After a long 2.5 years being separated from our constituents by COVID, I have really been looking forward to this election’s all-candidates meetings. One of the things I often brag about with respect to Oak Bay residents is their level of engagement in civic matters, and their broad awareness of the big topics in our community (you better believe that folks remember what I talked to them about last election!). All-candidates meetings here are generally strongly attended, and this time around they did not disappoint. We began with the very timely and important discussion on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples hosted by Reconciliaction Oak Bay and the Community Association of Oak Bay. We were fortunate to hear opening remarks from our MLA and Minister of Indigenous Affairs Murray Rankin. I thought the dialogue was very productive, please do check it out at https://reconciliactionoakbay.ca/election2022/
Next up was the North Oak Bay Community Association’s all-candidates meeting on Sep. 28. I enjoyed this event a lot last election, as I was taken with the unique viewpoint and priorities of folks that live in the northern part of our community- and so it was again this time around. Issues surrounding student housing, increasing access to amenities and the long overdue refresh of Carnarvon Park are right at the forefront of these residents’ minds.
The next event was one of three sessions organized by the UVic Student Society for the communities adjacent to the campus where many of the students live: Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria. I was absolutely impressed with the questions that were asked, some of which we would not hear anywhere else and spoke to the specific needs of students and young people: How would we support mental health for students? What actions are we taking to be allies to marginalized groups? What experience do we have with housing instability? It was an extremely direct, honest conversation and I was so glad to be a part of it. Thank you UVSS. See the recording at https://youtu.be/KCf9Jr98APk
Last but certainly not least, the Community Association of Oak Bay hosted another all-candidates meeting on October 7 at the United Church, truly standing room only and a fantastic event. Candidates were challenged with some very pertinent questions and had to navigate the extra challenge of the “wild card” – loved it! Not only that but I also received a number of emails afterward from attendees asking me to expand upon my thoughts, clarify, use examples of some of the actions I espoused- wow are folks here ever plugged in and looking for well prepared representatives! Thanks to everyone who took the time to attend and contribute. Missed it? Check it out here: https://youtu.be/kxzroW2GaBk
Of course at all the meetings I was surrounded by a great group of fellow candidates that are running for office alongside me. To a person they are an intelligent, committed group who are focused on the community and supportive of each other. Seeking elected office is hard work, and I commend them all for bringing their ideas and energy to the campaign. If the citizens see fit to re-elect me, I look forward to working with them.