CARMEL THOMSON: City of Victoria ‘should set public hearings and a referendum on the JOHNSON STREET BRIDGE’



This week, the City of Victoria released a “fly-through” video simulating its planned replacement for the Johnson Street Bridge.

The City has used our tax dollars to produce this slick video, along with huge signs in libraries and community centres, in what appears to be an attempt to weaken the public’s desire to weigh in on a major decision.

The only way for citizens to express an opinion about the City’s plan to borrow $42 million for this new bridge is by signing petitions through the alternative approval process, a process controlled by the City, but under which citizens have to do all the work.

In his inaugural address, Mayor Dean Fortin said, “The public’s participation in Victoria’s decision-making is critical to our success, but our systems must solicit meaningful input that is actually used.”

Why, then, is the City trying to weaken public participation and meaningful input?

If the City really believes in such things, it should set public hearings and a referendum on the bridge, and they should be based not only on demand but on fairness and neutrality, too.

All taxpaying Victoria residents deserve to be heard.


Carmel Thomson



CCC BLOG reprint:

Victoria Times Colonist:

City shunning input on bridge borrowing

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Page A15



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