Former NDP MLA and ex-Saanich councillor David Cubberley announced Tuesday that he will be running for mayor of Saanich this November.
Elected MLA for Saanich South in 2005, Cubberley retired from provincial politics in 2009. He was voted onto Saanich council four times between 1990 and 2002.
“I missed municipal government the whole time I was sitting as an MLA because when you’re elected to local government you are part of government,” Cubberley said. “Day to day you see changes that are a result of choices that you’re making, and you’re connected with people who give you feedback on that.”
Frank Leonard, mayor of Saanich since 1996, was first voted onto council 25 years ago. During the last municipal election in 2008, political newcomer Harald Wolf challenged Leonard and lost by 4,972 votes.
Leonard declined to comment on Cubberley’s mayoral bid.
“Come fall it will be a political time and that’ll be the time for my performance review,” Leonard said.
Cubberley noted it’s been a long time since Leonard was challenged by an experienced candidate.
“I see that the community is missing opportunities,” Cubberley said, criticizing the Uptown for its lack of walking, cycling and transit planning. “I don’t want to see us miss other opportunities of that kind.”
He also questioned Leonard’s interest in securing funding from senior levels of government, including gas tax dollars.
“It took lobbying to get that money,” Cubberley said. “(Leonard) didn’t participate actively in getting it. It’ll take lobbying to keep it and that concerns me because you simply can’t go to residential property tax for all of the needs that we have.”