Nine candidates for Oak Bay councillor position, mayor acclaimed

Nine candidates for Oak Bay councillor position, mayor acclaimed

Nine people have put their names forward to be councillors in Oak Bay, and the mayor is acclaimed as the only candidate in the running.

Five incumbent councillors are in the running to be re-elected alongside four other candidates.

For the mayor, only Kevin Murdoch put his name forward for the election so he is one of 11 mayors on Vancouver Island who are acclaimed to their positions.

In Oak Bay, advance voting will take place on Oct. 5 and 12 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Oak Bay Municipal Hall.

On general voting day on Oct. 15, the hours will be the same, but voting locations will be at the Emmanuel Baptist Church and Monterey Middle School.

Oak Bay also offers the option to vote by mail by completing an application form at this link.

If someone is unable to enter a voting place due to a disability or impaired mobility, they should ask someone to go into the voting place and request the option for “curbside voting.”

Oak Bay voters will also vote on nine school district trustees in the Greater Victoria School District.

In the previous election, Oak Bay had 7,232 ballots cast for a voter turnout of 53.6 per cent.

Andrew Appleton

Andrew was first elected to Oak Bay council in 2018. He works as a regional manager in the province’s recreation sites and trails program. As councillor he has served on a number of committees including Greater Vancouver Library Board and Community Climate Action Working Group.

If re-elected, his priorities will be diverse and expanded housing options, sustainability and active transportation, and vibrant villages and compact communities.

In the 2018 election, Appleton received the fifth most votes with 3,707.

Appleton’s website can be found here.

Hazel Braithwaite

Braithwaite has lived in Oak Bay for 33 years and has served as a councillor for four terms, first being elected in 2005. She is the Director of Philanthropy at United Way Southern Vancouver Island. During her time on council, she has served on a number of committees including Parks, Recreation & Culture, Community Initiatives Committee and UVIC Liaison.

If re-elected, her priorities will be ensuring housing and transportation initiatives, village planning, enhanced liveability, continuing to fund infrastructure replacement and financial management.

In the 2018 election, Braithwaite received the most votes with 5,149.

Braithwaite’s website can be found here.

Raymon Farmere

Farmere has worked as a Network Administrator and a Computer Instructor over the last 20 years and has political experience in his previous role as executive membership secretary with his local CUPE.

If elected, he plans to invest in keeping streets safer, fix sidewalks, fix cracks in the streets, improve public transportation, work with the provincial government to provide more affordable housing options, and help create green initiatives.

Farmere’s website can be found here.

Cairine Green

Green was first elected to Oak Bay council in 2011, did not seek re-election in 2014, then was elected again in 2018. Before that, she was a North Saanich councillor from 2005 to 2011. Green has a master of education and bachelor of arts in history from UVic. In her professional career, she has worked in the criminal justice system, as a private practitioner in divorce and family mediation, in the post-secondary education system at the university-college level as a campus administrator, a program manager and several others.

If re-elected, she plans to move forward on diverse housing initiatives, address impacts of climate change, continue work on environmental protection of green spaces, support adequate funding for core municipal services, work towards Truth and Reconciliation, and restore community engagement and public involvement in local government.

In the 2018 election, Green received the third most votes with 3,871.

Green’s website can be found here.

Roxanne Helme

Helme is a graduate of Oak Bay High School, UVic where she studied economics, and Dalhousie where she studied law. She has been in private law practice in Victoria for over 30 years and has represented a diverse group of clients from all walks of life. Her background as a lawyer gives her experience as an advocate, a consensus builder and an evidence-based decision maker. As an economist, she knows how to weigh cost against benefit in the decision-making process.

If elected, her priorities are sound, strategic governance and evidence based decision making, have the district recognized as a place where things can get built, repair or replace some aging infrastructure, explore developing the Oak Bay Marina site into a world-class facility that celebrates Indigenous heritage and is a welcoming facility, “and of course, the deer.”

In the 2020 provincial election, Helme ran in the Oak Bay-Gordon Head with the BC Liberal Party and came in third with 6,597 votes.

Helme’s website can be found here.

Esther Paterson

Paterson retired to Victoria following a 25-year career in managing multimillion dollar asset management for Canadian firms. She was first elected to Oak Bay council in 2018.

If re-elected, she plans to introduce: policies for responsible oversight of the District’s finances, a 10-year action plan to improve core services that includes funding for parks, playgrounds and public spaces, and a plan to address climate change. Her vision for the community is one that enables and sustains growth, mobility, health, safety and protects the natural environment, contributes to and values regional partnerships, and works collaboratively on TRC 94 Calls to Action.

In the 2018 election, Paterson received the sixth most votes with 3,688.

Carrie Smart

Smart lives in Oak Bay with her partner and two teenagers. She’s an architect who designs public spaces, daycares, and rental buildings. She has been a member of the Oak Bay Advisory Planning Commission, the Oak Bay Climate Action Working Group and BC Chapter Chair of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

If elected, her priorities are making an inclusive and climate-friendly district with more housing options, climate action, implementation of an active transportation network, sustainable buildings and great public spaces for all ages.

Smart’s website can be found here.

Lesley Watson

Watson has lived in Oak Bay since 1998. She has spent her career in local government and holds a masters in city planning from the University of California, and a BA in economics and environmental studies from the University of Toronto.

If elected, she plans to focus on three main areas. More housing and housing choice, great spaces for everyone, and climate-friendly planning and development.

Watson’s website can be found here.

Eric Wood Zhelka

Wood Zhelka was first elected to Oak Bay council in 2014. He has a masters in management sciences from the University of Waterloo and an engineering degree from the University of Toronto. He works for Emergency Management BC.

If re-elected, he plans to ensure zoning and building bylaws reflect planned development, work towards reconciliation, address housing affordability, press for strong enforcement on short-term rentals, protect and preserve single-family zoning, apply the asset management plan, engage in public consultation, renew the Official Community Plan, and “fight to protect what we’ve got and help to make sure it stays” and push for slow approaches if change is needed.

In 2018, Wood Zhelka received the fourth most votes with 3,754.

Wood Zhelka’s website can be found here.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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