Largest municipalities gained new mayors

Big changes seen to Capital Region political perspective

Richard Atwell squeaked out a win over incumbent and six-term Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard on Saturday in what most are calling the upset of the night around the region.

Atwell defeated Leonard by just over 1,000 votes, according to the unofficial count. Mayoral candidate David Shebib, who ran on a platform of dissolving the current system of government, received 482 votes, about 1.7 per cent of overall votes for mayor.

“It was time for a change,” said Atwell from his campaign office at 3789 Quadra St. on election night “Last election, (David) Cubberley brought something, but it wasn’t enough. This time, something I did resonated with everyone.”

Atwell has gained recognition in his advocacy as a prominent critic of the Capital Regional District’s sewage treatment project for the past few years. He said his first order of business is to reshape council procedures and open council up to the public for non-agenda items, so people can speak their mind.

Helps captures Victoria mayoralty

Lisa Helps defeated two-term mayor Dean Fortin by just 89 votes in Victoria.

“Now the work begins,” Helps said shortly after her victory. She believes what put her over the edge was her dedication and connections with the citizens of Victoria.

“We came from behind. We don’t have political affiliation, we have people,” said Helps. “It was people that helped me with this election, and it’s people that will help me run the city.”

editor@goldstreamgazette.com