Colwood Coun. Doug Kobayashi has been acclaimed as the federal Liberal candidate in the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding. (Photo courtesy of Doug Kobayashi)

Colwood Coun. Doug Kobayashi has been acclaimed as the federal Liberal candidate in the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding. (Photo courtesy of Doug Kobayashi)

Federal Liberals peg Colwood councillor as candidate for next election

Longtime community leader Doug Kobayashi to run in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding

Doug Kobayashi has made a career out of facing challenges and delivering results.

Kobayashi, in his first term as a Colwood councillor, was acclaimed in June as the federal Liberal candidate for the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding, which also includes Colwood, View Royal and Metchosin.

“I did a lot of homework before I decided what party to run for after the Liberals first approached me,” Kobayashi explained. “If you look at their platforms, all parties want the same thing, except for one or two issues. They all want to improve the life of Canadians. Each party has its own methodology for that, it’s a matter of how we get there. After careful consideration, I chose the Liberals because they have the right balance between social needs and fiscal realities.”

If, or according to numerous reports, when a federal election is called – rumoured to be as early as August – Kobayashi will square off against incumbent NDP MP Randall Garrison, who has held the seat since 2011.

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“I never met a challenge I didn’t embrace,” said Kobayashi, who earned his degree in mechanical engineering at Royal Military College before completing his masters in aeronautical engineering at Cranfield University, a global leader in sustainable digital aviation located near London, England.

He has served as president, vice-president, and Chief Executive Officer at several major aeronautical engineering firms in Canada and the United States after retiring from the Canadian Air Force at the age of 34.

Kobyashi, a Colwood resident since 2010, served as president of the West Shore Chamber of Commerce for four and a half years.

“They were in dire financial straits when I joined,” he noted.

“They’re back on solid ground now, and I’m very proud of that.”

Kobayashi had similar success as president of the Westshore Rebels, helping the team reach the national championship while steering them back into the black following a couple of years of financial struggles.

“I believe one of my strengths is motivating people,” he said. “You can accomplish anything when you have a common goal.”

Kobayashi has also worked with a number of non-profits, institutions and organizations, including Royal Roads University, the Greater Victoria Public Library and the B.C. Aviation Museum.

He believes the two main issues Canadians face in the upcoming election are climate change and economic recovery.

“There are a lot of other issues, but these are the two main ones I’m hearing at the doors I’ve knocked on so far,” he stressed.

“Climate change is having an immediate impact on our lives. We need to focus on what I call creating a healthy environment. People I know who were skeptical four or five years ago have come to that belief. They see the severe weather changes, droughts and wildfires as an existential threat. I believe the Liberal plan to take us from a carbon-based economy to a renewable energy economy is absolutely achievable, and we can deliver on a net-zero emission economy by 2050 without killing jobs in the process.”

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Kobayashi believes Canada can be a leader in creating innovation-based technology and clean energy industry, and cited direct air capture technology as an example.

“It basically utilizes fans to remove carbon dioxide from the air,” he explained. “Saanich is perfectly situated to create a clean tech corridor.”

The increasing demand for batteries for electric cars is another opportunity for innovation, he noted.

“The U.K. right now is integrating the battery into the car’s frame. We have the people and the ingenuity and resources to achieve amazing things like that in Canada. That’s the kind of forward-thinking I would push for as part of a Liberal government.”

“My background running major corporations and operating two small businesses has given me a deep understanding of the challenges facing management and the regular employees that’s provided a great perspective not too many politicians have.”

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Canada Election 2021ColwoodElection 2021Esquimalt–Saanich–Sookefederal electionLiberalsWest Shore

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