2 mayor, 22 councillor candidates seeking seats on Saanich council

2 mayor, 22 councillor candidates seeking seats on Saanich council
District of Saanich/Facebook
Photo credit: Nicholas Pescod/CHEK News

There are two candidates for mayor and 22 for councillor positions in council in the municipal elections.

In Saanich, there are eight councillor positions with six incumbent councillors running. Current councillors Rebecca Mersereau and Ned Taylor are not seeking re-election after each serving one term on council.

Within the boundaries of Saanich, there are two school districts, Greater Victoria School District, and Saanich School District. Saanich voters will have the chance to vote for nine Greater Victoria School District trustees, but in the Saanich School District, the candidates are acclaimed to their roles.

In Saanich, there will be advance voting days on Oct. 5, 11, and 12 at the following times and locations:

  • On Oct. 5 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Saanich Municipal Hall and Greek Community Hall
  • On Oct. 11 at the Greek Community Hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and UVic’s Student Union Building from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • On Oct. 12 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Saanich Municipal Hall and Gordon Head Recreation Centre

Oct. 15 is general voting day, where the following polling locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Campus View Elementary School at 3900 Gordon Head Road
  • Cedar Hill Middle School at 3910 Cedar Hill Road
  • Cedar Hill Recreation Centre at 3220 Cedar Hill Road
  • Cloverdale Traditional School at 3427 Quadra Street
  • Cordova Bay Elementary School at 5238 Cordova Bay Road
  • Doncaster Elementary School at 1525 Rowan Street
  • Frank Hobbs Elementary School at 3875 Haro Road
  • Glanford Middle School at 4140 Glanford Avenue
  • Gordon Head Recreation Centre at 4100 Lambrick Park Way
  • G. R. Pearkes Recreation Centre at 3100 Tillicum Road
  • Hillcrest Elementary School at 4421 Greentree Terrace
  • Lansdowne Middle School at 1765 Lansdowne Road
  • Lochside Elementary School at 1145 Royal Oak Drive
  • Prospect Lake Elementary School at 321 Prospect Lake Road
  • Reynolds Secondary School at 3963 Borden Street
  • Saanich Commonwealth Place at 4636 Elk Lake Drive
  • Spectrum Community School at 957 Burnside Road West

In 2018, 32,538 people cast a ballot in the election for a voter turnout of 38.3 per cent.


Fred Haynes

Haynes was born in England and moved to Canada to earn his masters degree and has a PhD in diabetes research from the University of Toronto. He has an 8th-degree black belt in Aikido. Haynes has lived in Saanich for 20 years.

If re-elected as mayor, he plans to continue work to address housing, climate and the environment, safety, emergency preparedness, economic resilience, inclusionary policies, accessible government, and food security.

In 2018, Haynes received 47.06 per cent of the vote in the mayor race with 15,312. In 2014 when he ran for council, he received the fifth most votes with 13,492.

Haynes’ website can be found here.

Dean Murdock

Murdock previously served three terms as a Saanich councillor between 2008-2018. During his time on council he served on many boards including the Healthy Saanich committee and Parks, Trails and Recreation committee. He works as the provincial lead of Healthy Communities at the B.C. Ministry of Health and teach a political science course at Camosun College.

If elected, his priorities are creating affordable homes for families, building accessible and walkable neighbourhoods, strengthening the local economy with well-paid jobs, protecting against the impacts of climate change, and restoring trust in decision making by appointing an Ethics Commissioner and establishing a lobbyist registry.

Murdock did not seek re-election in 2018, but when he last ran in 2014, he received the most votes with 14,781.

Murdock’s website can be found here.


Trevor Barry

Barry has been a resident of Saanich for 15 years and has a bachelor of science from the University of British Columbia with a minor in history. After he graduated he moved to the Island to work as a manager of student housing at UVic. He then moved on to work as a policy analyst for the Ministry of Justice.

If elected, he plans to focus on five main priorities. Right-sizing density planning, climate action leadership, supporting small businesses, safe and healthy communities, and moving Saanich online.

In 2018, Barry unsuccessfully ran for council receiving 5,541 votes.

Barry’s website can be found here.

Susan Brice

Brice is seeking re-election on Saanich council. She serves as the chair of the Finance Committee, and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission.

If re-elected, she plans to focus on addressing housing supply needs, diversifying the local economy, walkable and safe neighbourhoods, committing to heritage, culture and the arts, preserving natural areas, supporting local agriculture and food supply, ensuring transportation networks are accessible, leading in climate action, ensuring government is accessible, and providing healthy recreation options for all youth and seniors.

In 2018, Brice received the fourth most votes with 15,981.

Brice’s website can be found here.

Judy Brownoff

Brownoff has lived in Saanich since 1987, has owned and operated two businesses and taught at Camosun College. She has served in a number of roles during her time as a Saanich councillor and director of the Capital Regional District.

