The race is on for Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins now that former Victoria Police Department deputy chief John Ducker is also running for the mayoralty.
Ducker announced Monday he has officially joined the campaign.
“Enough people asked me [to run] that it was getting tough to ignore,” said Ducker.
Ducker said his main platform is increasing the economic development and livability of Esquimalt.
“First and foremost, we’ve got to get Esquimalt moving again,” he said. “We are one of the few areas in the region that is actually losing population.”
According to Ducker, Esquimalt is not as family-friendly as it used to be, due to a lack of amenities.
“People are passing Esquimalt by to settle in other areas, and I don’t think that’s right,” said Ducker. “We have to recommit to our civic infrastructure and making the town look a lot better.”
Ducker said he realizes that Esquimalt residents are particularly concerned with the issue of sewage treatment.
“That battle is far from over,” he said. “My plan is to renew commitment to the region to work with partners to get it done.”
To begin with, Ducker said he wants to look into the scientific viability of the project.
“If it’s warranted scientifically, there won’t be a bigger champion for sewage treatment than me.”
Having lived in Esquimalt for more than 40 years, Ducker said he knows the community very well.
However, Desjardins said her nine years of experience on council, six of them as mayor, are worth much more.
“Esquimalt has changed significantly over those last six years, and we’re continuing to move forward,” said Desjardins, adding her experience will help the town get there faster.
In the last election, Desjardins was acclaimed. When she was first elected as mayor, she ran against and beat incumbent mayor Chris Clement.
“The community will pick the best person for the job . . . but I feel that I’ve represented the community well over the last six years, and would like to continue,” said Desjardins.