Lisa Helps

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Lisa Helps is a Canadian left-wing politician and the current mayor of Victoria, British Columbia. Formerly a councillor on Victoria's city council, she defeated incumbent Dean Fortin to become mayor in the 2014 Victoria municipal election on November 15, 2014.[1] As a community organizer, activist and social justice warrior, Helps has put her leftist political and social views on full display in her public political role.


  • At her swearing-in ceremony as mayor of Victoria on December 4, 2014, she stirred controversy by refusing to recite the oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II and claimed that the city of Victoria was part of First Nations territory.[2]
  • From the fall of 2015 through the summer of 2016, a "tent city" populated by drug addicts and transients, primarily from outside of Victoria (with many even coming from outside of British Columbia), developed on the grounds of the city's downtown courthouse and quickly deteriorated into an unsanitary slum under Helps' watch, with some of its occupants causing problems in the area by committing crimes, intimidating residents and negatively affecting businesses.[3][4][5][6] Helps paid lip service to the press and the public regarding the tent city, claiming that she had met with city and provincial officials to "find a solution",[5] but Helps did very little to contribute toward a solution herself,[7] forcing the British Columbia Liberal government (led by Premier Christy Clark) and the provincial Supreme Court to take action to dismantle the tent city and move its occupants into affordable housing and shelters.[8][9] Helps was criticized for not only doing next to nothing to solve the problem, but also for contributing to the problem by implicitly encouraging the tent city's occupants to increase in number and take advantage of legal loopholes (with aid from sympathetic lawyers) through information she was giving through the press.[7][10] Following the dismantling of the tent city, it was discovered that two suspected drug labs had been set up within its confines and that chemicals and drugs (including heroin, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamines and MDMA) from the labs, along with gasoline and other fuels, had contaminated the soil on the tent city site, the cleanup of which ended up costing Victoria taxpayers an estimated $350,000 and involved the removal of nine trees and half a yard of the affected soil (which added up to about 120 dump truck loads).[11][12]
  • Helps also contributed toward creating problems in Victoria with the proliferation of illegal "medical" marijuana shops (which were reported as being under the ownership of criminals, who called them "dispensaries" to sell recreational marijuana under the ruse of "medical" purposes) and the related spike in crimes such as armed robberies and home invasions to support the criminals' marijuana habits, again as the result of her interviews with the press, which raised public concerns over her subverting the law and implicitly opening legal loopholes for the pot shop owners.[10] Helps has dismissively disregarded public and business concerns over the pot shops, claiming "People don’t rob places because they’re bad, people rob places because they’re desperate."[13]
  • In June 2017, Helps proposed that Victoria's residents "take in" the city's homeless population into their homes to "solve" the homeless problem in the city.[14][15] The announcement drew immediate and heavy criticism against Helps, with those opposed correctly pointing out issues with drugs and/or mental illness experienced by the majority of homeless and transients, along with the inevitable probability of crimes being committed (such as assaults/murders and thefts of homeowners' possessions to sell for feeding drug habits)[14] by any homeless accepting billeting from homeowners; Helps was also criticized for taking a "Do as I say, not as I do" attitude by refusing to take any homeless into her home herself, claiming that she had "confidential documents" in her home as her excuse while ignoring homeowners' realistic concerns.[14]