Saanich-Gulf Islands riding profile and candidates

The riding

The riding includes Sidney, Central Saanich, North Saanich and part of Saanich, as well as the Gulf Islands.

Size: 518 square kilometres
Population: 107,339
Registered voters: 92,690
Current MP: Elizabeth May, Green Party

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In the past: The riding was created in 1988; its first MP was NDP. Gary Lunn, who ran for the Reform, Alliance and Conservative parties, held the seat from 1997 to 2011, when he was defeated by Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. May got 46.3 per cent of the vote — more than 7,000 votes ahead of Lunn, who had won the previous five elections.

2019 results

68,150 valid ballots were cast in 2019.

2021 candidates

Candidates are in alphabetical order by last name.

David Busch

Conservative Party of Canada

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Age 48, did not say where he was born. Has lived in his Gordon Head neighbourhood for almost a decade. Has worked as a lawyer for 15 years.

Fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “Vaccines are a safe and effective tool to stop the spread of COVID-19. I encourage every Canadian who is able to get voluntarily vaccinated.”

What are the top issues in your riding?

From what I have heard from residents are in fact 2 main issues: Housing & Healthcare. The Prime Minister, the Liberal Party, and the incumbent Green MP are running on their record of making promises.

Promises that have not been kept.

With all due respect, on their watch We have seen the cost of housing soar astronomically so that not only can younger folks not afford to buy a home, they can’t even rent. Our Doctors and nurses are retiring without replacement and thousands of our residents from Ganges to Sidney to Gordon Head are without a family doctor. Again: the incumbents are promising solutions…the same ones they have been saying for years without any results.

If you select me as your Conservative MP, My party is working to form Government in Ottawa and will deliver action, not empty promises, on housing and health care.

• To reduce the price and demand of homes and bring workers to Saanich-Gulf Islands, we will commit to building one million new homes across the country in our first three years in office.

• We will accredit foreign trained Doctors and nurses who are skilled and hard working to come here and help us fill these gaps in coverage in the short term. In the long term, we will create more seats in our medical schools and residency spots to train more Canadian doctors to join the system.

I keep my promises and a vote for me will be a vote for results and follow through.

Why did you decide to run in this election?

I am a father who is deeply concerned with the direction our country is going under the current management. We need a government that can balance the economy, the environment, and the cost of living so that we can ensure our standard of living is sustainable for our children and grandchildren. As a biochemist, a nurse, and a lawyer — I have always worked hard to solve problems and get results. A vote for me is a vote for tangible results, a vote for representation in government, and a vote for someone who understands and appreciates the issues that voters on Saltspring Island face. On September 20th, please vote for David BUSCH.

What is your political experience?

I was the Conservative Party candidate in Saanich-Gulf Islands for the 2019 election, placing second to the incumbent MP

How have you made a difference in your community?

I am running because I believe in Canadians, in their work ethic, and in our common goal of making Canada a better place to live for all. I am running with the Conservative party because I believe they are the team that has the track record and momentum to get results and help Canadians. Mr Trudeau is dangling a carrot for us: vote for me and give me majority or else I will call another election.

Friends, this is completely irresponsible in the middle of a pandemic. We need not give Mr. Trudeau the satisfaction of forming another government. Please elect me as your Conservative MP and together, let’s form a national Conservative Government!

What community groups and/or issues have you been involved with?

I am a member of the Victoria Bar association, past Director with the Swan Lake Nature conservancy, member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #37, Member of the Knights of Columbus, and volunteer for Brentwood Bay Rotary Club

Dock Currie

Communist Party of Canada

2021 Saanich-Gulf Islands riding profile and candidates_2

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Age 36, born in Ontario but has lived in the riding since childhood. Working as a liquor clerk, “though I’ve got my JD [law degree] and am looking for Articles. If you know anyone, send them my way — points if they would prefer a Bolshevik.” Active in the Occupy and Idle-No-More movements, among others.

Fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “I registered for my vaccinations when I could, and got them when I could. I believe anti-vax sentiment is a reflection of derangement and stupidity in our society, and is promoted and disseminated by the far-right because they are ignorant and selfish. Participating in basic public health measures like mask-wearing and becoming vaccinated is not an affront to freedoms, and to believe it is would be to hold an impoverished, juvenile, pathetic conception of ‘freedom.’ A free society would be one free from all the crises we presently face, including the pandemic.”

