A candidate for the Victoria municipal byelection, scheduled for April 4, is calling for it to be postponed amidst COVID-19 concerns.
Stephen Andrew is one of nine candidates competing for a Victoria councillor position. The position would replace Laurel Collins, who resigned in November after she was elected as a Member of Parliament for Victoria.
In a statement sent out on Saturday afternoon, Andrew called for the immediate postponement of the byelection.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic affects every aspect of our lives through restriction of movement, public gatherings and self-isolation and quarantine,” Andrew said. “The consequence of these restrictions excludes significant groups of voters. In a free and democratic society, any election result is not valid if any segment of the electorate is afraid to participate.”
The statement said Andrew’s request for postponement is in line with other jurisdictions that have also postponed their elections.
On Saturday, B.C. health officials said there were nine new cases of the novel coronavirus in the province, bringing the total to 73.
Victoria has seen the cancellation of many large events, programs and gatherings following a directive from the province to cancel events with more than 250 people in attendance.