An estimated 300 people packed St. Aidan's United Church in Saanich on Tuesday evening to hear from the 10 candidates vying for a seat on the council.
With advanced polling beginning on Wednesday, it was an important opportunity for all 10 hopefuls to make an impression.
The candidates tackled such topics as land use including the future of the controversial Environmental Development Permit Area and the need to protect agricultural land, as well as light rapid transit and others.
"We need someone who is going to do a responsible job watch our budgets and make Saanich affordable," said one attendee.
"All the candidates did an admirable job."
The 10 candidates include Madrona Farm operator Nathalie Chambers, Keith Davidoff a senior manager with BC Emergency Health Services, lobbying and media relations consultant Michael Geoghegan, Karen Harper who is the treasurer of the Camosun Community Association, community activist Marsha Henderson, CRD Water Advisory Committee Chair Rebecca Mersereau (who finished ninth in 2014), Shawn Newby who works in sales, BC Ferries gift shop employee Art Pollard, recent Reynolds Secondary graduate Ned Taylor, and Gorge-Tillicum President Rob Wickson.
The vote will take place on Sept. 23 but there is advanced polling on Wednesday, Sept. 13 and Monday, Sept. 18 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saanich Municipal Hall.
The byelection was prompted by the death of longstanding Saanich councillor Vic Derman in March.