What are the top issues in your riding?

The top issues in my riding are the climate crisis and the housing crisis. Housing has become radically, unsustainably, unreasonably expensive and unavailable, and, at the same time, we are beset by rapidly shifting climatic conditions and more and more unpredictable, dangerous, terrifying weather events, like floods and wildfires. The Communist Party of Canada has the best, most practical, most effective plans of dealing with these crises.

The Communist Party of Canada promotes the building of public, social, non-market housing, in such numbers as to trench on the character of housing as a speculative commodity, and to gear rents in these housing options to incomes, so that no one is spending more than 20% of their income on housing.

On the climate crisis, the other parties’ platforms are virtually indistinguishable from one another. They consist of a recognition of the climate crisis coupled with a total absence of concrete policy with which to ameliorate the climate crisis. The Greens, for example, who purport to be environmental, would pass an Act mandating emissions cuts, but the actual mechanism of such mandatory cuts is left entirely to the discretion of the private economy, which, as we are all aware, is perpetually inventing new ways of appearing to balance the ecological chequebook while remaining fundamentally bankrupt. The Communist Party of Canada advocates the nationalization of the energy infrastructure, the immediate abolition of the tar sands, and a just transition to work in the renewable energy sector for energy workers.

Why did you decide to run in this election?

I believe Canadian politics today reflects what Guy Debord referred to as ‘globalization of the false and the falsification of the globe.’ The other parties and their mascots reflect one or another shade of vapid neoliberalism, and resemble the zombies in John Carpenter’s ‘They Live.’ Even the NDP, purported by the mainstream media to be the ‘left’ alternative, is an anti-democratic boutique left-neoliberal cult of personality, more akin to Justin Trudeau and his coterie than they are distinct from it. The platform of the Communist Party of Canada presents a real political, economic and environmental alternative.

How have you made a difference in your community?

I haven’t made a difference in my community. One of the most frustrating elements of modern life is that one is actively discouraged and impeded from making a real difference in one’s community. If I could make one difference in my community it would be to make making a difference in one’s community easier, it would be to increase the amount of democracy in Canadian life and expand the opportunities for young people, working people, indigenous peoples, LGBTQ2S+ people, black and brown people, vulnerable and marginalized peoples, to intervene in political, economic and environmental life.

What community groups and/or issues have you been involved with?

I’ve been involved in labour and ecological struggles since I was young and have been involved with the anti-globalization protests of the early 2000s, Occupy, Idle-No-More, Burnaby Mountain, the 2014 York University CUPE 3903 Strike, and always support working class and Indigenous political movements.

What is your political experience?

I tried to run for the NDP in 2019 in Kamloops but the chief editor of ‘Alberta Oil Magazine’ asked to speak to the NDP’s manager for my having remarked, in private, that I might enjoy re-arranging his teeth. Thus, the glaring contradictions of oil chauvinism in the Western NDP branches went uncriticized and unremarked upon, and worsened over the past two years. I’m more circumspect about my phrasing today, but remain firmly opposed to the kind of ecocidal oil chauvinism promoted by that chief editor of ‘Alberta Oil Magazine’ and his ilk.

David Hilderman

People's Party of Canada

2021 Saanich-Gulf Islands riding profile and candidates_1

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Age 57, born in Estevan, Sask. Resident of Saanich-Gulf Islands for 21 years. Electrical engineer for 33 years.

Did not reveal vaccination status. “This is personal and private medical information that I believe should not be shared publicly.”

What are the top issues in your riding?

The top issues that affect the constituents in my riding are health related and also financial. Since the mean age is around 50 years old, concerns about what the future holds are key. In doing some door knocking and meet and greets, people have told me that they are concerned that the current government’s economic policies are fiscally irresponsible. With conflicting information coming from the government regarding Covid, they’ve shared that they have little trust that the Liberals are indeed able to keep them safe.

Why did you decide to run in this election?

