Esquimalt to choose between 2 mayor, 7 councillor candidates

Esquimalt to choose between 2 mayor, 7 councillor candidates
Township of Esquimalt/Facebook

Voters in Esquimalt will choose between two mayoral candidates and seven candidates for councillor positions in the upcoming elections.

In Esquimalt, there are six council seats up for grabs, with only three incumbents running.

Additionally, voters will cast ballots for who will fill nine trustee positions on the Greater Victoria School District.

In Esquimalt, there will be two advance voting days on Oct. 5 and 12, and the general voting day will take place on Oct. 15. Each day voting takes place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre.

In 2018, Esquimalt had 4,143 ballots cast for a voter turnout of 29.9 per cent.


There are two candidates running for mayor, incumbent Mayor Barb Desjardins, and Sonya Gracey, who served as a councillor in Victoria between 2005 and 2011.

Barb Desjardins

Desjardins studied physical education at Laurentian University and has pursued a career in physiotherapy. She now owns the James Bay Physiotherapy. She first ran for council in 2005 and has served as Esquimalt’s mayor for four terms.

If elected, her priorities are updating the policing framework agreement and addressing policing issues, investing in public safety infrastructure, addressing climate change and the environment, implement the township’s economic development strategy, supporting the town’s culture and heritage, and working to build and strengthen partnerships.

In 2018, Desjardins received 70.46 per cent of the mayoral votes with 2,919.

Desjardin’s website can be found here.

Sonya Gracey

Gracey has lived in Esquimalt for seven years, and the 12 years before that were in Vic West. She has worked as a registered nurse for 20 years and is currently the coordinator for Herway Home at Island Health. She has a bachelor of science in nursing from UVic, a master’s certificate in systems leadership from Royal Roads University, and masters in public health from University of Verona.

If elected, she plans to engage and invest in the community, cultivate and nurture relationships, and respond and adapt to climate change.

In 2008, Gracey was elected as a Victoria councillor with 8,002 votes, receiving the third most votes.

Gracey’s website can be found here.


In Esquimalt, there are six councillor positions and seven people in the running.

Ken Armour

Armour was first elected to Esquimalt council in 2018, and also works as a post-secondary education consultant. Before his consulting work he spent 20 years in various senior management positions in the B.C. government and federal government. He has a Master of Public Administration, a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Arts.

If re-elected, he plans to focus on three priorities. Density done right, climate action, and business growth.

In 2018, Armour received the sixth most votes with 2,176.

Armour’s website can be found here.

Andrea Boardman

Boardman is an executive director with Island Health and is running for council as a way to give back to her community.

If elected, she hopes to support the creation of high quality accessible health care for Esquimalt residents, support development that provides thoughtful and deliberate housing and appropriate retail and public services, incorporate affordable housing into new developments, and develop Climate Mitigation and Adaptation plans.

Boardman’s Facebook page can be found here.

Duncan Cavens

Cavens lives in West Bay and has two children who attend Victor Brodeur. He has sat on Esquimalt’s Advisory Planning Commission since 2017 and been the vice-chair since 2021. He is a principal of a consulting firm, C2MP, and has a degree in Landscape Architecture and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering.

If elected, his priorities are housing affordability, climate change, safe streets and active transportation, and good governance and financial management.

Cavens’ website can be found here.

Jacob Helliwell

Helliwell was first elected to Esquimalt council in 2018, and his family has lived in Esquimalt for five generations, six generations in the region. He has spent his career in public sector governance, financial management, and capital project delivery.

If elected, his priorities are diverse housing options for everyone, a strong and engaged community, and accessible and connected neighbourhoods.

In 2018, Helliwell received the second most votes with 2,575.

Helliwell’s website can be found here.

Tim Morrison

Morrison was first elected to Esquimalt council in 2011 and has served three terms. He works in a senior communications role at the BC Assessment Authority. He studied political science, communications, and geography at Simon Fraser University and has a certificate in urban studies and a teaching certificate.

If re-elected, his priorities are housing, affordability, the climate emergency, economic development, the future of the town’s policing, safe streets, celebrating community, reconciliation, and parks and recreation.

In 2018, Morrison received the most votes with 2,705.

Morrison’s website can be found here.

Chris Munkacsi

Munkacsi is a long-time Esquimalt resident and community volunteer. He currently serves as the Commissioner of the Esquimalt Advisory Planning Commission and is a member of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce. He has a graduate certificate in project management and a bachelor of arts in political studies and international relations.

If elected, his priorities will be making Esquimalt more affordable, improving policing, building density with different housing tools, addressing health care shortages, building an active transportation network, finding results to parking issues, and growing retail business and community gathering spaces.

In 2018, Munkacsi unsuccessfully ran for council coming in seventh place with 1,605 votes.

Munkacsi’s website can be found here.

Darlene Rotchford

Rotchford has lived in Esquimalt since 2006 and has worked in the field of mental health and addictions for 15 years. She is the president of the Victoria Labour Council and has sat on the United Way of South Vancouver Island Labour Committee.

If elected, her priorities will be community support, accountable governance, strong public services, and change for the better.

Rotchford’s website can be found here.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!