Gregory Hartnell’s Ten Point ‘Recovery Plan Victoria’ reprinted, [with slight editorial clarifications] from LA ROSA 36, Election Day, November 19, 2005]

  As president of the Concerned Citizens’ Coalition, I’ve watched with grave concern as fiscal accountability goes by the wayside under the present free-spending liberal regime at Victoria City Hall.  The glaring lack of accountability at the arena is particularly galling.

  I have a ten-point plan based on three basic principles: accountability, conservtion and solidarity.


To help first-time home buyers, particularly young families new to the real estate market, and to stimulate the depressed downtown economy.  Lower residential and commercial property taxes in the City of Victoria.


Sell arena for top dollar, no less than $40,000,000.  Build a new or renovate an existing facility to serve as a downtown residential addiction-recovery centre for homeless addicts.  Fund neighbourhood recovery houses run by recovering addicts.  No [more public] funding for so-called ‘safe-injection sites,’ nor for the [currently still] publicly funded [‘so-called’] needle exchanges.


Start Victoria Recovery Tax on alcohol, tobacco and cannabis product sales in Victoria to fund abstinence-based recovery programmes in above [downtown residential treatment and neighbourhood recovery] centres.


Ensure that all large borrowing proposals are put on ballot questions at election time, not during extraordinary referenda, and that they meet high thresholds for passing.  At least 70 per cent of eligible voters must vote, and a further 70 per cent or more of those voters must endorse the proposal for the borrowing to pass.  This will protect taxpayers from politicians with grandiose schemes, like the still-unfinished arena and the proposed new Crystal Pool.  As for the latter, I do not support the borrowing of $18,000,000 to tear down the existing Quadra STreet structure which is fine as is.


To enhance public safety, ban visits of nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed vessels, helicopters and seaplanes from within 3 km. of Victoria Harbour.  Take over control of harbor from Harbour Authority.  Reduce fees for artists and buskers.


Downtown highrise limit should be reduced to a human scale of nine storeys; the residential midrise limit should not exceed four storeys.  Council must consult with neighbourhood associations and other concerned citizens to revise neighbourhood plans.  Ban casinos in the City of Victoria, plant more trees on boulevards, build more bike racks, bus shelters, bike lanes and more softened curbs for scooters.  Phase out one-way streets, reduce speed limits, spread out bus stops downtown to disperse dilinquents.


Consolidate regulations for Beacon Hill Park and St. Anne’s Academy into one special protected non-commercial zone.  Cultural events must conform to the spirit of the original 19th century trust for the park.


All current cultural funding, particularly for the Inter-Cultural Association and the Royal McPherson Theatre Society should be subject to review.  Family- oriented culture with an emphasis on ‘local culture first’ will guide the new criteria for funding under our new hands-on cultural policy.  Preference should be given to new, young, or non-organized individual artists.


Cancel sister-city relationship with the city in Communist China.  To affirm peace, human rights and support for Tibet, start up sister-city relationship with Dharamsala, India.


I believe strongly in term limits – two terms per council seat, maximum of six years, including mayor.  Let’s bring in some electoral reforms and put the sewage treatment question, amalgamation questions, mayor and councillors’ term limits, lower -age youth vote, direct votes for CRD and PCC directors and other popular issues on the regular election ballot for more accountability and to enhance direct democracy.



You Deserve a Real Change by Father Allen Jones, Vicar Apostolic [reprinted from LA ROSA No. 36, November 19, 2005, Election Day]





JUSTICE.  It’s the one thing which transcends any political, philosophical, or religious opinion, and speaks to the heart of what we all need as human beings.  Without it there can be no sense of community, which is, of course, what lies at the heart of these elections.

  There can be no sense of accomplishment, nor of dignity, nor of common interest, if there is not first a sense that we have each been treated justly.  So in considering all the issues which are sure to fly back and forth among the various candidates during this race, I am reminded of but one single word: Justice.

  Our community is not a community of businesses, tourist attractions, or captivating landscapes – although we have those in abundance.  Victoria is a community of people, each as valuable and deserving of as much consideration as the next.  So while we are grateful for our international acclaim as one of Canada’s most beautiful cities, let us not forget that how we treat each other, from the least of us to the greatest,  also shapes and forms our identity as a community.

  We have a problem in the inner city concerning people who are impoverished and in many cases addicted.  We have largely ignored this problem.  Things have now escalated to the point where we receive attention not for our unique artistic accomplishments, but for being one of the few cities in Canada where the civic government is planning a so-called ‘safe-injection zone.’