For truth. Canadians are not being given full information regarding the vaccines due to censorship. Information regarding proven early treatments for covid are being suppressed by the government and medical colleges. Rather than following the recommendations of the Great Barrington Declaration to protect the vulnerable while allowing the economy to run, we locked down. In 2019, for the ages under 19, fourteen times more died of suicide than covid; nearly twice as many died from the flu; 20 times more died of accidents. How is it that we as a country are so scared of covid for our children?

What is your political experience?

None, and that is what makes me the ideal candidate. Some career politicians are necessary but we need working folk in Ottawa as well.

What community groups and/or issues have you been involved with?

I attend Saanichton Bible Fellowship, help out at the Mustard Seed, and have taken part in humanitarian work in Haiti.

How have you made a difference in your community?

On Friday and Saturday nights down at the Mustard Seed I’ve been part of the band that plays music while dinner is being served. I have taken on leadership roles in my church in regards to the music and governance. Raising two great kids here in Central Saanich and supporting them now as young adults in their post-secondary studies makes a vital difference to the future of our community.

Elizabeth May (incumbent)

Green Party of Canada

2021 Saanich-Gulf Islands riding profile and candidates_3

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Age 67, born in Hartford, Connecticut, resident of the riding since 2009. Worked as a lawyer and was executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada for 17 years. First elected as an MP in 2011. Officer of the Order of Canada.

Fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “I am fully vaccinated and support all public health efforts to control and end the COVID pandemic. I regret deeply that some have chosen to use this issue as a partisan divide. We run the risk of demonizing people who may not be vaccinated for sound reasons, and we are creating the false impression that MPs have a role here. Masking and controlled lock-downs, including vaccine passports, are decisions of our provincial health officers.”

What are the top issues in your riding?

  • Affordable housing
  • Local food
  • Access to a family doctor
  • The climate emergency
  • Protecting the life of the Salish Sea
  • Indigenous reconciliation
  • Freighter anchorages
  • Tourism supports

Why did you decide to run in this election?

In the current climate emergency, nothing is more important than aligning all of our decisions with the warnings of science. The most recent IPCC report makes it clear: We are running out of time to avoid catastrophic changes that threaten my children and grandchildren’s future. I know my work as a parliamentarian continues to have a meaningful impact.

What is your political experience?

I have had the honour of serving as the MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands since 2011.

How have you made a difference in your community?

I am very proud of my record in helping hundreds of individual constituents, assisting community groups and local businesses. I have had a significant influence on public policy as the MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

What community groups and/or issues have you been involved with?

I am a member of Sidney-by-the-Sea Rotary, Canadian Federation of University Women (Saanich Peninsula), Peninsula Streams, and the Saanich Inlet Pro

Sherri Moore-Arbour

Liberal Party of Canada

2021 Saanich-Gulf Islands riding profile and candidates_0

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Age 50, did not say where she was born. Lives on Galiano Island, and family has has roots in the riding. Principal and co-founder of a national public affairs firm specializing in public education, health and inclusion.

Fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “I received both doses as soon as they were made available to me. When my children were eligible, both received both doses as well. We were vaccinated to protect our health, those we love and our community more broadly. I firmly believe we must all do what we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — to spare illness, lives lost and the enormous economic impacts of the pandemic.”

What are the top issues in your riding?

The residents of Saanich Gulf Islands frequently cite affordability, climate change, healthcare and reconciliation as their top concerns.

Affordability concerns are multifaceted. A shortage of rental properties with rising rent have left many renters in the Peninsula struggling to find suitable and safe rental housing. Gulf Island renters fare no better, in some cases initiating grassroots fundraising efforts to develop local affordable housing options. Many seniors are frustrated that their adult children and grandchildren are not able to afford homes in the local housing market. The cost of childcare is frequently cited as a concern.

Following a summer that included a heat dome weather event and devastating forest fires — climate change is top of mind for most. Many residents are looking for a government that will be in a position to take bold action on climate change.

Healthcare is a common concern. Some cite physician shortages while others are concerned that our system and healthcare workers are clearly stretched after enduring trying conditions. Most would like to see increased investments.

