Qualicum Beach voters elect former councillor to fill empty council seat

Voters in Qualicum Beach went to the polls Saturday and elected former councillor Anne Skipsey to fill an empty council seat.

Skipsey, who served as a councillor from 2014 to 2018 before making an unsuccessful run for mayor, received nearly half of the 3,365 votes cast in the byelection. The seat was vacated by Adam Walker, who was elected last year as NDP MLA for Parksville Qualicum.

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Skipsey campaigned on a platform of enhancing the town’s “coastal village” character, supporting development that is in line with the official community plan, ensuring all residents are connected to a family doctor and protecting Qualicum Beach’s urban forests and watersheds.

The daughter of former Qualicum Beach mayor Art Skipsey, she earned a degree in business administration from Simon Fraser University and spent 15 years working for the City of Burnaby before returning to her hometown just over a decade ago.

Official results will be declared May 19 after a review of ballots, and Skipsey is expected to be sworn in at a council meeting on May 27.

Sarah Duncan, a branch manager with Coastal Community Credit Union, received 1,017 votes, second to Skipsey’s 1,539. Other candidates were Jean Young, a small business owner; Peter Kent, a real estate agent who served as Schwarzenegger’s stunt double for 15 years; and Brian Denbigh, Nanaimo’s former manager of road and traffic services and superintendent of sanitation.

Voter turnout was approximately 41 per cent.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

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