Lisa Helps is a Canadian left-wing politician and the former 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. 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.
In spite of her increasing unpopularity with city residents due to her involvement in numerous scandals (see below), Helps won a second term as mayor of Victoria on October 20, 2018. Helps, who came out as lesbian while in office (though she publicly identifies as "queer"), opted to step down as mayor at the end of her second term in 2022 and did not run in that year's Victoria municipal election, leading to the election of another leftist lesbian, Marianne Alto, as Victoria mayor that year.
- 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.
- 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. 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", but Helps did very little to contribute toward a solution herself, 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. 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. 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).
- 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. 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." Regarding that controversy, Victoria newspaper the Times-Colonist likewise drew criticism for its backing of this and Helps' other policies while whitewashing their negative aspects.
- 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. 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) 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.
- Also in June 2017, Helps accused local news site Victoria BC Today of being "fake news" for publishing two articles critical of her in relation to the above proposal, which also revealed that she was sharing a residence with Marianne Unger, who Helps claimed was her "landlord" but who was reported in the articles as living with Helps in a lesbian relationship, which the latter denied, despite published evidence supporting the accusation against Helps.
- In March 2018, Helps, who was accused of censoring criticism and opposing viewpoints against her by deleting comments on her Facebook page that criticized her record and policies as Victoria mayor and the controversies and scandals she has been involved in, announced that she had deleted her Facebook page, claiming that the site is no longer a healthy space for dialogue.
- On May 16, 2018, Helps and fellow left-wing members of Victoria's city council told city residents that they should take part in a fast on May 25 to mark the start of the Islamic month of Ramadan - while Helps, in her comments, ignored what Islam really is (including that, contrary to what she and other leftists believe, it is not a "religion" but a socio-political ideology which perverts and mocks religion and has a history of terrorism, violence, mass murder and genocide, insurrection, conquest, subjugation of conquered peoples, preaching of hatred against Christians, Jews and all others who do not adhere to Islam, forced adherence to its ideology, threats against those who criticize it or intend to leave it and the use of taqiyya to advance its causes).
- In June 2021, Helps drew criticism when she announced the cancellation of Canada Day celebrations in Victoria in response to the discovery of the buried remains of what were alleged to be 215 children near the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia, as well as for hypocritically giving herself and her city council the day off with pay despite cancelling Canada Day celebrations for the public.
- In August 2022, in one of her last acts as Victoria mayor, Helps announced that Victoria city council would be banning the use of propane, natural gas and fuel oil by new buildings built in the city after 2025; Helps subsequently engaged in fearmongering regarding "climate change" during a press conference regarding the announcement, which drew criticism against Helps on Twitter for championing what is widely regarded as a foolish and ultimately unrealistic plan that would serve only to drive up the cost of building in the city.
- Fred Haynes, Leonard Krog, Lisa Helps roll to election wins at the Victoria Times-Colonist
- Victoria’s new mayor decides not to pledge allegiance to the Queen
- Victoria man says he was beaten and robbed outside of tent city
- Robbery and Attack on Manager of Building Across From Tent City
- Neighbours fed up with tent city next to Victoria courthouse
- Tent City - Bad for Business
- Why Tent City Has No Solution
- B.C. government in court to shut down Victoria tent city
- Victoria tent city must be dismantled, B.C. judge says
- Lisa Helps Blackmails Victoria and B.C.
- Victoria courthouse tent city drugs pollute soil
- Victoria's tent city soil being treated in Highlands
- Lisa Helps’ Ruinous 2015 Reign in Pics and Toons
- Times Colonist and Lisa Helps Are Deceiving You
- Victoria Mayor asks residents to billet with the homeless (Warning - some comments may contain coarse language)
- Mayor floats billeting of homeless to help ease Victoria housing crisis at the Victoria Times-Colonist
- Mayor Lisa Helps accuses Victoria BC Today of “fake news”
- Two references:
- The Backyard Project: It's a Rat Proof Business for Everyone
- Lisa Helps campaign financing disclosure statement (mentions Marianne Unger and her financial contribution on page 12)
- Victoria mayor deletes Facebook because it 'rewards anger and outrage' at CTV News
- Ten Obvious Reasons Why Islam is Not a Religion of Peace
- Islam is NOT a religion! at RenewAmerica.com
- Geert Wilders: Islam Is Not a Religion, It's a Totalitarian Ideology at Breitbart.com
- Islam Is Not A Religion, It’s A Fraud at News with Views
- Islam Is Not A Religion, It Is Foreign Law at Canada Free Press
- Islam Is Not an Abrahamic Religion
- Myths of Islam: Home Page
- Games Muslims Play: Home Page
- Council challenges Victorians to join in Ramadan fast at the Victoria Times-Colonist
- Two references:
- Victoria city council to ban natural gas and fossil fuel usage for buildings built after 2025 at Rebel News
- Dan McTeague: "Good... Let the woke and the rich fight it out to drive up the cost of resale" at Twitter