(Jeremy L. Caradonna/Facebook)

The first candidate to run for the 2020 Victoria byelection to try and fill the now empty seat on Victoria’s city council has been revealed as Jeremy L. Caradonna.

Caradonna is an Environmental Studies professor and academic at the University of Victoria, and is hoping to fill Laurel Collins’ seat on city council in the upcoming byelection.

See also: City councillor Laurel Collins wins Victoria riding for NDP

According to an announcement on his Facebook page, Caradonna will be formally launching his election campaign at the Fernwood Inn on Saturday, November 16th.

The candidate holds a PhD in History from Johns Hopkins University and has written three books. His research revolves around environmental history, sustainability, the organic food industry, permaculture, and more.

“My goal is to bring to council my experience as a Professor of Environmental Studies, a policymaker in the Climate Action Secretariat, a former small-business owner, an advocate for urban agriculture, a community-builder with a long history in progressive politics, and the parent of school-age children,” writes Caradonna.

His platform supports creating affordable, densified, and integrated housing, reducing emissions, climate change adaptation policies, urban farming, making public transportation more accessible, advocating for harm reduction and safe supply to address the opioid crisis, and working on Indigenous reconciliation.

When asked why he wants to run for council, Caradonna tells Victoria Buzz that it’s all about his undying love for this city.

“I love Victoria, I love the culture here, I love the environment, the school, the people. I’ve been thinking for a few years about how I could better serve my community, and this seemed like a logical transition in my career,” he said.

Another ballot to cast

After the municipal elections in 2018 and the federal elections just last month, Caradonna says he’s noticed some frustration among people who did not expect yet another political campaign, but maintains hopes of a decent voter turnout.

“There are tons of rumours about who may or may not be running, and a lot of people didn’t have the time to prepare for a byelection. I don’t anticipate too many people running, but I think it’ll be competitive,” he adds.

The 2020 Victoria byelection was triggered after councillor Laurel Collins won her NDP campaign to represent the city in Ottawa as an MP in the federal elections last month.

She was criticized for vacating her position as city councillor in order to run for MP after spending less than a year in that position.

The byelection to replace her is expected to take place in February 2020 and is projected to cost approximately $200,000.

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