If re-elected, she plans to focus on climate change, housing, mobility safety, environment and parks, and the tree canopy.

In 2018, Brownoff received the sixth most votes with 13,594.

Brownoff’s website can be found here.

Kathleen Burton

Burton is the executive director of Community Options for Children and Families after previously working as the executive director of the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary for over six years.

If elected, she plans to be the voice of reason on housing issues and the under-housed in the district, work to protect the environment and address climate change, support mental health, and strengthen public education

In 2018, Burton unsuccessfully ran for council, coming in ninth with 11,289 votes.

Burton’s website can be found here.

Nathalie Chambers

Chambers grew up on Christmas Hill and her family live and act as stewards of Madrona Farm. She was first elected to Saanich council in 2018 and is seeking her second term. During her time on council, she has served on a number of committees including Art, Heritage and Culture and the Capital Regional District’s Regional Water Supply Commission. She works with Raincost Conservation and has diplomas in restoration ecology from UVic and conservation finance from Yale University.

If re-elected, her priorities will be affordability, livability, community, fairness and sustainability.

In 2018, Chambers received the seventh most votes with 13,080.

Chambers’ website can be found here.

Bianca Chu

Chu’s family immigrated to Canada from Taiwan in the early 90s and settled in North Delta. She moved to the Island in 2009 for university and has lived in Saanich ever since. She works as a public servant with the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation and previously worked for UVic for over 10 years. She has experience in partnership development, youth programming, event organization, education, cross-cultural relationship development, amateur sports, volunteer management, hospitality, and arts and culture.

If elected, her priorities are accessible and affordable housing, preserving the unique environment, supporting local businesses, inclusive and diverse engagement, vibrant community spaces, and safer roads and neighbourhoods.

Chu’s website can be found here.

Zac de Vries

De Vries was first elected to Saanich council in 2018 and in his time on council has pushed for climate action, led the development of Saanich’s Housing Strategy, created an Economic Development function for Saanich, initiated urban greening policies, and supported new approaches to road safety.

If re-elected, his priorities include livability, housing for all, sustainability, equity, transportation and complete communities, economic development, and reconciliation.

In 2018, de Vries received the fifth most votes with 13,631.

De Vries’ website can be found here.

Karen Harper

Harper has been a Saanich councillor since 2017 and in her time on council she has served on committees including Finance and Strategic Priorities Committee, Mayor’s Standing Committee on Housing Affordability & Supply and Greater Victoria Public Library Board. She has a masters in education from UVic, and a bachelor of arts and teaching certificate from Simon Fraser University.

If re-elected, her priorities include housing, parks and environmental stewardship, and fiscal responsibility.

In 2018, Harper received the eighth most votes with 11,713.

Harper’s website can be found here.

Sasha Izard

Izard grew up in Saanich and has worked with ecological landscape preservation, regeneration and agriculture. He is the sole proprietor of a small eco-landscaping business.

If elected, his priorities are protecting the interests of residents and communities first, stop overdevelopment, separate lobby and state, electoral reform, not creating more roads and infrastructure for higher road traffic, housing affordability, make health care a priority in the district, invest in the working class, take Indigenous relations seriously, protect the environment, degrowth, food security, transportation, focusing on building bike lanes on natural trails away from vehicle traffic, keep Saanich safe, saying no to amalgamation, unify emergency services in the region, ensure fiscal responsibility, and preserve heritage.

Izard’s website can be found here.

Basil Langevin

Langevin has served as the executive director of an LGBT non-profit for eight years and has been involved in environmental restoration, diversity and inclusion work, and community advocacy. He moved to the region when studying at UVic then he and his partner made Saanich their home.

If elected, his main focus is on housing and he plans to address it by expediting the Saanich Housing Strategy, ending parking mandates, investing in the next generation of workers, giving an advantage to social housing, ending homelessness and housing insecurity, building homes for everyone, removing barriers to housing construction, fixing the public consultation process, curtailing Airbnb’s and other short-term rentals, and establishing a framework for housing approvals.

Langevin’s website can be found here.

Mark Leiren-Young

Leiren-Young was involved in municipal politics from a young age when his mom ran for Vancouver council. When he began serving on the Saanich Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee it spurred him to seek election. He is an author of books about endangered orcas, endangered sharks, endangered forests and climate change.

If elected, his priorities will be finding solutions for affordable living, improving community engagement, strengthening the arts and culture sector, and building more and better community infrastructure.

Leiren-Young’s website can be found here.

Vernon Lord

Lord has lived in Saanich for eight years and works with the Royal Canadian Navy as a contractor providing electrical support. He previously owned an electrical marine contracting business in the States.

If elected, his priorities include housing, investing in transportation and safe roads for all, supporting local businesses, and addressing local issues like street parking, mobility, parks, amalgamation, and a dog park.

In 2018, Lord unsuccessfully ran for council with 3,300 votes.

Lord’s website can be found here.

