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


Do you have a story tip? Email:

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Felix Townsin, shown here with his sister, Lexi, who died on Oct. 19, 2019. Felix is a big part of a family initiative aimed at finding a cure for Blau Syndrome. (Photo contributed by the Townsin family)
Quest to cure Blau syndrome a family affair

John Stubbs student produces film for late little sister Lexi

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Newly public Emily Carr painting depicts well-known Victoria view

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

An incident on Sooke Road is slowing traffic Wednesday evening. (Courtesy of Mona Hazeldine)
Sooke Road incident snarls evening traffic

Witnesses report two-vehicle collision

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

The street value of the more than one-and-a-quarter kilograms of cocaine seized by VicPD officers was over $150,000. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police seize fentanyl, more than $150,000-worth of cocaine

Charges laid against two Victoria men in months-long investigation

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 27

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

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation’s land until a road use agreement is reached. (Black Press file photo)
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read