Major party candidates named in islands riding

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The race for the legislative seat in Saanich North and the Islands firmed up Monday morning with the announcement of the NDP candidate coming soon after the BC Liberals’ pick was made public over the weekend.

Green party incumbent Adam Olsen is seeking a second term in office. He will face competition from Zeb King for the NDP and BC Liberal supporter Stephen Roberts.

Olsen was first elected Member of the Legislative Assembly for Saanich North and the Islands in 2017. He has been interim leader of the BC Green Party twice, first from 2013 to 2015 and again from January to September 2020.

Olsen is a member of Tsartlip First Nation and was raised in WSÁNEC territory on the Saanich Peninsula. Press material explains his interest in communications led him to sports broadcasting, community and media relations. He spent a decade in business before focussing on serving his community as an elected official.

Olsen was elected twice as a councillor of the District of Central Saanich prior to his role in provincial politics. He served in that position from 2008 to 2012.

NDP candidate King also has a background that includes municipal politics on the Saanich Peninsula. A graduate of the University of Victoria, with a master’s degree in Public Administration, King has served on the Central Saanich Council since 2002. Campaign material states that in his five terms, King has involved residents in the process of collaboratively finding solutions, whether about the shortage of doctors in the region, housing, public transit or environmental concerns. He is a longtime resident of Brentwood Bay.

Salt Spring resident Stephen Roberts will once again be the BC Liberal candidate in the riding, having stepped up twice before in that capacity, so far without winning the seat.

Roberts was born in Sidney and lives on Salt Spring with his partner. His campaign information says his career in finance took him to various places overseas and included chief operating officer roles in two major international banks. Since returning home to B.C., Roberts reports being very active in the community. He is particularly interested in health care, and is currently chair of the Vancouver Hospice Society as well as past chair of both the Salt Spring Hospice and the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation.

In recent years Roberts also has served as secretary on the Mary Winspear Centre board, and as chair of the Salt Spring Local Trust Committee’s Advisory Planning Commission.

Election day is Saturday, Oct. 24. Advance voting days will be held from Thursday, Oct.15 to Wednesday, Oct. 21.

All voters can also request to vote by mail-in ballot. Contact Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683 for information or go to elections.bc.ca to make a direct request.

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