ELECTION 2020: Candidates outline top issues facing Saanich South

Advance voting opens Oct. 15, ahead of the Oct. 24 election

Ahead of this October’s provincial election, Black Press Media asked your candidates what they believe the biggest issues are facing the Saanich South riding and the province. Here are their responses.

Katie O’Connor

Kate O’Connor – Green: The biggest issue facing B.C. is the climate crisis and the need for urgent climate action. In Saanich South, we need to focus on providing better mental health care for youth, the LGBTQ2S+ community and senior citizens, supporting local farmers and building food security, and addressing the housing affordability crisis. We also need to make sure that early childhood education is accessible for all children in B.C. while supporting parents to achieve balance between their work and family needs.

I believe in the value of intergenerational leadership and diverse perspectives to make the best decisions possible for all British Columbians. Currently, the youth perspective is completely missing from the legislature. I believe that we need a strong team of Greens in the legislature who will hold the NDP accountable.

Lana Popham

Lana Popham – NDP: I’m running for re-election to help our provincial government continue its work to make life better for all British Columbians.

COVID-19 is the biggest issue facing Saanich South, and indeed the whole province. When this pandemic hit, John Horgan and the BC NDP government took swift action to address this public health emergency. B.C.’s response is recognized as one of the best in North America.

In the first six months of the pandemic, our government responded by investing in services and supports that are truly helping people, communities and local businesses. We have kept the economy moving, and are taking care of those who have become sick.

The pandemic has also caused financial hardship for many British Columbians. A re-elected BC NDP government will focus on continuing investing in people and building an economic recovery that works for everyone.

It’s about looking after each other and building back better.

Rishi Sharma

Rishi Sharma – Liberal: We’ve become a drive-by community and it’s time we’re back on the map, putting our diverse mixture of rural and quaint urban living back in the spotlight and our dynamic business community that, now more than ever, needs support, back to being a provincial priority. It’s time to restore confidence and rebuild B.C. As MLA for families of South Saanich, it would be my unwavering promise to tirelessly help achieve it for both yours and mine. Our issues in South Saanich and across B.C. speak to fostering:

1. Greater opportunities to realize full potential, which means ensuring student futures remain forefront, economic recovery rebounds to afford workers and employers the ability to pay rent, and greater investments in health and environmental sustainability so opportunity doesn’t overlook anyone.

2. An increased sense of safety and security, and I’d argue that calling an election amidst a state of emergency is reckless. People want assurances that government will prioritize policing, corrections and court systems, food sources and find tangible solutions to homelessness, mental health and addictions.

3. Better investments in capital projects/infrastructure, whether that’s easing traffic bottlenecks because transit options haven’t kept pace or schools and classrooms needing faster seismic upgrades and strategic resourcing.

READ MORE: A Greater Victoria guide to voting in the B.C. election

Election day is Oct. 24 with advance polls open Oct. 15 to 21 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Find more election coverage online at

READ MORE: B.C. Politics


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