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Lowe to seek second term

By Hempology | July 31, 2002

From the TIMES COLONIST, July 31st, 2002

By Malcolm Curtis

Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe launched his bid for a second term in office Tuesday, ending speculation
about his ambition to run as a candidate in the next federal election.

“I’m here today to squelch any rumours about moving to Ottawa,” Lowe told a lunchtime crowd of about
150 supporters at the downtown Golden City restaraunt.

Lowe, 41, said he has unfinished business to complete, such as seeing the planned $30-million
multiplex replacement for the Memorial Arena built by 2004, and improving the city’s downtown.

The multiplex, approved by 71 per cent of voters in an April referendum, remains on track, he
said, although a major hockey team has yet to be found as the anchor tenant. Lowe said demolition
of the old arena is scheduled to start in late October. A community event is planned to bid farewell
to the 53-year-old venue several weeks before the Nov. 16 municipal elections.

Lowe said it was “humbling” to hear rumours about his seeking a job as Liberal MP but there is
no basis to such talk.

He said he has never been a member of the federal Liberals and is not a member of the federal Liberals
and is not a member of any other poltiical party.

And if re-elected, he pledged to remain in the mayor’s chair, even if there is a federal election during
the next three-year term.

Lowe said he would release a detailed platform in the fall. But one of his priorities is seeing a
performing arts centre – a project of the Capital Regional District – built in the city within the
next three years.

Councillors Bea Holland, Helen Hughes and David McLean appeared at the luncheon to give their support
to the mayor.

“I look forward to working with alan in the next three years,” said McLean. He praised Lowe’s ability
to foster the kind of inter-municipal co-operation that didn’t seem possible four or five years ago.

The mayor has helped negotiate the amalgamation of the Victoria and Esquimalt police departments,
as well as the establishment of a new radio system for regional emergency services and shared
accounting systems with Saanich.

Tim Van Alstine, chairman of the James Bay Neighbourhood Environment Association, said he would
be prepared to campaign for Lowe if asked.

Van Alstine, who was at the event, said the mayor has put council in charge of policy making,
after a period where the lines became blurred with city administrators making the decisions
instead of politicians.

Most of Lowe’s supporters at the lunch were downtown businessmen, including prominent members of
the Chinatown establishment. Alan Yuen, vice-president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent
Association, introduced Lowe as a long-time family friend.

Kimanda Jarzebiak, the managing partner of Global Public Affairs, is his campaign manager.

When questioned by reporters, the mayor denied he is representing primarily business interests.
“I believe I’ve worked for the entire spectrum of the community.”

He was dogged again by questions of conflict of interest over his work as an architect, which has
involved several projects in the city.

“I am not a professional politician, I am a professional architect,” he said, insisting on his
right to continue his profession while mayor, for which he receives an annual salary of $67,298.
Council last year approved a 22 per cent wage hike for the mayor.

Lowe said he has distanced himself from council decisions affecting his business – including an
11-storey residential tower downtown – and has followed the conflict regulations of the local
government act.

Outside the Golden City restaraunt, Ted Smith, Lowe’s only announced opponent, stood vigil, hanging
out pamphlets promoting his own candidacy.

Smith said Lowe is too busy promoting “condos and big arenas” and the agenda of downtown businesses
to cater to the needs of ordinary people.

Smith, who has campaigned for the liberalization of marijuana laws, accused the mayor of
failing to stand up to federal and provincial governments, whose cuts are hurting city residents.

More needs to be done, he said, to tackle youth problems and issues like homelessness.

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