  We have a serious problem in Council concerning the Save On Foods Memorial Centre.  It has been left to fester when on numerous occasions there was opportunity for us to cut loose and recoup.  Now, rather than celebrating our athletic passion, we find ourselves in the ridiculous situation of not being able to pay subcontractors – who are in turn being asked to vote for the incumbent this election.  There is suffering to be felt; by our reputation as a City, and by the hearts of those people who trusted her.

  Yes, we are known for our friendly disposition and gracious hospitality.  But we are equally known for our obscene sewage dumping and absurd treatment of our homeless citizens.

  We as a community need to go back to the basics.  We need to return our Council to a place where people are its primary concern.  Business owners, labourers, senior citizens, disabled persons, students, and the homeless; all of us are equal members of this great community, and share equally in its successes and shortcomings.

  As elected representatives of this community, our Council has a duty to take into consideration the hopes and dreams of all our citizens – in public, and on the record.  We need to make sure that what is debated in chamber is what we as a community are willing to support -through work, taxes and trust.

  As candidates, our name is what we are.  We are concerned citizens.  Mr. Hartnell, Mr. Jamieson and I make no effort to mask our agenda in this campaign.  We believe that if you will elect a Council which is truly interested in serving the community, then as a community we can find a way to begin earning real trust, through real change, for real people.


Why Patrick Jamieson is Running for the Concerned Citizens; CCC History reprinted from LA ROSA 36, Election Day, November 19, 2005


  I feel very strongly about supporting Gregory Hartnell for mayor for two reasons.  One is Gregory’s own qualities which I’ll get into, but almost as important is the inadequacy of the present incumbent to even see the extent of the problems and the moment we are in as a city in Victoria.

  First, Gregory’s own qualities that make him the best choice for Mayor.

  Gregory ran for mayor fifteen years ago in 1990.  It was the year another ‘outsider’ David Turner ran and won and some commentators have suggested that Gregory’s vote total was the difference that allowed Turner to squeak through.  Now is the time for another high quality outsider to win.

  In that fifteen years Gregory has been preparing himself to run again.  He has closely studied and critiqued the business incumbents who succeeded David Turner, Bob Cross and now Alan Lowe.

  Gregory comes from a long-time Victoria business family, the eldest child and son.  He and his father formed the Greater Victoria Concerned Citizens’ Association in 1988, and it was this organization that stayed vigilant and helped save Saint Anne’s Academy in the late 1980s from an inappropriate commercial ‘development.’  His work with the GVCCA and the Saint Anne’s Rescue Community Coalition saved it from the developers, the same ones who are running rampant with equally inappropriate developments throughout the city now, transforming the core nature of our beloved Victoria.

  Gregory will be an activist mayor.  He will be in the faces of those who wish to shape the city to their own self-image and values, those with money and those with political influence.  He will stand beside the small people, the middle class and the working poor and will strive for an imaginative, creative response that is suitable  to the problems of the impoverished, the homeless and the addicted who are appearing in greater numbers as late capitalism closes its gates to the less than elite.

  Gregory will be imaginative and inclusive in his decision-making processes.  He is accomplished and disciplined as an artist and sees the connection between healthy cities and healthy individuals with their struggles, transformed through the therapeutic process of creative discipline.  His attitude toward the arena project has revealed his stubborn commitment to a more egalitarian and accountable city administration.

  Gregory has a brilliant analytical mind.  Trained as an historian at a renowned Jesuit University, he has the complex sensibility needed for Victoria at this point in her history, at the juncture from small city to cosmopolitan centre, striving for the right formula to preserve her identity and at the same time evolve into her fuller destiny.

  Gregory has energy and commitment that will never wane.  He is not ‘old hat’ and he is not in anybody’s pocket, political, social or business group.  He is a true independent, graced by the fiscal and personal abilities to make this happen.


    As for my own platform as Councillor…I am formed and experienced as an independent social radical out of the Roman Catholic social justice prophetic tradition.  For twenty years I have run a newspaper which challenges society and the church itself to live up to these foundation principles of western society.

  I am professionally trained and experienced in social communications and community development skills, philosophy and principles.  This translates in political terms into being a professional social change agent.  

