The municipality of Central Saanich could be facing the replacement of not one, but two councillors in next year’s by-election as Coun. Adam Olsen announced Wednesday that he is seeking the nomination as Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands.
The municipality had already planned a by-election in the spring 2013 to replace ex-councillor Terry Siklenka after his resignation last month. The district may now be faced with having to take on two new councillors should Olsen be successful in his bid for the Green nomination, as Olsen has said he would resign his council seat if wins the nomination.
The Green Party nomination meeting for Saanich North and the Islands will be held in late January and Central Saanich Council will be setting the schedule for the by-election throughout the same timeframe.
“I have been working with District staff to determine the timing of everything. Under the circumstances I believe it is important that the community, our council and staff are completely aware of what my intentions are,” said Olsen in a press release.
“By-elections are a tremendous cost, to the council, staff and the community. It’s important for the business of the community to continue with as little disruption as possible.”
Olsen is in his second term as a councillor for Central Saanich, the same municipality in which he was born and raised as a member of the Tsartlip First Nation. The father of two currently works as a First Nations housing consultant and owns and operates a small business with other family members called Salish Fusion Knitwear which will be featured on the popular CBC TV show, Dragons Den, next month.
Olsen’s council duties include sitting as the Chair of the Planning and Development Committee in Central Saanich and representing the district on the Regional Housing Trust Fund and the Peninsula Agricultural Commission.
“I thoroughly enjoy my role as a councillor in Central Saanich and have been humbled by the support I have received,” said Olsen.
“I have learned a lot over the past four years and I am excited by the opportunity to continue in governance. Should I win the Green Party nomination I will focus my efforts on being elected as the riding’s next MLA, if not, I will continue to work hard on behalf of the residents of Central Saanich,” he said.
Olsen worked closely with MP Elizabeth May’s team providing communications support during the election last year and also supported Green Party candidate Andrew Lewis’ team in 2006.
“I have been deeply immersed in local government over the past four years. In the last decade, I have been involved in governance at all levels, local, provincial and federal, and a political volunteer. I will be an effective, dedicated and energetic representative of the interests of Saanich North and the Islands in Victoria,” said Olsen.
“This is an important election in many ways. I have been hearing our constituents are seeking change and they want things done differently,” he said.
“There is a growing confidence in the Green message and we are a refreshing alternative to the hyper-partisan, negativity in provincial politics.”