Victoria political columnist Russ Francis of Monday Magazine picked up a story today that Politics in BC did on July 25, Mayor's Transformation of Victoria. I am somewhat flattered in that we got it out before Victoria's premier print columnist. Blogging can be fun. You don't think he might read my blog? Now that would be awesome!
Here is Russ Francis' story in Monday Magazine... Politics in BC story is here.
Despite suggestions made previously in this space, mayor Alan Lowe is far from universally unpopular. Last month, in fact, he won a standing ovation…though surprisingly, it wasn’t for his arena success story. The event was a June 12 gathering at Quadra Street’s Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church, which, according to an account in Sunday Magazine (no relation), more than 800 people attended.
Pastors and others have been meeting weekly for the last seven years, says the report, “praying for Victoria.” (Not to much avail, apparently, even after more than 350 meetings.) However, based on the atmosphere at last month’s meeting, the expectancy for a “move of God” on Vancouver Island is “strong than ever.” When the move happens, expect a “transformation” of the Island. Reportedly, some 400 communities around the world are currently undergoing such a transformation. I’ll be the first to admit that we could use a transformation or two, not least at city hall. Bring it on!
It was precisely this gathering that awarded Lowe the standing ovation, says the report. Then, after Lowe greeted the multitudes, a number of pastors surrounded Lowe and his wife, and prayed for them. Not sure how the prayers went. It might have been: “Dear God, please let the arena be done by the time of the municipal election.” Or: “Yo. Please don’t let the business community run anyone against him this November.” But not all the prayers could have been welcomed by Lowe. For instance, one pastor prayed, apparently aloud, that “God would close doors of activity that are not consistent with His purpose…” That should mean the end of the city’s take from bars. And forget any chance of a casino. Also, would God be very happy about a city contractor who’s facing a baker’s dozen of liens, who’s missed deadline after deadline and who’s repeatedly broken his written promises to the city?
I very much suspect that the barn door of activity at Blanshard and Caledonia would be near the top of the “inconsistent” list for closing. However, the highlight of the event took place toward the end, when Lowe “committed and gave the city of Victoria to God.” He did? The whole thing? Without asking us? That raises some serious questions. Did God even want Victoria? Can we get it back? If He’s now the owner, is He going to pay our property taxes? And do we get a tax credit?
Even that wasn’t the last of the evening’s bombshells. Lowe also “asked God to be a permanent resident of Victoria.” Transformation expert Alistair Petrie told the crowd that in all the cities he has visited for his mission, Lowe was the first Canadian mayor to “consecrate and commit a city to the Lord.” Well, I suppose if He owns the place now. He might as well live here (I’m assuming He can get a visa.) With a little persuasion, He might be persuaded to fix the potholes. Of course, CUPE wouldn’t like that very much.