  Change, as everyone so painfully knows, is the daily norm we live with in this post-industrial, information technology era of history.  There are two attitudes toward change – to accept it passively or MANAGE it dynamically.  Passive acceptance means a juggernaut will roll over you and your community, leaving in its wake an unrecognisable place and a looming question – How could we let this happen?

  Dynamic management of change requires anticipation, analysis, and critical attitude.  I am trained and prepared to provide this sort of leadership, challenging the powers that be on every front, developing grassroots community leadership to resist and build according to our own self-determined values.  No more box store trash culture, as Gregory Hartnell said during the arena debate.  I am prepared and equipped for this challenge.  I welcome it.


  In Victoria today the challenge to change takes two major fronts, unbridled development and the social cost of the collapse of late capitalism.

  The first is driven by a feeding frenzy from narrowly focused, short-term developers who want to get in quick, make their money and move off to the next ‘opportunity.’  Our job on council is to broaden their focus, hold them accountable for the social problems they leave behind.  THEY MUST BECOME PART OF THE SOLUTION.  Here’s how.

  The social problems left behind can be seen in the widening rich-poor gap of haves and have nots, the prevalence of street people, homelessness, the incipient problems from that including incessant petty crime, evidence of rampant addiction and the irresponsible attitude of higher levels of government who try to float above the problems created by their crass narrowly-conceived passing of the buck to the municipalities where people actually live.

  All developers will have to provide mixed housing components to their housing and business projects, affordable housing units to address the homelessness issue.  They will have to build-in such permanent units and be committed to maintain them.  To do this they will have to help pressure higher levels of government to provide subsidies for this.  They will have to ensure ongoing professional maintenance of these units with their necessary social programs.

  This will involve BC Housing and a form of profit sharing.  Our job will be to broaden the parameters of their conscience, hold them to the responsibilities of the new awareness that dealing with council will bring.  Developers want their share of the pie by building in Victoria.  City Council holds the knife that divides the shares.

  I will fight for this tooth and nail, down to the wire and will be around to inspect the results.  Developers will learn that there are creative ways to frustrate them financially which will bring about this new integration of rich and poor.


  This is just one example, obviously, of my critical thinking and overall approach.  It would be applied to every arena of political and social discussion at city council.  It’s an activist approach.  Concerned Citizens’ Coalition candidates will bring creative thinking to the homelessness situation which will include in-depth public consultation.  The solutions are in the community.  We will develop structures to tap into this wisdom.

  The role of the police in this context will need to be revisited.  Community development principles along with psychological training are part of the solution.  Creative nonviolent techniques of social confrontation are part of the answer.  These principles of social development will be front and centre, not mere window dressing.

  This can happen because the CCC candidates including mayoralty candidate Gregory Hartnell are far from ‘old hat’ like the present administration, nor are they in anybody’s pocket.  This sort of practiced independence has been honed over twenty years of engaging in social struggle in Victoria.


  On the more mundane level, as an example, the irritation felt by so many people by the city’s on-street parking approach needs radical revisiting.  So many people have had bad experiences with the agressiveness and inflexibility of the parking ticket Commissionaires.  Downtown parking needs to become a neutral if not friendly experience, cheaper to on-the-street parkers, equal to the rates in the City parking towers.

  The whole administration of parking needs to be revisited in line with an overall traffic management policy that includes serious commitment to light rail transit, including street cars in the core downtown area to the exclusion of much traffic.

  I know personally that Bill McDonald,  former furniture merchant in the downtown core has dedicated years of study and commitment to this area, only to be given short shrift.  His expertise and that of his LRT colleagues will be acted upon as we take a futuristic approach to the city.  Under this approach, Victoria in ten years should have the firm beginnings of being a model of a charming small cosmopolitan centre.

  Victoria’s sewage outflow attitude is a problem, underlined by Mr. Floatie’s candidacy.  He will get more than a handful of votes because it is not enough to be doing the right thing – if we are indeed – but to be seen to be doing it in an environmentally sensitive age.

  Victoria is at a changing point.  Its prevalent small merchant Chamber of Commerce mentality will not suffice.  It can become a visionary place by resisting the box store culture and trash Hollywood culture, as Gregory  Hartnell reiterated during the arena fiasco debate.

  Local control can be assured by facing the demons of crass global capitalism that are so demoralising and depressing to so many people on their televisions every night.  The true role of the media is to identify problems, turn them into issues and work out the right solution.  So much of media today is mindless boosterim of crass capitalism; therefore part of the problems, not part of the solution.  It is owned by the people who benefit from the perpetuation of the problems.  Let’s wake up to this fact.

