Fall campaign takes shape

Re-Elect Sign
Saanich council candidates begin to line up for November election
Kyle Slavin, Saanich News

Some very familiar faces will vie for your support come November when municipal elections are held to vote in your next council.

Of the eight sitting councillors in Saanich, all but three have outright confirmed they will run for re-election. Councillors Wayne Hunter, Vic Derman and Lief Wergeland all say they will make that decision in the summer.

“One never says for sure because you have to wait and see what happens with family and in life, but it would be my intent,” said Derman, a three-term councillor.

Many of his colleagues, however, have said they’re already planning to hit the campaign trail.

Judy Brownoff, Susan Brice, Paul Gerrard, Dean Murdock and Vicki Sanders all say they will seek another term as councillor.

“I have far too many things left that I want to do,” Brownoff, a councillor since 1993, said, citing the Shelbourne Corridor Action Plan, pedestrian safety, light rail and sustainability issues as outstanding issues.

Hunter, a two-term Saanich councillor and former Central Saanich mayor, was a little more cryptic about the November election.

“I definitely will be running in a contest of some nature,” said Hunter, who has a daughter going in to Grade 1. A former school teacher and principal, Hunter could run in school board trustee elections, which are held at the same time as municipal elections.

Brice, formerly the mayor of Oak Bay, has sat on Saanich council since 2005 and says there are “works in progress” that need to be tackled, namely transportation planning.

“I feel we’re on the right track, but would like to continue working on that and using whatever experience and contribution I can make to shape it,” she said.

Murdock says he’s running because a lot of the issues he was interested in when he ran in 2008 remain important, including climate change, sustainability and rapid transit.

The first-time councillor says it’s been a great experience seeing successes that he’s had a hand in.

The only other one-termer, Gerrard, says his focus will remain on land use and transportation issues, as well as pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and support for art and culture funding, particularly the libraries.

Wergeland, a councillor for five terms, said he has a good idea what he plans to do, but will wait until July or August to make a more concrete decision.

Sanders, first elected in 2005, will run again because “it is my passion,” she said.

“I like to assist people. I like to be that voice for what the community wants, and I want to be part of the vision of what Saanich would like to be in the future.”

Municipal elections will be held province-wide Nov. 19.