[Left to right: David Busch (Conservative), Sabina Singh (NDP), Ryan Windsor (Liberal), Elizabeth May (Green Party), Ron Broda (PPC)/Photo compiled by Victoria Buzz]

The 43rd Canadian federal elections are just days away, which means it’s the last chance to cast your ballots.

This Monday, Saanich-Gulf Islands residents will be heading to their nearest polling stations to take part in the democratic process and elect an MP to represent the electoral district in Ottawa.

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Here’s a breakdown of the five major candidates running for election in Saanich-Gulf Islands:

New Democratic Party

The New Democratic Party nominated Sabina Singh as their representative candidate for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

Singh originally attempted to run as representative for the Victoria riding, but was defeated in a vote by city councillor Laurel Collins after incumbent MP Murray Rankin announced that he would not be seeking a third term.

The political scientist was an instructor at the University of Victoria and has worked with the community to push for electoral reform, and seek justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Like most candidates, Singh is focusing on tackling climate change while trying to make life affordable and fair for the average Canadian by advocating for universal pharmacare, free mental health and dental care, ending interest on student loans, and implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Conservative Party of Canada

David Busch is the Conservative Party candidate hoping to represent Saanich-Gulf Islands in the House of Commons in the upcoming elections.

As a practicing lawyer, he spent several years working as a civil litigator for a major law firm in BC, and over the past decade, has volunteered for the Conservative Party in a number of capacities.

He aims to unseat the riding’s current representative, Elizabeth May, by pushing a platform that addresses several different issues while still keeping climate change in mind.

Busch prioritizes implementing policies to tackle the housing crisis, provide more access to health care, and combat climate change, all while balancing the budget.

Earlier this month, he also announced the party’s plans to change the Volunteer Firefighter and Search and Rescue Tax Credit in order to give volunteers a $450 rebate for donating 150 hours per year.

Green Party

Incumbent MP and party leader, Elizabeth May, is the Green Party candidate for the Saanich-Gulf Islands electoral district.

May has been elected to represent her riding twice, and in 2015 received a whopping 55% of the popular vote.

Some of her measures as MP have included sponsoring the Lyme Disease Act, preventing the closure of the Centre for Plant Health in Sidney when its shutdown was imminent under the Harper administration, and created a bill (that became the law in 2019) to ban keeping cetaceans (whales and dolphins) in captivity in Canada.

As Green Party leader, May has been campaigning across the country in this year’s elections, facing off against Liberal, Conservative, NDP, PPC, and Bloc Québécois leaders in several debates.

With climate change at the forefront of the average Canadian voter’s psyche, the Green Party has seen a surge in popularity. Current polls show that the Greens have 8.2% of popular vote, while in the 2015 elections they finished with 3.5% of the vote and May was the only Green MP in the House of Commons.

May’s environmental priorities include forming a federal Internal Cabinet with all parties to focus on climate change and get everyone on the same page, and getting Canada to net zero emissions by 2050.

She also focuses on expanding the single player medicare model to include pharmacare for everyone, establishing free dental care for low income Canadians, and increasing the National Housing Co-Investment Fund by $750 million for new builds.

Liberal Party of Canada

The Liberal Party candidate for Saanich-Gulf Islands, Ryan Windsor is also the current mayor of Central Saanich. He has taken an unpaid leave of absence in order to run for the federal position.

Windsor was elected mayor of Central Saanich in 2014 and since then, has implemented the municipality’s climate leadership plan to reduce greenhouse gases, especially from transportation and municipal buildings.

Another sign of his dedication to mitigating climate change is his volunteer work to restore the ecosystem in local streams and creeks and help educate children about farming and the food we eat.

Like his opposition, incumbent MP Elizabeth May, Windsor champions his party’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, among other climate change initiatives like cutting corporate taxes for small clean tech businesses by 50%, and having all federal buildings run on clean electricity by 2022.

His platform also focuses on implementing universal pharmacare, similar to both Green and NDP policies, establish national standards for mental health care, and make sure everyone has access to a family doctor.

People’s Party of Canada

Ron Broda is the People’s Party candidate representing Saanich-Gulf Islands in the 2019 elections.

Broda moved to Central Saanich from the mainland in 1991 and has worked as a police officer for the Vancouver Police Department, Saanich Police Department, and was an officer with the Canada Border Services Agency.

For Broda, the main issue in Canadian politics today is trust, and he denounces the “paralyzing degree of political correctness that is stifling our free speech and rational discussion of major issues.”

He joined the PPC after Maxime Bernier’s slogan of ‘Freedom, Personal Responsibility, Fairness and Respect’ resonated with him.

Like his PPC counterparts in Victoria and Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, Broda has also experienced hostility to his platform in the form of people vandalizing his campaign signs.

In a tweet, Broda calls for the public to help him identify a woman who was caught on camera removing his campaign signs in Saanich.

The PPC is the only party without any policies pertaining to climate change in this year’s elections. They have issued a blanket statement saying that the “uncertainties over the scientific basis of global warming, and the certainties about the huge costs of measures designed to fight it” justify their desire to withhold from government intervention.

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