Saanich South candidates
(from L-R: Rishi Sharma, Lana Popham, Kate O'Connor, photos via BC Liberal Party, BC NDP, BC Green Party)

From October 10 to 16, Victoria Buzz will be profiling the seven ridings in the Greater Victoria area.

We reached out to candidates to provide information on what they think the most important issues are in this election.

Today we’re looking at the riding of Saanich South.

The riding covers a large portion of Saanich from the Saanich Inlet in the Northwest to the Mount Douglas Park in the Southeast. It includes neighbourhoods like Cordova Bay and Royal Oak.

Here are the candidates running for the riding:

BC Liberals – Rishi Sharma

Age: 45
Background: Director, Ministry of Advanced Education, public servant, equity, seconded to BC Construction Association for diversity and inclusion initiative

Key issues:
“COVID-19 and economic recovery.  At the doorsteps of Saanich South residents and during my meetings, I am hearing that people are looking for a representative they can trust, someone they can count on to responsibly manage their (taxpayer) money and for someone to ensure their personal and family safety through the COVID pandemic.

BC NDP – Lana Popham (incumbent)

Age: 51
Background: Minister of Agriculture

Key issues:
“COVID-19 is the biggest issue facing Saanich South, and indeed the whole province.

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.

And of course the pandemic has caused financial hardship or disruption for everyone.

A re-elected BC NDP government will focus on continuing to invest in people and building an economic recovery that works for everyone.

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

BC Green Party – Kate O’Connor

Age: 18
Background: High school graduate, produce clerk, worker on Sonia Furstenau BC Green Party leadership campaign

Key issues:
“Kate is 17, soon to be 18, and a passionate advocate for urgent climate action, indigenous rights, better mental health care and food security.

She also believes decisive action is needed to address the affordability crisis. Kate represents a generation of young people who are done being ignored. They’re standing up and demanding their future is protected.

Kate believes that we need a strong team of Greens in the legislature to hold the NDP accountable. She also believes in the value of intergenerational leadership and diverse perspectives to make the best decisions possible for all British Columbians.