Conservationists Barry Hobbis, Hugh Kruzel, George Sirk and Susan Woods all gave excellent speeches advocating for the Johnson Street Bridge to be saved this evening in Fernwood.

When speaking, Mr. Hobbis has the confident manner of a seasoned veteran, emphasizing his love for his family and his deep Victoria roots, his growing pride in the heritage of the City of Victoria and the Capital Region, his having graduated from nearby Victoria High School, his struggle keeping his local harbour ferry business viable in the face of ever-increasing taxes for no improvement in City services, concerns about the deteriorating economic health of downtown Victoria, the marina, the sewage issue, the obsessed Fortin government distracted from attending to the homelessness problem by a stubborn fixation on building a new unnecessary bridge in a time of economic uncertainty, etc. 

He was dressed casually, as opposed to George Sirk and Hugh Kruzel who wore ties, apparently signalling their support for small business.  

Mr. Hobbis is stocky, with a blond Beatle cut, and with the sturdy build of a Nordic rugby player or an Irish beat cop.  

In fact, he used to be a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman until he wisely got out of that dangerous and suspect employ.

He has something of the jock about him, which may explain why he has been endorsed by the sports cabalists Cross and Roughley.

Those gentlemen’s endorsements are controversial in many circles, and I have frankly highlighted to Mr. Hobbis that neither ex-Mayor Cross nor ex-City Manager Roughley are exactly the best ones he should be advertising.

He said in email to me about a week ago that he would have a new list of impressive endorsements to be released all together sometime during the campaign.

Barry Hobbis was seated on the far right of the line of candidates up on stage, next to the extreme absurdist-libertarian-anarcho-corporatist babbler Rimas Toumasonis, he of the pink hair do.

This seating arrangement must have been a real penance for Mr. Hobbis to endure tonight, because he clearly showed his displeasure for Mr. Toumasonis’ strange and provocative antics at the Metropolitan Church all candidates’ meeting that started off the campaign last time.

That under-the-breath muttering by Mr. Hobbis at Mr.Toumasonis was just barely audible, apparently, to Mr. T. at the Met that night, and so Mr. T. wanted to know who was talking about him, or to him, or whatever, and he made a big and unnecessary issue about it all, thus embarrassing himself, enraging the long suffering moderator Stephen Andrew, and almost getting thrown out of the meeting… until he thankfully sat down.

Anyway, this evening every time Barry Hobbis would mention dirty sidewalks or some other concerns that he would like to see the City of Victoria take more pride in fixing, Mr. T. would childishly make a clownish face, like Harpo Marx or some other idiot savant from the Golden Era of Absurdism. 

George Sirk, by comparison, is a very impressive, confident and charismatic speaker who comports himself with the air of a noble man to the manner born.

He has fiscally conservative solutions to the Johnson Street Bridge as do Filipovic, Kruzel, Woods and Hobbis, and he is also one of the few candidates who consistently addresses the absurdity of the sewage process, as does Hobbis.

Mr. Sirk also always mentions the new skateboard park he is proposing to build for energetic kids, some of whom are of voting age, and to whom he is giving away, he says, a whole lot of his little cards, encouraging them to vote.

Some of them are going to vote for the very first time, according to Senor Sirk, just to get him to help them get a skateboard park built!

The dream lives on… but what a tragic waste of all that youthful energy, is all I can think, as a cranky old guy who never did like the jock scene all that much, and I just see these kids wasting the best years of their lives going around in circles, literally, and flying through the air in dangerous manoeuvres that have no inherent meaning or purpose whatsoever… but what would I know?

When I was those kids’ age, I thought I was much cooler than the rest by pretending to be a surfer with my skimboard which I took out to Cadboro Bay on my acid green mustang bike.

All power to the skateboarders, says Jorge!

 Marianne Alto, Mayor Dean Fortin’s lone advocate among eleven candidates, was seated in the middle of the room, which position doesn’t really reflect her extreme left wing take on most issues.

Her short haircut, mannish suit and ruddish complexion made her look like Gertrude Stein, but rather than babbling about ‘a rose is a rose is a rose’ like the great Oakland writer, she is all rationalistic socialist business as usual.

Marianne Alto has a confident manner, sits with the authoritative air of a complacent Buddha, expresses herself with intelligence, but should perhaps speak a little slower, louder and with more diction.

When asked if she would support closing off about six blocks of Government Street for a pedestrian mall, one of Mr. Kruzel’s enthusiams, she says she likes the idea, but cautioned, very logically, that local affected businesses would have to be carefully consulted before the plan was implemented, to ensure that their businesses were not damaged, but rather enhanced somehow by the new increased pedestrian access.

This pragmatic approach was seconded by Mr. Hobbis and Mr. Kruzel, of course, with Mr. Hobbis graciously commending the socialist activist for her business savvy!

