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Four Greater Victoria mayors acclaimed in fall municipal elections

Across the Island, 11 mayors are running unopposed

By Jolene Rudisuela
September 13, 2022
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Four Greater Victoria mayors acclaimed in fall municipal elections

Across the Island, 11 mayors are running unopposed

Mayors Ryan Windsor (Central Saanich), Cliff McNeil-Smith (Sidney), Ken Williams (Highlands), and Kevin Murdoch (Oak Bay) will each be acclaimed in the upcoming election. Photo illustration by Jolene Rudisuela
Mayors Ryan Windsor (Central Saanich), Cliff McNeil-Smith (Sidney), Ken Williams (Highlands), and Kevin Murdoch (Oak Bay) will each be acclaimed in the upcoming election. Photo illustration by Jolene Rudisuela
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Four Greater Victoria mayors acclaimed in fall municipal elections

Across the Island, 11 mayors are running unopposed

By Jolene Rudisuela
September 13, 2022
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Four Greater Victoria mayors acclaimed in fall municipal elections
Mayors Ryan Windsor (Central Saanich), Cliff McNeil-Smith (Sidney), Ken Williams (Highlands), and Kevin Murdoch (Oak Bay) will each be acclaimed in the upcoming election. Photo illustration by Jolene Rudisuela

The mayors of Oak Bay, Central Saanich, Sidney, and Highlands can already celebrate a return to their seats—because they’re the only ones vying for the positions. 

Friday was the deadline for candidates to submit their nomination papers, and each of the mayors in the four municipalities are officially running unopposed. This is in stark contrast to Victoria, where eight people have put their name in for the top job, which is open after Mayor Lisa Helps announced she would not be running for a third term. 

Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor says it was a surprise and “perhaps a little bit odd” to be acclaimed—again. Windsor was first elected in 2013 in a by-election, was elected again in 2014, then was acclaimed as mayor in 2018. 

“Nonetheless, I’m happy to have submitted my papers and have the opportunity to continue to serve,” he said. 

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There also won’t be too much turnover on council. Only one of the six incumbents has stepped away, while three new faces are vying for a council seat. 

Windsor says the current council generates good discussion and good debate, which is important for a municipality. Having at least half of council return will allow the municipality to jump right back into discussions it's already been having around housing, access to medical care, and active transportation. The district has also been undergoing a review of its Official Community Plan this year. 

This is also Ken Williams’ second time running unopposed. The Highlands mayor was elected in 2014 with 92% of the vote and was acclaimed in 2018 along with the rest of council. There still won’t be many new faces on Highlands council this year as all six incumbent councillors are running again, along with two council candidates who served prior to 2018 and one newcomer. 

Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch and Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith are each entering their second terms as mayor unopposed. (Murdoch and McNeil-Smith each served two and three terms respectively as councillors prior to becoming mayor of their separate municipalities.)

One of the key issues in Oak Bay throughout the majority of Murdoch’s time in public office has been secondary suites. The district, which has been one of the last holdouts on creating a bylaw, recently sent it through to a public hearing

In Sidney, key issues for this coming term include new development in the core and near the airport, and balancing the desires of current residents with the need to attract younger families

Murdoch, McNeil-Smith, and Williams did not respond to requests for interviews before publication time. 

Other Island mayoral races already decided

A total of 11 municipalities on the Island have mayors running unopposed. 

Ladymith’s Aaron Stone, Duncan’s Michelle Staples, Tofino’s Dan Law, Comox’s Nicole Minions, Sayward’s Mark Baker, Zeballos’s Julie Colbourne, and Alert Bay’s Dennis Buchanan will each be acclaimed. Of those, only Minions is not an incumbent. Comox’s outgoing mayor Russ Arnot decided not to run again. 

Last election, Metchosin’s Mayor John Ranns won by acclamation, but he has decided to not run again. View Royal’s David Screech also won by acclimation in 2018, but this time he is challenged by Sid Tobias.

Stay tuned for more in-depth local election coverage as the campaign period begins on Sept. 17, including the answers to our candidate survey. 

The election is being held on Oct. 15.

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