Higher voter turnouts in Victoria and Esquimalt saw both incumbent mayors retain their roles, but a shuffle in both councils’ members.
In Victoria, more than 29,700 votes were cast, garnering Helps over 12,600 votes with the closest competitor, Stephen Hammond, receiving just over 8,700.
“It’s important for me to not only work for the people who voted for me, but equally important with those who didn’t vote for me,” Helps said. “Once you’re elected, you’re the mayor and you’re the mayor for everyone.”
Hammond came into Helps’ celebratory party to congratulate her, and Helps said they had discussed what they could do moving forward to try to “bring some of the divisiveness in the community to a close.”
Victoria City Council will see five returning candidates: Ben Isitt, Jeremy Loveday, Geoff Young, Charlayne Thornton-Joe, and Marianne Alto. It will also see three new candidates: Laurel Collins, Sarah Potts and Sharmarke Dubow, who all ran on the Together Victoria slate.
“It’s a little bit of a balance shift, so just like I did last time the most important thing we can do is sit down at that table, make a strategic plan focused on the problems that exist and how we’re gonna solve them,” Helps said.
In Esquimalt Barb Desjardins took the mayoral seat for the fourth time, receiving 2,919 votes from 4,143 cast ballots.
“I have the extreme honour of being the mayor of Esquimalt for my fourth term and I’m so excited about it,” Desjardins said.
Esquimalt Town Council is divided by three returning councillors and three new ones. Tim Morrison, Meagan Brame and Lynda Hundleby were re-elected, while Jacob Helliwell, Jane Vermeulen and Ken Armour will also join the table.
“This is an exciting time for Esquimalt,” Desjardins said. “We have young people coming up on council and it’s just phenomenal.”
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