new youth poet laureate. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Slam poetry expert introduced as Victoria’s new youth poet laureate

Vic High alum James Summer will serve in the role for 2021

There are many options for enjoying a meal out locally during Dine Around and Stay in Town, on now through Feb. 7. (10 Acres Commons)
Dine Around Stay in Town Victoria carries added importance during pandemic

Special menu items for eat in or takeout/delivery, staycation deals available through Feb. 7

Peter Crema and Harmony Gray (from left), past participants of the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Code Switching teen art group, at work in ArtLab in 2019. The NAG will be expanding the space thanks to a $75,000 arts infrastructure program grant. (Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre receive new arts infrastructure funding

Province announces recipients of funding through B.C. Arts Council program

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Canadian singer-songwriter-actor Joëlle Rabu will join her son, Nico Rhoades, for a livestream performance courtesy the Tidemark Theatre Jan. 29. Photo submitted
Mother/son powerhouses Joelle Rabu and Nico Rhodes join forces for Island livestream

Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre hosts online music revue

Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied
Island Voices welcomes new conductor

Dr. John Hooper to lead mid-Island based choir

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

Most Read