Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More on John Luton

This comes from Andrew MacLeod of the Tyee. I like his emphasis on cycling. I worry about his opposition to P3s because it makes little or no sense to me. P3s are simply one more tool for government to reduce cost and risks for the public, sometimes they make sense, sometimes they do not. He talks about a 'they' in the context of sewage if there is a P3, I am not sure how he comes to that thinking but it sounds like the sort of fear mongering the Council of Canadians have been spreading. I also have to wonder about why such a strong NDP emphasis comes up in the article?

Bike advocate says he can 'get things done' on Victoria council

Victoria city council candidate John Luton said his experience advocating for better cycling and walking infrastructure can be used to work on many of the issues that face city hall.

“I think I can apply the experience working with local governments, developers and all sorts of other players,” he said. “My one issue is I get things done.”

Luton is the executive director of the Capital Bike and Walk Society and has been deeply involved in many projects that have added trails, bicycle lanes, better bike parking and signage throughout the region.

“The one I'm most proud of isn't built yet, and that's the E&N Rail Trail,” he said. It was a “tough slog” getting the funding committed, he said. Some members of the Capital Regional District Board wanted to put the money into transit instead. “I really thought it was touch and go at the CRD board whether that $11 million was going to be invested in the trail.”

Luton said other key issues for the city include housing and homelessness and the need for affordable homes close to where people work. He also supports building a sewage treatment system and keeping it public, he said, even though the province is pushing a public-private partnership, or P3, for the estimated $1.2 billion project.

“First they'll take your sewage, then they'll come back for your water,” he said. “I'm a skeptic on P3s, that it's doing anything for us.”

Luton said he is supporting Dean Fortin for mayor. “I'm comfortable seeing him head the charge, moving the ball forward, in the crisis of homelessness and social decay.” He also said he'd like to see incumbents Pamela Madoff and Sonya Chandler re-elected. “Folks who are interested in a sustainable city deserve everyone's consideration.”

During the federal election, Luton said, he'll be helping on Victoria NDP MP Denise Savoie's re-election campaign.

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