Skip navigation

Well Being

Well Being

A Healthy, Safe, Active Community

Social Spaces

  • Crystal Pool redevelopment
  • Enhanced use of Royal Athletic Park, including SD61, community organizations’ programs, and public access
  • Parks acquisition strategy for new recreation opportunities, playgrounds, plazas and parklets, activating the Parks and Open Space Master Plan
  • Development rewards for constructed, or contributions toward, public realm, public and community space enhancement
  • Increased support for arts and culture – advancing the Arts and Innovation District plan, the Cultural Spaces Road Map, and the Create Victoria Arts and Culture Master Plan
  • Tax relief or reductions, and additional funding, for community serving groups

Health Services

  • Housing, financial and practice incentives for health professionals and the wellness workers that support and assist them
  • Permissive tax exemptions for not-for-profit health societies, health co-operatives and clinics with doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, and other health professionals and wellness workers
  • Support for training spaces for wellness workers
  • Advocacy for harm reduction services throughout the region, and safe supply

Comfort & Safety

  • Enhanced funding for civilian community crisis response teams
  • Increasing emphasis on/focused funding for community policing
  • City-wide safety and security initiative
  • Increased public realm cleaning and maintenance, bylaw services, ambassadors etc.
  • A renewed ‘welcome/thank you’ program for businesses and residents
  • Support for residents’ efforts to improve their neighbourhood’s well-being
  • Support for every recommendation in the provincial Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act report Transforming Policing and Community Safety in British Columbia.

Well-being is about how we work together to ensure every Victorian can enjoy a healthy, safe, active life, in a caring community that balances the needs of all, without ignoring urban pressures and realities, and always looking for solutions based in compassion, practicality and reason.

Our platform looks at well-being as the sum of three different “buckets” of actions.

(1) Social Spaces

To be healthy, to ensure we all have a sense and reality of well-being, we need facilities for recreation and public spaces for social interaction.

In the next term we will redevelop the Crystal Pool, making it a facility that is accessible to all Victorians. This facility is key to empowering individuals’ real well-being and is a critical route to health and wellness for every ability.

We will use Royal Athletic Park better. In 2023, there will be a wholistic examination of RAP and how it can best deliver well-being for Victorians. Part of this must be consideration of its place as open space for the immediate neighbourhood, and its unique capacity to include a broad range of amateur and semi-professional sports, including special events and tournaments. These options could include more community and school sports, working with School District 61 and programs like little league baseball, high school football, ultimate frisbee, soccer and cricket leagues, to name just a few.

In the next 4 years, we will resource the parks acquisition strategy within the City’s Parks and Open Space Master Plan. This plan will help protect sensitive ecosystems, create new spaces for parks and pathways, and more parks and open spaces in all neighbourhoods. As we grow, we need more public opportunities for Victorians to gather and share, with new playgrounds, plazas and parklets – places where Victorians who embrace modern living in smaller private spaces have the chance to easily socialize and enjoy outside environments near where they live. These should also include encounters with art, history and culture (pre- and post-colonial experiences) in unexpected places throughout the city. Spaces need to be created that are relevant and interesting to younger Victorians, in outside (and inside) environments where having fun is the primary pastime, and senior Victorians to maximize quality of life and enable experiential and knowledge sharing.

Our well-being is also about social health. Victorians need opportunities to work together, to nurture one another and build community, through personal and collective relationships. They want healthy community organizations that create chances to meet, share, learn from and support one another. The city has a role to play in sustaining and nurturing these society-serving benefits by revisiting both tax relief (or reduction) policies for community organizations (including those that rent their spaces), and eligibility for city grant and ongoing funding. We can recognize arts and culture groups’ social – and financial – contributions to our well-being with increased support for their programs and agencies, by resourcing and enriching the Cultural Spaces Road Map and the Create Victoria Arts and Culture Master Plan, and boldly activating plans for the Arts and Innovation District.

