BC Green party leader Sonia Furstenau was in Oak Bay on Wednesday to introduce four candidates for the ridings that fall in Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay in the upcoming election.
Greater Victoria School District trustee Nicole Duncan assumes the Oak Bay-Gordon Head candidacy vacated by outgoing MLA and former BC Green party leader Andrew Weaver.
Sonia Furstenau Introduces an all women South Island slate.
Annemieke Holthuis Victoria-Swan lake; Kate O’Connor Saanich South;
Nicole Duncan Oak Bay-Gordon; Head; Jenn Neilson Victoria-Beacon Hill. pic.twitter.com/5GZO7bOwI5
— Travis Paterson (@TravisAPaterson) September 30, 2020
Community art and sustainability activist Jenn Neilson, who has a doctorate in philosophy of law, assumes the Victoria-Beacon Hill riding. Lawyer Annemieke Holthuis will represent the Victoria-Swan Lake riding and young Kate O’Connor, who turns 18 on Oct. 9, will represent Saanich South. The Green party also announced Andy MacKinnon will run in Esquimalt-Metchosin and Mehreen Chaudry will run in Burnaby-Deer Lake.
"I am delighted to announce this exciting slate of candidates today,” said leader @SoniaFurstenau. “BC needs more MLAs who will stand up for their communities rather than simply toeing the party line." View candidates here: https://t.co/fWt0d9Wyj2 #bcpoli #BCElection2020 pic.twitter.com/PhwCkhwWZ7
— BC Green Party (@BCGreens) September 30, 2020
“It’s really unprecedented to be part of a slate that is made entirely of women, and I’m proud to stand among these passionate, intelligent women politicians and I hope to see more women step up and be part of political life,” Duncan said. “It’s not an easy decision to make, to be suddenly thrust into the political limelight, it doesn’t come easy.”
It was the BC Green party who reached out to Duncan to run in Oak Bay-Gordon Head. Because of the Green party’s belief in empowering independence among its MLAs.
“I’m very excited about the Green party’s policies, their values, and in particular very impressed by the fact that they don’t whip their MLAs in the same way other parties do,” Duncan said. “I see that as very very key as being able to credibly be able to represent constituents.”
Duncan works as a business consultant for privacy and access to information. She was elected as an SD61 board trustee in the October of 2018 municipal election and has overseen major changes to the SD61 boundary catchment and how the schools have adapted to COVID-19.
Duncan chairs the SD61 education policy directions committee and previously represented SD61 board at the provincial level B.C. School Trustees Association.
“My work [with SD61] has been around safety, inclusion, and trying to be deliberate in how we’re making decision, trying to be evidenced based on how we make decisions,” Duncan said.
To date, Duncan is not affiliated with the incumbent Green party MLA Weaver but said she hopes to connect with him regarding his experience with the riding.
In Victoria-Beacon Hill, Neilson steps into the snap election with a goal of advancing her advocacy in community-building and bringing it to a provincial level.
“I will work to build trust with Indigenous communities, take strong action to end the opioid crisis, and ensure that no-one has to shelter in our parks,” Neilson said. “[And] I am not prepared to stand by while our old growth forests, a non-renewable resource, are being decimated and pipelines are being ploughed through Indigenous territories.”
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