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

Liberal candidate an Oxford lawyer, hockey player, election observer

Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding candidate profile on David Merner

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

Greater Victoria is a tough market, even for former homeowners

Seniors often squeezed out of the housing market due to limited income

Garry Oak Meadow Marathon underway at Cattle Point

Every Sunday in February and March Friends of Uplands Park is seeking volunteers

Number of adults living with parents has doubled since 1995

9 per cent of the adult population living with one or more parent

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Most Read