Victoria-Beacon Hill Candidates
(Clockwise from top-left: Grace Lore, Jenn Neilson, Karen Bill, Jordan Reichert. Photos supplied by BC NDP, BC Green Party, BC Liberal Party, Jordan Reichert)

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 Victoria-Beacon Hill.

This riding encompasses the City of Victoria proper, all the way from the south and west coasts up to Bay and Haultain Streets.

Here are the candidates running for the riding:

BC NDP – Grace Lore

Age: 35
Background: UVic lecturer and researcher.

Key issues:
“People tell me the most important issue to them is still Covid-19 and the recovery.

People know John Horgan and the BC NDP are taking us through the pandemic safely and trust we will build a recovery that works for everyone.

Housing is also a major issue. The BC Liberals neglected housing except to side with speculators, leaving us with a housing crisis.

I’m proud of John Horgan’s record-level investments in housing and work to take on speculators, but there is more to do. People know the stakes are too high to go back. We need to move forward, together.”

BC Green Party – Jenn Neilson

Age: 39
Background: PhD in Philosophy, Community Organizer

Key issues:
“As an experienced community organizer (Save 950 Kings/Blanshard Elementary and Victoria Needs a Hillside Library campaigns), I am now turning to provincial politics to build resilient communities in the face of the climate crisis.

  • The key issues that I think the province needs to address are:
  • Investing in affordable and emergency housing.
  • Taking immediate climate action.
  • Protecting old-growth forests and stopping the extraction of non-renewable resources.
  • Respecting Indigenous rights and advocating for Indigenous self-determination.
  • Providing lifelong access to trauma-informed mental health supports and compassionate harm reduction services.
  • Reducing class sizes to promote physical distancing.”

BC Liberal Party – Karen Bill

Age: 51
Background: Policy analyst

Key issues:
The most important issue in Victoria Beacon Hill is the rapidly increasing levels of homelessness and crime in our neighbourhoods and parks.  Everyone should feel safe using our parks and living near them.

Mental health and addictions funding must be increased, giving police, courts, and outreach workers tools they need to transition people from tents to housing.  Integrated, on-site supports to assist homeless individuals and protect our communities are crucial.

Neighbourhoods and local businesses are being devastated by warehousing people in tents and hotels.  The balance is off and our communities are suffering.

Addressing these problems is my first priority.”

Independent – Jordan Reichert

Age: 38
Background: Mental health/addictions worker, animal/environmental advocate

Key issues:
I believe the biggest issues facing people in Victoria are addictions and homelessness, housing affordability, lack of mental health services, and cost of living.

Protecting the environment and fighting for climate action are priorities for people of all ages. Improving our relationship with Indigenous communities is also front of mind, as well as confronting systemic racism in our past and present.

It is inspiring to live in a community where we have strong opposition to hate, discrimination, and social stigma. These are the issues that affect everyone in our community, no matter what walk of life you are from.  “