The current mayors of Sidney and Central Saanich will run unopposed in this year’s municipal election, while a trio of candidates will compete for the mayor’s chair in North Saanich.
Respective incumbents Cliff McNeil-Smith and Ryan Windsor will not face any opposition when running for mayor in Sidney and Central Saanich. Windsor also ran unopposed in 2018. Residents of North Saanich, on the other hand, will either elect Nancy Borden, Peter Jones or Murray Weisenberger to replace Geoff Orr, who announced earlier this spring that he won’t run.
The three candidates enter the race with a range of experiences. Borden won her election for school trustee for SD63 in 2014 but did not run again in 2018. Jones serves as president of Dean Park Estates Community Association. Weisenberger currently serves as a councillor in North Saanich after voters had first elected him in 2014 before re-electing him in 2018.
North Saanich residents will also have a choice of 13 candidates running for six spots for councillor. Incumbents Jack McClintock, Brett Smyth and Celia Stock will join Phil Dibattista, Erin Giesbrecht, Tara Keeping, Irene McConkey, Morgan Mikkelsen, Jon Rennison, Terrie Rolph, Sanjiv Shrivastava, Maya Tse-Cotton and Majid Varasteh in the race. Current Couns. Patricia Pearson and Heather Gartshore are foregoing re-election campaigns.
The high number of candidates in North Saanich likely reflects the community’s interest in the ongoing review of the Official Community Plan.
Simply measured by the number of candidates, interest in the other communities on the Saanich Peninsula is lower. In Sidney, nine candidates are vying for six spots. Sara Duncan, Scott Garnett, Terri O’Keeffe and Chad Rintoul are running as incumbents. Eric Diller, Steve Duck, Cam McLennan, Richard Novek and Steve Price are also running. Price notably served as Sidney’s mayor between 2014 and 2018 before losing in 2018 to McNeil-Smith. McLennan also served on Sidney council between 2014 and 2018 before failing in his re-election bid. Current Couns. Barbara Fallot and Peter Wainwright are not running for re-election.
In Central Saanich, eight candidates are running for six councillor spots. Christopher Graham, Zeb King, Gord Newton, Niall Paltiel and Bob Thompson are running as incumbents with Carl Jensen as the only incumbent not running again. Also running are Geoff Krause, Jackie Lee and Sarah Riddell.
Advance voting will take place on Oct. 5 and 12, while the general voting day is Oct. 15.
Voter turnout in the last municipal and school trustee elections topped out at 36 per cent in the province, 48 per cent in Sidney, just under 43 per cent in North Saanich and just under 33 per cent in Central Saanich.
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