This week’s candidate for the Sooke-Esquimalt-Saanich riding is David Merner, a lawyer who’s worked in Ottawa and Victoria for over 25 years. In his position, he has provided constitutional, legal and policy advice to ministers as a lawyer with the Department of Justice and Privy Council office.
Merner’s speciality in the field is justice reform, such as cutting costs for users by mediation and early resolution. Being bilingual has also worked in his favour in the past, as he’s litigated cases in French for several years.
An avid sailing enthusiast, Merner likes taking out his 17-foot sailboat out on the water whenever the time allows. He and his family regularly also come out camping in the Sooke and Juan de Fuca area, an activity his four daughters particularly enjoy.
In recognition of Sooke’s unique natural surroundings, Merner says one of the things he wants to look into is tying the tourism industry closer together between the Sooke-Esquimalt-Saanich communities, such as finding a common element and helping them build off each other’s efforts.
He also pointed out the idea of improving on existing ideas that benefit the local community.
“One thing that is common to Saanich and Sooke is the potential for agricultural-related tourism,” he said. “You see a lot of that in Kelowna and Okanagan, but there’s huge potential here. It’s green and it’s healthy.”
Merner also hopes to carry forward the Liberals’ plan on legalizing marijuana, and the strategies that come with that decision.