OLD NEWS: This week in Saanich history – March 16-22

The News’ weekly historical feature looks at Ida Chong’s victory to secure the Liberal party nomination for Oak Bay-Gordon Head

With one term on Saanich council under her belt, it was this week in 1996 that Ida Chong, a relative newcomer to politics, won the B.C. Liberal party’s nomination to run in the NDP-held Oak Bay-Gordon Head.

The article in the March 20 edition of the Saanich News describes the Thursday night vote by Liberal cardholders that saw Chong, an accountant, beat two-time candidate Paul McKivett.

“Signs in the air, rising and falling with a chanted name. IDA. IDA. IDA. There were McKivett signs too, but their holders had neither the energy or the numbers of that other chanting mob,” the story reads.

By the time the 575 ballots were tallied, Chong came away with 62 per cent of the vote.

“Chong’s speech was emotional, calling for unity and looking toward what promises to be a tough election,” the News article reads. “’We’re just getting started,’ Chong promised. ‘Our next step now is to defeat Elizabeth Cull and the NDP.’”

On May 28, 1996, Chong defeated Cull in a tight race where just 640 votes separated the two candidates.

The Liberal MLA spent her first term in opposition, before the Liberals won the 2001 election.

Chong was elected again in 2005 and 2009. Her last term as MLA did not come without its challenges, as she was targeted for recall by HST opponents. That recall attempt failed.

On May 14, 2013, Chong lost her long-held Oak Bay-Gordon Head seat to Andrew Weaver, the first-ever provincially elected Green Party member.

Last August, the Liberal government appointed Chong to the University of Victoria board of governors. The following month she took a position on the board of directors for the Rick Hansen Foundation.

In a recent interview with the News, Chong said she hasn’t ruled out another run at politics, but does not yet want to comment on whether that would be at the municipal, provincial or federal level.

In October 2012, Cull ran unsuccessfully for the NDP nomination in the federal riding of Victoria, losing to Murray Rankin, who went on to get elected. McKivett is now president of the Saanich Legacy Foundation.

editor@saanichnews.com

•••••

In other news this week…

• 1993 – Saanich council makes four amendments to its tree preservation bylaw after the province grants municipalities new tree protection powers. Council hears at the time that the bylaw is not strong enough and “Saanich could (still) lose a lot of green.” Last week council amended the bylaw in an attempt to mitigate the loss of the urban forest canopy.

• 1997 – Employees at Tillicum Centre’s Eaton’s store face an uncertain future after the company announces that location is one of 31 across the country that may face closures. Of three options on the table – closing, selling the store, or renegotiating the lease – the latter was what employees were hoping for. The Eaton’s store closed and was replaced by Zellers. The Zellers store shut its doors in mid-2012, and Target Canada opened in that spot in May 2013.

• 2001 – Saanich erects a statue of 81-year-old farmer Roy Hawes on the trestle overlooking the Blenkinsop Valley. The statue was installed to reflect the rich agricultural history in that community. The statue still stands on the wood trestle that crosses Blenkinsop Lake. Hawes was 88 years old when he passed away on Oct. 24, 2007.

Just Posted

The Sooke Potholes is a jewel in the community's crown. Transition Sooke hosts a town hall meeting on community growth on June 26. (Courtesy: Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke forum tackles community growth

To Grow or Not to Grow online town hall meeting set for June 26

GardenWorks nursery in Oak Bay at its home until August. (Black Press Media file photo)
GardenWorks puts down new roots in Oak Bay this summer

Nursery shifts down The Avenue to fill former fitness studio space

Flowers and candles were laid on the driveway of the Weber home, where Kerri Weber was found dead in November 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Langford man to stand trial for death of his wife last November

Ken Weber is charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Kerri Weber

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. VicPD (Black Press Media file photo)
Gorge Waterway’s muddy bank swamps man’s attempt to flee Victoria police

A wanted man got stuck in the Gorge Waterway while fleeing police on June 15

Police dog Obi assisted in an arrest Tuesday night after a man reportedly damaged a Victoria restaurant with a large steel beam. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Police dog called in after Victoria restaurant damaged with steel beam

Suspect reportedly entered restaurant and started damaging walls

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, four deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

Marine biologist Rick Harbo pulls a lid from the Ladysmith harbour, which he uses to monitor the presence of native and non-native species in the Ladysmith harbour. (Cole Schisler photo)
Unidentified sponge may be the latest marine species invading Island harbour

Marine biologist finding dozens of alien species in warm-water Ladysmith Harbour, none threatening

Most Read