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Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre to host multiple municipal election forums

Forums also scheduled for North Saanich and Central Saanich

Saanich Peninsula residents will get several chances in the coming weeks to learn more about candidates running in this year’s municipal election on Oct. 15.

Voters in Sidney will get a chance to check out candidates on Sept. 25 when the Sidney Community Association will host an all-candidates forum as part of the organization’s annual general meeting. The forum will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the SHOAL Centre for Seniors auditorium on Resthaven Drive. All candidates have confirmed their attendance with each answering three questions, said Dennis Carlsen, association president.

There’s a second all-candidates forum happening at the Mary Winspear Centre, in partnership with Black Press Media, on Sept. 29. from 7 to 9 p.m.

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. Incumbent Cliff McNeil-Smith is the only candidate running for mayor.

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Voters in North Saanich can learn more about their candidates on at least two occasions, starting Sept. 26 with an all-candidates forum at the Mary Winspear Centre from 7 to 9 p.m. Black Press Media is co-sponsoring that event with the centre.

North Saanich Residents Association will then hold an all-candidates forum on Sept. 28 at Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church in the 9000-block of East Saanich Road. The start time is 7 p.m.

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Three candidates — Nancy Borden, Peter Jones and Murray Weisenberger — are running to replace Mayor Geoff Orr, who announced earlier this spring that he won’t run.

North Saanich also features 13 candidates running for six spots on council. 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.

In Central Saanich, the Central Saanich Community Association will host an all-candidates forum on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. in partnership with Stelly’s Secondary School.

Central Saanich Seniors’ Association will host an all-candidates meeting on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Central Saanich Seniors’ Centre on Clarke Road in Brentwood Bay.

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. Incumbent Ryan Windsor is the only candidate running for mayor.

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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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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