As the clock ticks down to election day, local candidates are focusing their efforts on ensuring supporters make it to the polls on Monday.
Candidates spent Saturday knocking on doors, making phone calls and speaking to as many voters as they could.
On Monday, candidates and their team of staff and volunteers will throw themselves into making sure their supporters cast ballots by offering rides to polling stations and making last-minute reminder calls and home visits.
NDP candidate Laurel Collins spent Saturday morning canvassing in James Bay with MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill Carole James.
“Every moment, from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed, is campaign,” she said.
Collins was with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh at a rally — called UpRiSingh — Friday evening in Cadboro Bay that filled the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre.
Collins’s campaign manager, Karl Riley, said about 1,000 people crammed into the space, with 100 more sitting in the hallway listening to the event on a PA system.
“Jagmeet literally had the crowd dancing. I have never seen that before,” said Riley, a long-time NDP supporter who worked on former NDP leader Jack Layton’s campaign in 2011.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will be in Victoria for a final campaign event today. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May both held events and rallies in various Island communities Friday.
“We’re absolutely thrilled,” said Liberal candidate Nikki Macdonald of Trudeau’s visit. “He started out Day 1 in Victoria and he’s finishing in Victoria, which is a really big signal of how important Victoria and the Island is to him and to the campaign. It’s also a really strong sign that they see Victoria as ready to elect a Liberal again to the House of Commons.”
The last time Victoria elected a Liberal MP was David Anderson in 2004. Anderson served as MP from 1993 to 2006. Since 2006, the seat has gone to the NDP.
Macdonald said other Liberal candidates on the Island and their teams will join the event, including Saanich-Gulf Islands candidate Ryan Windsor, Jamie Hammond who is running in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, Michelle Corfield from Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Cowichan-Malahat-Langford candidate Blair Herbert.
Macdonald was busy Saturday with multiple rounds of door knocking and phone calls to potential voters. Her campaign team was also training volunteers who would be helping to get supporters to the polls Monday.
Conservative candidate Richard Caron was talking to voters in Moss Street Market in Fairfield Saturday. Today, he’ll be knocking on doors in Vic West.
“It is all hands on deck,” Caron said. Volunteers for his campaign were making calls, canvassing and working on Monday’s strategy.
Caron said the atmosphere in his campaign office is positive.
“Everybody feels they’ve put in the effort and left everything on the table so we feel very positive about the outcome of the election,” Caron said.
Polls suggest the race is between the NDP’s Laurel Collins and Green Party candidate Racelle Kooy, who was en route to Vancouver to emcee a rally Saturday evening and could not be reached.
Kooy's Saturday started with door knocking and dropping off flyers at houses, before flying to Vancouver for the rally, where David Suzuki was speaking and Jody Wilson-Raybould was a special guest, said Kooy's campaign manager Philip Spidle. May and Green Party candidates from across the Lower Mainland were also at the rally.
On Monday, Kooy will be waving signs in several locations throughout the riding for most of the day, while volunteers make calls, canvass and drive voters to the polls. “It's going to be a very busy day,” Spidle said.