A closer look at the candidates running for the Langford-Juan de Fuca byelection

A closer look at the candidates running for the Langford-Juan de Fuca byelection
Four major political parties are expected to dominate the spotlight during this election cycle: NDP, United, Conservative and Green.

The byelection for the Langford-Juan de Fuca MLA riding has been officially called for June 24, and already the candidates are gearing up for what could be an intense campaign.

There are five candidates in the running to be the next MLA for the riding:

Running for the BC NDP Party is Ravi Parmar, a long-serving Sooke School District Board Chair.

A local figure known for his community advocacy, Parmar has overseen what he described in a candidacy announcement as the largest expansion of public education in the district’s history. He also played a key role in the development of a new post-secondary university in Langford.

At the age of 22, he was elected as the youngest chair on record in not just Vancouver Island, but all of the province.

Parmar has said he hopes to build on Horgan’s record, aiming to improve transportation infrastructure, protect the environment, and promote local small businesses.

  • Read more about BC NDP candidate Ravi Parmar here.

Running for the Green Party is Camille Currie, founder and President of Canada Pacific Health Care Matters Society and a Langford small business owner.

Currie has been recognized for her work in health care with an Excellence in Health Promotion award from Doctors of B.C. and says she aims to revolutionize the B.C. health-care system to ensure high-quality care with no barriers to access.

She is also known for launching a campaign to pressure the B.C. government to take drastic action on the ongoing family doctor shortage, using rallies and lawn signs to spread the message “Everyone deserves a family doctor.”

  • Read more about Green Party candidate Camille Currie here.

Running for the The BC Conservative Party is Mike Harris, an award-winning realtor with experience as a journeyman carpenter and small business owner.

The Langford resident is a realtor and journeyman carpenter and previously co-owned a small business with his wife that was forced to close during the pandemic, according to a party statement.

In recent years, he has served as a regional director for the Conservatives and has voiced concerns about housing affordability and lack of adequate transportation options in the area, positioning himself as an advocate for ordinary working people.

  • Read more about Conservative Party candidate Mike Harris here.

Running for the BC United Party is Elena Lawson, a cofounder of the Children’s Autism Federation of B.C.

Lawson, an Esquimalt native and Metchosin resident, is known locally as a child autism advocate following her oldest son’s autism diagnosis in 2018. She was one of the voices who fiercely criticized the NDP government in 2021 after it announced its intent to change individualized funding for children with autism, a move that was met with backlash from parents.

The government later retracted those plans and said it would maintain the funding while engaging in more consultation with parents and caregivers.

  • Read more about BC United Party candidate Elena Lawson here.

Tyson Riel Strandlund is running for the Communist Party of BC, a member of the MĂ©tis Nation of BC with a BA and MA from UVic’s history department.

He was born and raised in Victoria and is a longtime supporter of Indigenous rights. His master’s thesis was a study on the history of decolonization and national liberation movements throughout the 20th century.

The party’s platform details plans for rights and jobs for workers, protect and expand public healthcare, climate justice, justice for Indigenous people, public ownership, ending the opioid crisis, raising social assistance and disability rates, investing in better public education, addressing the housing crisis, defunding the police, addressing gender equality and justice, democratic reform, and addressing food security.

  • Read more about the Communist Party of BC candidate Tyson Riel Strandlund here.

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