Municipal election campaigns gearing up

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Change in the air as more declare for civic elections
Times Colonist

The campaign doesn’t officially begin until nominations close Oct. 14, but the number of people declaring for municipal office is growing almost daily.

And it’s already shaping up to be a civic election that could see a lot of change in the municipal landscape.

In View Royal, Coun. Andrew Britton has announced he will challenge incumbent Mayor Graham Hill for that municipality’s top job. Britton says he wants to attract more business development to the municipality to diversify the tax base.

Hill, vice-chairman of the Capital Regional District, has been View Royal’s mayor since 2002. He will be seeking his fourth term.

In North Saanich, Alice Finall will seek a second term as mayor. The retired lawyer has more than a decade of municipal experience, having been a councillor for several years before she was elected mayor in 2008.

North Saanich is losing popular twoterm councillor Cairine Green, who will not seek re-election there because she has moved out of the municipality. But Green is seeking a council seat in Oak Bay, where she and her husband, Fred, moved last year. Green also lived in Oak Bay for several years in the 1980s.

Corey Burger, who ran unsuccessfully for Oak Bay council in 2008, will run again. The 29-year-old events manager and UVic student is a fixture at council meetings, logging as much attendance as the politicians.

The number of declared candidates in Saanich continues to grow. Councillors Vicki Sanders and Dean Murdock have both announced their intention to seek reelection. Sanders, who is also seeking election to the Capital Regional District board, supports safe, well-managed communities, sustainable environmental stewardship, arts, culture and heritage, and promoting accessible, responsive government.

Murdock is seeking a second term on council and is also seeking to represent the municipality on the CRD. “I’ve worked hard to bring forward solutions that enhance our transportation options, provide affordable housing, protect our climate, green space, and farmland, and promote sustainable growth. But there’s still work to do,” Murdock, former chairman of the Sierra Club Victoria, said in a statement.

Also declaring for Saanich council is businessman and economist Rob Wickson.

Wickson, past chairman of both the B.C. Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said the community needs clear and detailed regional transportation planning, sustainable land development, vibrant neighbourhoods and affordable accessible housing.

Wickson is president of the Gorge Tillicum Community Association and Bike to Work Victoria.

In Central Saanich, Coun. Adam Olsen is seeking another term. Since his election in 2008, Olsen has sat on numerous municipal and regional committees, including chairing the Central Saanich water and waste management committee, and sitting on the Greater Victoria Public Library board and the Regional Housing Trust fund.

Chris Graham, a former Central Saanich councillor who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2008, is running, although he hasn’t declared whether his campaign is for council or for mayor.