While it relates to housing policies, there are policy tools associated with property development that the city can explore that have benefits for social spaces and their impact on our well-being. The City could explore development rewards, such as fast-tracking or simplified processes, for constructed, or contributions toward, public realm and public space enhancements, and for temporary or transitional spaces for community service providers.

(2) Health Services

Well-being is defined by one of the most pressing health issues of our time – lack of access to family physicians, nurses and other health professionals. Health care remains the responsibility of the provincial government, and recent provincial messages that change is coming, and transitional funding is being made available, should be applauded and supported by municipalities. As Mayor I’ll continue to advocate for systemic changes in how health professionals can serve Victorians.

Meanwhile, our city must do what it can to deal with the result of this desperate shortfall. We can take some action to make Victoria more attractive to health professionals like GPs, nurses and specialists, and for health support workers, like technicians and assistants.

As mayor, I will launch a physician and health professional recruitment function to explore avenues to attract health professionals to Victoria. To be successful, council should be prepared to consider (and push the boundaries of its authority to offer) housing and practice incentives for doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and other health professionals and their support staff, and permissive tax exemptions for not-for-profit health societies, cooperatives and clinics. We can also hold space for health professionals at partnership tables that can collaboratively identify local healthcare needs in order to advocate for change.

We are not regulators and cannot evaluate practitioners – this would remain with Island Health to manage credentialing or hiring applicants who need to work in hospital – but we can be innovative in making Victoria a city where these professionals – and the workers that support and assist them – can and want to live and work.

In the longer term, the city can partner with educational facilities to provide more spaces in which health professionals and assistants can be trained, plus contributions towards housing and other supports for ‘wellness workers’ while learning.

Victoria has a history of convening health professionals for discussion about better delivery and distribution of mental health and addiction services. As harm reduction programs expand to include a wide range of options, and the poisoned drug epidemic continues unabated, the city has a continuing role to play in advocating for additional harm reduction services distributed throughout the region, and for the regulation of a safe supply of drugs.

 (3) Comfort & Safety

Well-being is also about how we feel around our city, and where – and whether – we feel safe.

Victoria is no less safe than any other intensely growing urban core. But our city has emerged from a pandemic into an unsurpassed pace of social change and resource pressures, and these realities demand more attention than we have given.

Our attention will include a new approach to community crisis response – the PACT – Peer Assisted Community response Teams. Operated here as a pilot with the Canadian Mental Health Association, it’s a model proven effective in other cities with individuals in crisis who need help but are not involved in a crime, and don’t need police attention. After this first pilot shows how it can work in Victoria, we will extend its funding and, working with partners, further tailor it to our needs.

As the PACT – and other similar – programs take hold, police will gradually be able to turn more of their attention to the work they do so well – preventing and responding to crime, giving us a chance to determine the resources required to provide the policing our community needs. When deliberation is given to policing budgets, we can place increasing emphasis on, and consider more focused funding for, community policing. And we can push the provincial government to act on every recommendation in the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act report Transforming Policing and Community Safety in British Columbia.

Part of our comfort and safety relies on how we experience our urban environment. We will pay more attention to the physical plant of Victoria by providing more resources to maintain and enhance our public realm with more cleaning, maintenance, landscaping and bylaw services, and ambassador programs. When our city streets, sidewalks, parks and public spaces look good, people have more confidence in their use, their safety and themselves. Examples show that we can also involve businesses and residents in city-resourced safety and security initiatives to support local actions, within the boundaries of civility, balance and fairness. 

We will build on what residents are already doing to improve the well-being of their neighbourhood, by supporting these efforts with funding and city staff resources that reinforce residents’ work in placemaking, information sharing, community mapping exercises, creating flexible features like tables, seating, pop-up message boards – enabling and supporting the efforts that residents are already taking to create neighbourhood comfort and well-being. And we will build on neighbour to neighbour programs that create cooperative relationships, where we know and look out for one another, like a renewed ‘welcome/thank you’ program for businesses and residents.


Help increase our impact!