WATCH: Voters in Saanich have elected a more diverse council when it comes to age and gender, but not ethnicity.
Voters in Saanich have elected a more diverse council when it comes to age and gender, but not ethnicity.
The previous council consisted of four female councillors, four male councillors and one male mayor.
The incoming council is made up of five female councillors, three male councillors and one male mayor.
The new council will also have two young male councillors.
“This speaks to a trend where, finally, municipal politics is beginning, just beginning, to catch up with the actual demographic composition of the cities in which people live,” said Royal Roads political communications professor David Black.
The previous council was all-white, and so is the incoming council.
“I think it’s an opportunity for us to think about how we might achieve a different result next time by reaching out more proactively to ethnic groups in Saanich, for example,” said councillor-elect Rebecca Merserseau.
But how well will the new council function? David Black says the old council had a poor relationship between councillors and the mayor.
“It was really an election ultimately in Saanich about who owned the dysfunction,” Black said. “Who was culpable for the rank or the acrimony in what was the most ill-tempered council among all thirteen in the CRD?”
Fred Haynes won the mayor’s seat as an anti-slate candidate. He said he welcomes the new makeup.
“Where we may see some differences is with this new, young energy being farther thinking, further thinking,” Haynes said. “But that said, this is not a criticism of any kind of the previous council, because we were already doing that.”