2020 B.C. election: Esquimalt-Metchosin candidates and riding profile

The riding

New Democrat Mitzi Dean is seeking a second term after garnering 46.25 per cent of the vote in 2017. (The riding underwent substantial boundary changes in 2017, making comparisons to prior elections difficult, but Esquimalt-Royal Roads went NDP in 2005, 2009 and 2013.) Dean faces Metchosin councillor Andy MacKinnon, who also ran here in 2017 for the Greens; Liberal R.J. Senko, a public affairs consultant; and Independent candidate Desta McPherson.

2017 results

• NDP — Mitzi Dean 11,816 (46.25 per cent)
• Liberal — Barb Desjardins 7,055 (27.62 per cent)
• Green – Andy MacKinnon 6,339 (24.81 per cent)
• Libertarian – Josh Steffler 171 (0.67 per cent)
• Independent – Delmar Martay 102 (0.4 per cent)
• Communist – Tyson Strandlund 65 (0.25 per cent)
• Voter turnout: 66 per cent

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Mitzi Dean, NDP (incumbent)

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Born in England, no age given. Married with a daughter. Lives in Metchosin, MLA in the riding since 2017.

Making a difference: “For more than 10 years, I managed a social service agency that delivered trauma-informed, high quality support and counselling services to thousands of people across the region.” As MLA, worked to bring urgent primary care centres, affordable child care, affordable housing to riding.

Main issue: The COVID-19 pandemic, health and the future, and affordability. “This means housing, accessible child care, and good jobs are a top priority.”

Andy MacKinnon, Green

Esquimalt-Metchosin, Andy MacKinnon, Green, 2020 provincial election

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Age 64, born in Vancouver. Married with two sons, riding resident for 32 years. Metchosin municipal councillor, retired professional forester and professional biologist.

Making a difference: Helped organize biological inventories to document Metchosin’s species, served on Metchosin’s environmental advisory committee, organized the Metchosin Day 5K road race for the past decade.

Main issue: “Transportation is a key issue, especially transportation to and from the Western Communities. And many in this riding are concerned about issues at a provincial level: climate change, old-growth forests, threatened and endangered species.” Some residents say one of the issues motivates them is “anger at having to participate in an unscheduled and wholly unnecessary election.”

Desta McPherson, Independent

We did not receive a response from Desta McPherson, who is running as an Independent candidate.

RJ Senko, Liberal

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Age 56, born in Red Deer. Resident of Esquimalt for 10 years, divorced with a daughter. Works as a ommunications and government relations consultant.

Making a difference: Helped create the Township Community Arts Council, a not-for-profit society that promotes Esquimalt through arts and culture. Served as vice-president of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce.

Main issue: “Rebuilding our economy so we can create an inclusive and equal society that addresses local needs.” That includes access to primary health care; commuter rail and ferry between the West Shore and Victoria; affordable housing; seniors’ care; homelessness; opioid crisis; reconciliation and economic opportunity for Indigenous peoples; and the environment.

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