David Merner is running for the Liberal party in the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding in this month’s federal election.

CANDIDATE PROFILE: David Merner, Liberal Party

Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke: Merner an Oxford lawyer, hockey player, election observer

Running for office was only a matter of time for David Merner, who is representing the Liberal party in the newly defined Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding.

From his time as a political science major in university to his current role as the executive director of the Dispute Resolution Office in B.C.’s Ministry of Justice, Merner has been heavily involved with the provincial and federal Liberal parties.

The 53-year-old has also been an observer at two of the biggest presidential elections in modern history: 2006 in Haiti and 2014 in Ukraine.

“There were certainly security risks and concerns,” says Merner of both situations. “But people were also so grateful that Canadians were there to help.”

Haiti was particularly moving, as people walked long distances to vote, some through the night.

“They filled their ballots by candlelight,” Merner said. “You can see how important democracy is to them. They take it seriously [because] they know what it’s like to lose democracy. It’s very inspiring and a reminder of how lucky we are.”

A father and a husband, Merner and his wife, human rights lawyer Annemieke Holthuis, have raised four daughters in Victoria. The youngest, 12, attends Ecole Victor Brodeur. Their 18-year-old is doing a one-year program at Mahindra College in India (part of the United World College family of schools, which includes Metchosin’s Pearson College).

Meanwhile their oldest, a pair of 20-year-old twins, are in university, one in pre-medical school at Queen’s and the other environmental studies at Dalhousie.

“Still one at home, but it’s the start of empty-nest syndrome,” joked Merner.

“Previously we had been so busy driving around.”

Before he worked in the justice industry Merner started at Harvard University and ended up doing a masters at Oxford University in the 1980s, where, little known to Canadians, he played hockey for the Oxford Blues.

“It was a semi-pro league, we played in the [traditional] Oxford versus Cambridge [rivalry],” Merner said. “The fans loved it, they wanted Slapshot, they wanted all that bad behaviour, it was something else.”

To this day Merner still plays hockey three times a week, including twice in the morning before work.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

View Royal’s byelection results are in

The winner is Damian Kowalewich

Millstream Lake Road to close for repairs

No vehicle traffic will be permitted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1

Royal Roads prof named to Rowing Canada’s Hall of Fame

Former Olympic rower still putting oars in the water

Local volunteers get the scoop on bat poop

Bat droppings key to research in a number of areas

Colwood development draws ire of residents

Developer says he’s listened and addressed residents’ concerns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Mt. Washington offering freestyle programs

Programs include competitive, development and beginner levels

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Most Read