Saanich-Gulf Islands candidates look to topple incumbent Elizabeth May

Saanich-Gulf Islands candidates look to topple incumbent Elizabeth May

Even a little rain doesn’t deter Sidney residents from a walk along the seawall.

This community is part of the Saanich-Gulf Islands federal riding, and a unique one in Canada, according to Royal Roads University’s Dr. David Black.

“Saanich-Gulf Islands is a fascinating riding. Among Canada’s 330 ridings, it is the oldest demographic in terms of the median age, somewhere north of 48 years old and it’s also one of Canada’s most affluent ridings,” said Black, adding. “And [it] really made history in electing the first green MP, that was Elizabeth May, in 2011. The first in Canadian history.”

May won handily over Conservative incumbent Gary Lunn in 2011, the riding’s MP for 14 years.

Now the other party candidates are breathing down her neck.

May won twice as many votes as Conservative candidate David Busch in 2019.

But he believes it’s time for a change.

“Every politician at the end of the day has a shelf life. And eventually, it’s time to step back and let the next generation come forward.”

Also running again after a fourth-place finish in 2019 is the NDP’s Sabina Singh.

She thinks she’s got a lock on what the voters want in their MP.

“I’m hearing on the doorstep a lot about affordability,” said Singh. “And the climate crisis, in that people need to know that governments are working for them.”

Also running in the riding are Liberal candidate Sherri Moore-Arbour, People’s Party of Canada candidate David Hilderman and Dock Currie of the Communist Party of Canada.

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In 2019, voters in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding gave May an overwhelming mandate.

And despite stepping down as party leader, pundits believe May is going to be tough to beat this time around too.

“I think it’s likely that she is a lock,” Black said. “It’s what influence does she have on the future of the green movement in Canada.”

But May isn’t taking anything for granted.

“I never take any vote for granted,” May said while campaigning at Uptown Mall in Saanich. “So I just stay like this throughout the campaign and hope for the best. Certainly feels very positive here.”

The decision will be made by the voters in Saanich-Gulf Islands on Sep. 20 at the polls.

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Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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