  Foreign ownership of business must be made to pay heavily for the privilege of perpetuating low end wages, siphoning the profit out of the community and promoting trash culture values.  Locally controlled business is the key.

  If you want to continue down the current path, you know who to vote for.  If you want to start to seriously turn the corner, vote for people not afraid to speak out, provide acute critical analysis, take on the powers-that-be, and are open to creative solutions.  If you wish to vote for the people who have the wits and the skills and know-how to rejoice in getting the job done.  I think you know now where to turn. 

  If you take the higher road, you’ll notice the difference, and be better off for it.


  [Nota Bene:  Patrick Jamieson is a poet, historian, founder and current editor of the monthly Island Catholic News, which bills itself as the ‘West Coast’s Independent Voice of Prophetic Catholicism.’ We are disappointed to announce that Patrick will not be able to stand for nomination for the CCC this fall, due to a heavy work load at ICN and a number of book projects.  We appreciate Patrick’s ongoing membership and support of the Concerned Citizens’ Coalition.  Look for our new Autumn number of LA ROSA, which will focus on the CCC’s newest policIes and will introduce our candidates for the November election. This eight page number of LA ROSA will be inserted into the September number of ICN]






Gregory Hartnell focuses on Real Problems of Victoria [reprinted from LA ROSA No. 36, November 19, 2005, Election Day]

  I’m grateful to have been born here, but the older I get, the more I feel like a stranger in my own home town.  As a Christian Victorian, first son of nine children born to Sheila and Peter Hartnell at St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1952, I lament the current greed-driven atmosphere that threatens Victoria’s unique character.

  While ranks of the neglected addicted homeless are now thought to number more than one thousand and counting, unbridled real estate speculators seem to have hypnotized all members of Victoria City Council, rendering them unfit to do much more than rubber-stamp any development proposal that comes before them, no matter how outrageous.

  The latest egregious instance is a proposal to build two 12 – storey towers next to the Church of Our Lord, the lovely nineteenth-century church across the street from St. Anne’s Academy.  Unless lightning strikes, mayor and council are very likely to pass this latest supposedly ‘modified’ proposal from the developer, thus betraying their aesthetic insensitivity and providing yet another instance of their inability to stand up to the pressure tactics of developers.

  The present moment in Victoria’s history is reminiscent of the year 1971, when Mayor Courtney Haddock had a ridiculous notion to build a 38 – storey tower two blocks north of City Hall.  He also thought it was a good idea to build two highrise towers on the Reid waterfront property below Bastion Square, until my father and other members of the Victoria Waterfront Enhancement Society worked with alderman Peter Pollen to rally popular opposition to it.

  Mr. Pollen was elected mayor that year on a prophetic platform that challenged the hegemony of the developers’ cabal.

  According to Valerie Green’s ‘No Ordinary People, a History of Victoria’s Mayors from 1862 to 1992,’ Mr. Pollen’s “social conscience would not allow him to simply sit back and witness Victoria becoming just another North American city.”

  I have long admired what Peter Pollen did and also what he tried to do while serving as Victoria’s mayor.  His forsight created a vision for Victoria which entailed strict height restrictions on downtown highrises, park-building, enhanced heritage building protection and numerous beautification projects.  Had there been an obviously visible homeless problem in those days, I am sure he would have tackled that effectively also.

  The addicted homeless problem has plagued Victoria for too long now, and it is clearly evident that the Liberal councils of Bob Cross and Alan Lowe have not deemed it high on their list of priorities.  Apparently these councils have been too busy appeasing the development cabal to notice the poorest of the poor beggng for their attention on every downtown sidewalk.

  In my slow but sure walk for election, I intend to pay homage to the legacy of Mayor Pollen, and to ask voters to allow me to revive and enhance his good work.  I have drawn up a ten-point Recovery Plan that addresses the above and other issues, and offers voters a real alternative to the status quo.

  Attend to the outstanding liens against the City, pay for work already done on the arena, finish it, and sell it for a least $40 million.  Pay off the $30 million loan and with the proceeds renovate or build a new downtown residential addiction recovery centre based on strict abstinence.  The family treatment centre at Kakawis could serve as our model, complemented by various 12 – step fellowship meetings.