Finally, the ongoing residential school and day school unmarked grave confirmations have shaken many residents. There is a global sense that we need to move forward on the path of reconciliation.

Why did you decide to run in this election?

I am running to be the MP for Saanich Gulf Islands because our communities deserve a strong voice within a compassionate government. I feel strongly that the time for talking about climate change must give way to ACTING on it with a bold plan. I am the only Indigenous candidate running in Saanich Gulf Islands and feel we need more Indigenous voices within the House of Commons during a critical period in our history.

I am earnestly dedicated to carrying the concerns and priorities of our residents back to Ottawa as a voice within a party that is committed to the issues that matter to us.

When I was asked to run by friends in Saanich, I seriously deliberated my decision. This is not an easy race to win for a federal Liberal. I took it on because I think the issues matter and I know we have the best plan and ability to deliver on the issues that matter to Saanich Gulf Islands.

What is your political experience?

Former locally-elected school trustee and Vice-Chair of a school Board. I have worked for decades promoting and supporting the election of more women and diverse candidates within all parties at all levels of government.

How have you made a difference in your community?

Our family has a tradition of rolling up our sleeves to help — whether it is a neighbour, community effort or volunteer organization. Volunteering has always been a rewarding dimension of my life and I am proud to see the seeds of it emerging in our children.

As a member of the Lions Club, I have focused my volunteer efforts on fundraising for the Guide Dog program and programs to eradicate preventable vision loss.

What community groups and/or issues have you been involved with?

Proud Lions Club member since 2008. Former Chair of Equal Voice. Big Sister to a lovely Little. Served on the national Board of Elizabeth Fry Societies and on the board of many shelters.

Sabina Singh

New Democratic Party

2021 Saanich-Gulf Islands riding profile and candidates_4

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Age 49, born in Kamloops. Lives just outside the riding boundary in Saanich, but will move if elected. Has a PhD in political science and has taught throughout B.C. Works for the Centre for World Indigenous Studies to help them convene the Congress of Nations and States in 2022.

Fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “I am fully vaccinated for my own health and for that of my family, friends and community.”

What are the top issues in your riding?

Climate justice and social justice. I know there can’t be one without the other. That’s why I am standing for bold climate action that builds on the leadership of First Nations and creates good green jobs to support families and communities. Our plan is comprehensive and will address both the affordability issues that are holding us back and the climate emergency that threatens our children’s future. The climate crisis is putting everything we value at risk and I want to help put an end to it. We will create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs: investing in clean energy, energy efficient affordable homes, electric transit, zero-emissions vehicles and retrofit buildings across the country.

Jack Layton presented the first Climate Change Accountability Act in 2006, and we have built on that work ever since. We will introduce an Environmental Bill of Rights and fund a Climate Accountability Office to provide independent oversight of federal climate progress. New Democrats will ensure that climate investments are directed toward reducing inequality, honouring Indigenous rights and supporting communities that have been left behind by decades of Liberal and Conservative inaction. We will also create an Office of Environmental Justice to address the disproportionate impacts of pollution and loss of biodiversity on low-income, racialized and other marginalized communities.

Why did you decide to run in this election?

I am an academic, an artist and a mother driven to build a Canada where everyone can thrive. I believe I can be part of an effective Island NDP team representing our unique region in Parliament. We are stronger when we come with many diverse voices.

What is your political experience?

I come from a very politically active family. Family members were involved in politics in India and my brother is a municipal councillor in Kamloops. I have studied political science and have a PhD in international relations and global politics. I believe my education will be a good asset to the federal team because my knowledge and expertise are global.

How have you made a difference in your community?

By volunteering and by teaching. I taught a workshop called Power and Diversity Through Movement in five different high schools’ dance programs. In 2018 and 2019 I won the BC ArtStarts, Artist in the Classroom Award for this workshop.

What community groups and/or issues have you been involved with?

Khalsa Aid, The Red Cedar Café, Conversations for a One Planet Region in Saanich, the New Democratic Party and the Centre for World Indigenous Studies lately, but I have been volunteering and working in community service my entire life. Before I was an instructor at university, I ran several women’s organizations in Kamloops. Since my children have graduated from high school I have again taken up my community activities.

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