Predictions for Mayor-elect Fortin’s Council assignments

November 17, 2008 at 11:35 pm 5 comments

Now that the dust has settled after the election, attention will be focused on a lesser-known aspect of City Hall–the portfolios assigned to the Councillors by the Mayor. There are several, and each Councillor has at least two, and some portfolios are shared by two Councillors. Let’s take a look at them: who has them now and who might end up with them…


Currently, the Harbour Portfolio belongs to Councillor and GVHA Board member Bea Holland. Her open-minded pragmatism will be missed by many. This will be a key portfolio if the Belleville Terminal concept is resurrected this term. The person with this portfolio should be on good relations (or be willing to be on good relations) with the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and Transport Canada (among others). Chris Coleman might be a good candidate for this one, both for his familiarity with James Bay issues and his expertise in inter-governmental relations. Lynn Hunter could end up with this.


This was Pam Madoff’s portfolio until it was handed to Bea Holland in 2005 in a controversial move by Mayor Lowe. Saying Holland was more “staff-friendly”, Madoff’s cherished portfolio was taken away along with the prized Heritage portfolio. Madoff was quoted by the Times Colonist saying, “I’m mystified by it and at the same time I’m appalled.” You can expect both portfolios to be handed back to Pam once Mayor Fortin takes office.

Seniors Liaison

A Holland portfolio. Could also end up with Madoff or Hunter.

Deputy for Heritage

Another Holland portfolio. This person will be Pam’s deputy. Perhaps Sonya Chandler, or more likely, Fortin might use this portfolio as on opportunity to get rookie John Luton up to speed. His platform was light on urban planning specifics and he would benefit from Pam’s mentorship.


Right now this is Sonya’s portfolio and it could remain hers but newcomer Philippe Lucas will likely be chosen, especially if Sonya’s platter gets full with other portfolios.

Youth Liaison

Chandler feels strongly about this minor portfolio and I’m sure she’d be pleased to retain it as long as Fortin (also a youth advocate) feels the current youth angle is on the right track.

Deputy for Parks and Recreation

Presently held by Chandler, another natural deputy position for John Luton. It might be tossed on Chris Coleman’s plate. Madoff might get this if she’s taken off the main Parks portfolio yet still wants to keep a hand in it.

Social Planning

A broad portfolio that covers everything from Downtown beautification to harm reduction. Currently Sonya’s department it would be a good fit for Charlayne Thornton-Joe. I serve along with Charlayne on the Downtown Service Providers Committee and the DVBA Clean & Safe Committee and know she’s already fully up to speed on all the topics covered by Social Planning. I bet Charlayne would be happy with this and the fact that she topped the polls Saturday will gain her respect when it comes time to divvy out the portfolios.

Economic Development

Chris Coleman’s portfolio; he could retain it. Harvard-trained economist Geoff Young would qualify but it could end up in Lynn Hunter’s lap.


Save as above.

Deputy for Housing

Another Coleman portfolio. Lucas or Chandler. Maybe Hunter if Coleman doesn’t retain it like I’m certain he’d like to.


Currently co-shared with Fortin, this could go to Young or Coleman.

Social Planning

Co-shared with Fortin right now, sharing this portfolio with Charlayne would be a step up for Chandler or Lucas.

Deputy for Environment

Chandler or Lucas. Possibly another mentorship opportunity for Luton.


Retiring Councillor Helen Hughes’ portfolio. It might go to veteran Chris Coleman, who distinguished himself on the subject at the recent UBCM convention.

Deputy for Downtown

A possibility for Thornton-Joe if she doesn’t get the main Downtown portfolio. Could be a good training portfolio for Lynn Hunter who is weak on planning issues but interested in social problems.

Arts & Culture

Currently held by Pam, she’d prefer to keep it.

Parks & Recreation

Madoff’s shocking replacement for the Heritage/Planning portfolio. She’d gladly give it to Lucas, Luton or Coleman (who has experience with the Rec Renewal project).

Deputy for Transportation

A no-brainer for John Luton. This is another Madoff portfolio from the Lowe era. Geoff Young needs to have a hand in a transportation portfolio to further his transit agenda.


This should stay with Charlayne unless Fortin gives it to Madoff.


Madoff will steal this back from Charlayne.

Deputy for Planning

This is a tough one. Fortin would prefer to let one of the incoming Dean Team rookies cut their teeth on this important entry-level portfolio but he’d be wiser to let one of the indepents tackle this. Geoff Young, perhaps, or it could stay with Charlayne.

Advisory Cycling Committee
Advisory Transportation Committee

Both these portfolios are held by Geoff Young and he’d love to keep them but John Luton is certainly eyeing them. Seeing as these would be the only portfolios dear to John’s heart he’d be frustrated and ineffectual without them under his belt.

Entry filed under: architecture, arts and culture, City Hall, Election 2008, needle exhange, safe injection sites, social issues, urban design.

Thanks everyone! Wente: free heroin to users? Oh, please…

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. C Mo  |  November 18, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Those portfolios look pretty numerous. I had no idea what council did before you mentioned them. What kind of decision-making power does council have on these issues? Is there any source that describes what roles councilors will have, and what their objectives will be in regards to these portfolios?

    Which ones did you want, had you been elected?

  • 2. robertrandall  |  November 18, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Most citizens aren’t aware of the numerous committees Council members participate in.

    In most cases Council members are there to observe and act as a spokesperson on behalf of the other members of Council. Most of these boards will refer the results of their meeting to Council so they have the opportunity here to ask questions of the Councillor and the Councillor can get feedback from the Board on what the concerns are.

    For instance, right now Bea Holland is the rep for the Advisory Design Panel which is comprised of architects and other design-savvy citizen volunteers. Bea makes sure the feedback ADP gives is relevant and clear so when a building proposal reaches the Council table there are no surprises or confusion. Bea can also clarify issues that came up at the table but aren’t detailed in the report.

    Planning, heritage and architecture are of interest to me and I would have been pleased to get a portfolio that dealt with those topics. But deputy portfolios like I mentioned are great for rounding out your knowledge base.

  • 3. robertrandall  |  November 18, 2008 at 9:25 am

    People should know that Councillors do much more than just what I’ve outlined above. For instance, Chris Coleman, in addition holding the portfolios I mentioned also is CRD Alternate for Mayor Lowe He is on the Private Property Maintenance Committeea and represents the city on the Victoria Athletic Commission. This is in addition to his frequent meetings with the James Bay Neighbourhood Association and other committments. Chris recently attended the convention of the Union of BC Municipalities, and always makes time for informal meetings with various other local groups and individuals like the James Bay New Horizons.

  • 4. C Mo  |  November 18, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    cool, thanks!

  • 5. City Hall Re-orgapalooza! « Robertrandall’s Weblog  |  March 13, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    […] Gone are the traditional entities like Committee of the Whole, Advisory Planning Commission and other committees like Cycling and Environment along with the traditional portfolio assignments. […]


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