Interest grows for city council seats

November election will likely see all incumbents running for another term

WIth a municipal election four months away, a few new council hopefuls are making their intentions known.

Former mayoral candidate Benjamin Isitt formally decided to run for council this week.  He joins Lisa Helps, Saul Andersen and Rose Henry, who have all decided to seek a seat on Victoria city council.

The outlook for newbies is dim, however, as all incumbents on council are expected to to seek another term.

If the last municipal election is any indication, expect dozens more candidates to file nomination papers. In 2008, there were 35 council candidates and eight mayoral candidates.

Some names you may also see on the ballot list include John Turner and Bernard von Shulmann. Both have both publicly mused about the possibility.

Not running again is Barry Hobbis.

After spending $29,170 to come in second place during a 2010 byelection, Hobbis won’t be giving municipal politics another go this time around.

Neither will Rob Reid, who came in second place in the race for mayor in 2008. Between running his business and family life, Reid said he’s too busy for politics at this time.

So far, only Mayor Dean Fortin and Paul Brown are vying for the top spot on council.

Once again, Monday Magazine columnist and former council candidate Simon Nattrass is reviving his website, dedicated to municipal election coverage.

“Victoria Votes will be more active again shortly in light of people gearing up for November,” said Nattrass, via email. The site, he said, aims to include interviews with every candidate some issue-based articles.

Check it out, at www.votevictoriabc.blogspot.com.

General voting day for municipal elections in B.C. is Nov. 19. Candidates will have 10 days to file nomination papers and officially declare their candidacy between from 9 a.m. Oct. 4 to 4 p.m. Oct. 14.

 

Council hopefuls, at a glance

• Lisa Helps is executive director of Community Micro Lending, former chair of the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group board, an advisor during the city’s official community plan review.

• Benjamin Isitt previously taught history at UVic and UBC, and is now pursuing a PhD in law at the University of Victoria. In 2002, and 2005 the now 33-year-old ran for mayor achieving 32 and 44 per cent of the vote, respectively.

• Saul Andersen has become a well-known name on the ballot list at all levels. He ran for mayor in 2008, and for council in the 2010 byelection. He’s also previously run for MLA and MP.

• Rose Henry is a long-time advocate for the homeless in Victoria. She’s currently in Scotland for the International Network of Street newspapers conference, where she is being recognized for her writing in the Victoria Street Newz.