Mitzi Dean, executive director of Colwood-based Pacific Centre Family Services Association, is the first to officially declare her intention to seek the NDP nomination for the Esquimalt-Metchosin constituency in 2017.
The seat, known since 2008 as Esquimalt-Royal Rods but realigned to bring in Metchosin and lose Victoria West, will be vacated when current longtime NDP MLA Maurine Karagianis retires next year. The provincial election happens in May.
Dean said in a written announcement Thursday that she intends to be a strong voice for Esquimalt and the West Shore. Her hope was to be able to “continue the community work I’ve undertaken for the last 10 years. It’s an opportunity to serve and make a difference.”
Dean has long been involved in child and youth oriented initiatives on the West Shore and around Greater Victoria.
Along with her work at PCFSA, she has served as chair of the Youth Matters sub-committee of the Capital Regional District Family Court Youth Justice Committee for eight years and serves on the Langford protective services committee. She has also chaired the advisory board at the Centre for Youth and Society at the University of Victoria and the Sooke Co-operative of Service Agencies, and been a member of the Sooke Region Community Health Initiative.
Locally, she was a co-founding member of West Shore Collaborative Practice Committee and the West Shore Healthy Community Council, plus she continues to chair the West Shore family strategy meeting. Between 2007 and 2011, she organized four CRD youth engagement and service conferences.
Karagianis announced earlier this month that she would not seek re-election next spring. She is retiring from provincial politics to spend more time with her family and devote her energy to other endeavours.