Jordan MacDougall

MacDougall is a third-generation Saanich resident who is currently a student at UVic. He also works for Indigenous Services Canada in community development, governance and capacity development. He previously ran for the Federal Green Party of Canada in Northern Alberta in the 2021 election.

If elected, he plans to focus on four priorities: affordable housing, sustainable infrastructure, fiscal responsibility and regulatory transparency, and mental health and decolonization.

MacDougall’s website can be found here.

Gregory Matte

Matte has a background in professional development, and applied experience in leadership, management, training, and administration within government as well as the private sector. He has a PhD in public policy and administration from Carleton University, a masters in defence management and policy and a bachelor of science in physics and computer science from Royal Roads Military College.

If elected, his priorities will be responsiveness, efficiency, and effectiveness. He would also like to introduce an incentive for homes, commercial, and municipal buildings to install solar panels.

Matte’s website can be found here.

Leslie Miller-Brooks

CHEK News has reached out to Miller-Brooks but has not heard back. When a response is received this story will be updated with information.

Mark Neufeld

Neufeld has been a teacher, community member and coach in Saanich for over 30 years. He co-founded the Institute for Global Solutions at Claremont Secondary. He’s been involved in community politics since he was voted vice-president of UVic’s Student Society and also served as a Parks and Recreation commissioner in Area B of the CRVD.

If elected, his priorities will be to engage and empower youth, put forward sensible policies, collaborate, and build a lasting community.

Neufeld’s website can be found here.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff

Phelps Bondaroff is a long-time Saanich resident who works as director of research for OceansAsia. He leads the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network’s Pocket Places project and has been advocating for the environment for over 20 years. He has a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge and BAs in political science and international relations from the University of Calgary.

If elected, his vision for Saanich includes affordable housing for everyone, safe and accessible streets, sustainable communities, and inclusive governance.

In 2018, Phelps Bondaroff unsuccessfully ran for council with 9,043 votes.

Phelps Bondaroff’s website can be found here.

Colin Plant

Plant has lived in Saanich for 33 years and has served as a councillor and CRD director for eight years. In the past four years, he was the chair of the CRD board.

If re-elected, he plans to improve access to affordable housing through smart development, continue to make sidewalks and streets safer, work with First Nations towards reconciliation, strengthen Saanich’s Bylaw Enforcement practices, increase the commercial tax base, encourage the municipality to become a Living Wage employer, address the bottleneck at Wilkinson and Interurban, explore the feasibility of a “road diet” on Quadra Street, work to provide more daycare spaces, support and encourage the installation of public art, work with Island Health to provide health care, encourage seniors and youth to use recreation facilities, increase funding to community associations, and hire a social planner to help address affordability and community health issues.

In 2018, Plant received the second most votes with 17,749.

Plant’s website can be found here.

Art Pollard

Pollard has contributed to Saanich through community service for over 30 years, and recently retired from a 32-year career at BC Ferries. He has a BA in political science from UVic and diplomas in volunteer management, public relations, and conference management.

If elected, he plans to develop opportunities to create a central business district, review the urban containment boundary, create a workable EDPA, work towards liveable and walkable neighbourhoods, encourage backyard and community gardens, improve governance structures, review committee structures, strengthen relationships with community associations, increase opportunities for student and rental housing, and examine secondary suite opportunities.

In 2018, Pollard unsuccessfully ran for council receiving 3,675 votes.

Pollard’s website can be found here.

Jordan Reichert

Reichert was born and raised in Victoria and now lives in Saanich. He has worked in mental health and addictions for 15 years, and graduated from UVic in 2014 after double majoring in sociology and philosophy.

If elected, he plans to address the lack of affordable housing, work towards affordability, invest in transportation, ensure environmental integrity, ensure the community is thriving and inclusive, and address safety with sidewalks and complete streets.

In 2018, Reichert unsuccessfully ran for Victoria council receiving 3,491 votes.

Reichert’s website can be found here.

Rishi Sharma

Sharma has lived in Saanich for almost 45 years. He is the director of the Intergovernmental and Stakeholder Relations Secretariat in the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. He has worked as a public servant for almost 21 years including roles as a Chief of Staff, including the Premier’s Office.

If elected, he plans to invest in the community to create a more liveable community, work on economic development, build safer roads, and work towards a cleaner community.

In 2018, Sharma unsuccessfully ran for council receiving 10,127 votes.

Sharma’s website can be found here.

Mena Westhaver

Westhaver was born and raised in Saanich. She has a masters in kinesiology and has received several community awards including the 2021 Leadership Victoria award for Thriving Children and Youth. She has worked at Saanich Recreation for 35 years and owns two businesses focusing primarily on women’s health and youth in sport.

If elected, she plans to advocate for: safe transportation routes, improved parks and trails, housing density to increase affordability, and for low-income citizens to provide more opportunities for inclusion.

Westhaver’s website can be found here.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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