Long-time community activist and labour leader Michael Eso announced Tuesday he is seeking the NDP nomination to run in the next provincial election for Saanich North and the Islands.
Eso, 53, has served as president of the 25,000-member Victoria Labour Council, executive council member of the B.C. Federation of Labour, and staff representative with the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union.
He said after a decade of fighting B.C. Liberal attacks on working people, families and communities, he has the profile, skills and experience to win the constituency for the NDP.
“In the last election, the NDP came close to winning Saanich North and the Islands. But a close second isn’t good enough,” Eso stated in a press release.
“Families in our community can’t afford another four years of cuts to vital public services and other harmful policies that we’ve seen under B.C. Liberals. We need to elect a government that’s on our side. And Saanich North and the Islands will be key to that victory.”
Eso promised that if he succeeds in his bid to become the NDP candidate, he will tackle the issues constituents are most concerned with, such as “action on climate change, protecting precious arable land from urban sprawl and development, safeguarding our coastline from oil spills due to tanker traffic, affordable ferry fares and access to quality public health care, especially seniors’ care.”
Eso’s long history of activism in the NDP began in 1982 in the former Rossland-Trail provincial constituency. A former child protection social worker, Eso has experience as a political advisor to government, serving in the Harcourt NDP government in the 1990s as ministerial aid to then Minister of Housing Joan Smallwood.
He lives with his wife of 28 years, Sheri, and they have two adult sons. For the last six years they have been restoring their nearly 100-year-old heritage house in Sidney. Eso is an avid gardener and cook.
Salt Spring resident Gary Holman, a past CRD electoral area director for the island and local candidate in the last provincial election, has also announced his bid for the nomination. The date of the nomination has yet to be announced.