When all of the candidates asked by the moderator, on behalf of a person in the audience, whether they paid taxes in Victoria, she did not raise her hand.

When all of the candidates were asked which of them lived outside of Victoria proper, only she and Barry Hobbis raised their hands.

Those questions were dear to the heart of Hugh Kruzel who makes a virtue of his local residency on Pandora Avenue and the fact that he walked to tonight’s meeting.

Mr. Kruzel’s speech is highly nuanced, intelligent, confident and idealistic, if not always completely focused and immediately relevant.

Like Susan Woods, Mr. Kruzel is certainly a candidate that I am thinking very seriously of endorsing, or would endorse immediately were it not for the advantages I still see in Mr. Hobbis.

Steve Filipovic insists that the Johnson Street Bridge can be saved for precisely $8,600,000, the now almost mythical Joost Mayboom figure coming from an engineering report that Mr. Filipovic now says has vanished into the ether.

In the meantime, he seems to suggest quite provocatively that Mr. Mayboom apparently appears to be complicit in a kind of scam to jack up the prices of all the bells and whistles in the Mayor’s fantasy modernist socialist high tech steel bridge.

He says that Mr. Mayboom no longer works directly for the City, but now works for an outfit that has already bid, or is about to put in bids for the new bridge contract, and that he got most of this information from the excellent series of articles published by Leslie Campbell in Victoria’s Focus magazine written by one Sam Williams.

I hope that I got the fine points of Mr. Filipovic’s speech tonight and if I have erred in reporting his assertions with respect to Mr. Mayboom, I will fix the error immediately, and apologize, of course.

In the meantime, I will be reposting the last two month’s worth of relevant Johnson Street Bridge articles by Sam Williams in Focus here at GPMH in the coming days .

Mr. Filipovic’s speechmaking is improving, becoming more assured and coherent.

He has a practical, common sense approach to solving problems, the characteristics of a good construction forman and master builder.

Susan Woods also gave a very good speech, starting out by emphasizing her non partisan independence, her support for amalgamation, her love of heritage and history, and her desire to save the Johnson Street Bridge.

Her confidence in her own abilities is more evident every time she speaks, and her platform is becoming more coherent, but she is still nervous and could speak a little louder without any loss of effect.

I’m sorry that I missed Saul Anderson and Marianne Alto’s introductory speeches, so I have more to report about them tomorrow night.

I came into the room just at the tail end of Paul Brown’s speech where he explained why he also wanted to save the Johnson Street Bridge, like most of the eleven candidates, all except those wacky extremists of the far left and the far right, Alto and Toumasonis.

For some strange reason, the aimiable skinny Buddhist vegetarian anarchist cabdriver Anderson seemed to be standing up all night long, just behind Paul Brown and Rose Henry, peeking his skinning body out from behind some curtains, like a mad anarchist bomber about to do a weird number on the show, but never did…

Rose Henry’s confidence in her own abilities is certainly not lacking, but it is quite certainly misguided, if I may charitably say so, in pursuit of this mad idea that could she possibly ever serve as a Councillor.

Her rambling speeches are self-serving and even silly, such as her attempt tonight, to suggest that she somehow ‘wore’ the blame for the recent vandalism at the Mayor’s house because of her own interminable career as a professional welfare recipient and perrennial attendee of board meetings for obscure groups on government grants.

She exhibits all the hallmarks of a person with a persecuted victim’s complex, and her committee of activist advisors is encouraging this poor woman to stay stuck in this outworn role, thus condemning her to a boring life of poverty and never-ending finger pointing and accusations against the rest of us for  centuries of oppression against her people, cultural genocide, etc. 

Her racist rants are tiresome and frankly embarrassing to anyone with the ears to listen.

She shouldn’t be taken seriously as a Councillor Candidate by any informed Victoria voter.


Gregory Paul Michael Hartnell





  1. I had to laugh at the comment you made on the moderator (Stephen Andrews). I’ve only listened to him a couple of times and from the outset I realized this man is truly in love with himself. His ego & arrogance would make him a prime candidate for politics. And finally
    I totally agree with your previous comments about Marianne Alto.

  2. goyodelarosa says:

    Thanks for your comments, Guy. I share your general impressions of Mr. Andrew’s character, but I must say that he really did do a good job at the Met Church that night in expressing his distaste at Toumasonis’ antics, while at the same time still allowing that clown to stay if he behaved himself.

    Since having been diagnosed with cancer, I have noticed that Mr. Andrew’s style of interviewing on CFAX is a lot more respectful, and he now seems to have more humility than when I last encountered him in that studio some years ago.

    Disease has a way of concentrating a man’s mind on the important things in life, it seems.

    Please spread the word among your friends not to vote for Ms Alto or Mr. Mora under any circumstances.

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