  Banning nuclear-armed and nuclear-powered vessels from Victoria harbour, enhancing protection for Beacon Hill Park – St. Anne’s precinct, ending spot-zoning anarchy with 9 – storey downtown highrise limit, inaugurating a new cultural policy emphasizing family and local culture first, lowering residential and commercial property taxes to help young families new to the real estate market . . . . . these are a few of the ideas I will be proposing to Victoria voters.

  If you share our concerns to attend to the needs of the poorest of the poor, to restrain the real estate cabal that is ruining our town, and to provide accountability, conservation and solidarity as the guiding principles of a new Victoria administration, please consider joining the Concerned Citizens’ Coalition by phoning 382-9767 or the office at 386-0439, and remember to vote on November 19.  


[Nota bene: the 386-0439 telephone number listed above is no longer operative.  Please  phone 250 382 97 67 to find out more about the CCC now]


Concerned Citizens’ Coalition supports new Cridge Park Rescue Group


  The Concerned Citizens’ Coalition supports the efforts of the newly-formed Cridge Park Rescue Group (CPRG) opposed to any new development planned by secret meetings at City Hall which would alter present and traditional lawn bowling and park uses at the Belleville and Blanshard Street site, next door to the Church of Our Lord, and across the street from the Saint Anne’s Academy national historic site.

  The newly formed group, which includes support by many well-respected heritage preservationist societies, neighbourhood associations, strata councils and lawnbowling groups, has a new website easily accessible by a Google search.  A link to the CPRG website will be provided below in the comments section for easy access.

  On behalf of the Concerned Citizens’ Coalition, I hereby condemn the secretive process undertaken by City Hall bureaucrats, including, regretably, that of my old architect friend Chris Gower, the City Planner, who should know better, having done yeaman service for the heritage preservationist community in his early days as an articling architecture student by compiling valuable inventories of the Old Town in the seventies.

  I encourage CCC supporters to contact CPRG spokesman Lorne Carnes at to convey their support for the activities of the new group.

  In my capacity as President of the CCC, I will be contacting Mr. Carnes to ask that the name of the Concerned Citizens’ Coalition be added to those of other groups opposed to the City’s plans.

-Gregory Hartnell, President

  Concerned Citizens’ Coalition


Victoria City Council continues to enable addiction by doing nothing about needle dispensary zoning

CCC  “The City of Victoria won’t seek to regulate location of needle exchange services through zoning amendments,”  according to a ‘Council Brief’ printed in the free Victoria News weekly on August 20, 2008.

  “Instead, city council has endorsed a staff recommendation to continue working with the Vancouver Island Health Authority, needle exchange provider AIDS Vancouver Island and community members ‘in effective consultation’ toward an operational model for needle exchange service,” according to the article by News staffwriter Keith Vass.

  “The move endorses continued city participation in the Needle Exchange Advisory Committee, launched by AVI and VIHA, after plans to move the needle exchange from Cormorant Street to Pandora Avenue collapsed in the face of public opposition.  City social planning manager Wendy Zink represents city hall on the committee.”

  By this shocking dereliction of its public duty to protect the most vulnerable in our society, the Victoria City Council has effectively betrayed parents of children at nearby Saint Andrew’s Elementary and Preschool, frightened neighbours and other Concerned Citizens who were assured by Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe, the school principal, the superintendant of Catholic Schools and VIHA bureaucrats that their concerns for the children’s safety would be effectively addressed by the Council. 

  Meanwhile, supporters of the siting of the needle dispensary on Pandora Avenue, such as Green Party members Philippe Lucas (a candidate for Council) and Sonya Chandler (an incumbent Victoria City Councillor), and former mayor David Turner are stepping up a campaign vilifying the parents, neighbours and other Concerned Citizens opposed to siting the facility near the school as nimbys.

  Concerned Citizens should not vote this fall for any incumbent Victoria City Councillors such as Ms Chandler or aspiring Victoria City Council candidates such as Mr. Lucas who advocate such folly.


Victoria Times Colonist prints Hartnell letter calling for Mayor Lowe to resign from chairing the Police Board


Thanks to alert reader Wilf Gervais, and a phone call this morning from former CCC candidate Pat Jamieson, I have become aware that the Times Colonist printed a severely edited letter to the editor calling for the Mayor of the City of Victoria to resign his position as Chairman of the Victoria Police Board, to release the full RCMP investigation report into his police chief (now thankfully resigned), and not to pay the latter’s legal bills.

The letter is found at the following link:

A hot link direct to the edited letter in the T-C is found in the comment below…