Saanich North and the Islands a key battleground in the provincial election

Get ready to vote in the provincial election on May 14

Gary Holman feels really good about his chances in the May 14 provincial election.

The Saanich North and the Islands NDP candidate’s words echo those of the other three candidates in the riding, which could indicate a very close race.

Independent candidate Scott McEachern, considered by some to be a long shot in this vote, says the riding is certainly a tough nut to crack, considering its long Liberal and Social Credit history. Yet, he feels he has a chance, given what he has heard from people who live here.

“There are a lot of disgruntled people out there,” said McEachern. “People tell me they are tired of promises that cannot be paid for. People are fed up.”

Holman said his chances have been good since day one of the campaign. The fact that his party leader, Adrian Dix, has been to this riding a few times indicates to him the importance of Saanich North and the Islands.

“Hopefully, we will form an NDP government. It’s so important to have an MLA here within government that will connect the community to the government.”

Holman said there has never been an NDP MLA in the riding, but the party’s platform this time around will mean big change on the Peninsula.

“We can’t do everything,” he admitted, “but we can make some important changes that are really going to help this community.”

Holman said people are dissatisfied with government, but they still want it to work for them in their communities.

B.C. Liberal candidate Stephen Roberts says this riding isn’t a bellwether for the rest of the province, noting it has been too green in recent years. That, however, is changing he continued, as more people seek a balance between the environment and the economy.

“I’m positive that the outcome in this riding and across the province is not a done deal,” Roberts said. “It’s about finding that balance. It’s about being able to look after the environment and strengthening our economy.”

Roberts agreed that it’s hard to predict how electors Saanich North and the Islands will vote on May 14, but he does encourage as many people as possible to get out and cast their ballot.

The Green Party’s Adam Olsen says Saanich North and the Islands was never a shoe-in for any candidate, saying it’ll be a close vote on May 14.

“The Green Party here has been extremely popular since the start of the campaign,” he said, adding he takes it as a big compliment that the NDP seem to be targeting him most often.

“No question, it’ll be close.”

Olsen said voters’ patterns are changing on the Peninsula.

“There has been a  significant shift towards the Green Party over the last few years.”

Where to vote on May 14:

Sidney

• SHOAL Centre, 10030 Resthaven Dr.

• Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave.

North Saanich

• Saanich Peninsula Prebyterian Church, 9296 East Saanich Rd.

• Holy Trinity Church, 1319 Mills Rd.

• Highway Christian Fellowship Church, 10364 McDonald Park Rd.

• Capital City Yacht Club, 10630 Blue Heron Rd.

• Deep Cove Elementary School, 10975 West Saanich Rd.

• Panorama Recreation Centre, 1885 Forest Park Dr.

Central Saanich

• Gathering Strength Facilities, 7728 Tetayut Rd.

• Friendship Communtiy Church, 7820 Central Saanich Rd.

• Saanichton Bible Fellowship, 2159 Mt. Newton X Rd.

• Saanich Fairgrounds, main hall, 1528 Stelly’s X Rd.

• Brentwood Bay Elementary School, 7085 Wallace Dr.

• Bayside Middle School, 1101 Newton Pl.

• Keating Elementary School, 6843 Central Saanich Rd.