As the election campaign heats up, so does the race between the parties for the Sooke-Esquimalt-Sannich riding.
This week’s profile is on the NDP Randall Garrison, who represented the Sooke region since 2011 in Ottawa.
Garrison pulls his experience in politics from his 20-year career as a criminal justice and political science instructor at Camosun College.
He was also involved in the national human rights election observation campaign a few years ago.
He says one of the efforts of his party has been to help put Sooke on the map, notably in regards to the natural splendour that is available here.
“An important part of what we want to do is to help build the tourism industry into a sustainable industry, and one that can be quite competitive, thanks to Sooke’s huge potential,” Garrison said.
With sports fishing and recreational fishing already a part of the local economy, Garrison said he introduced a private member’s bill (C-667) to help restore federal environment protection to the Sooke watershed and fish habitat. This is in response to the federal government’s decision to remove this protection from all lakes and streams on Vancouver Island in 2012.
“We have to make sure there’s fish there for people to catch,” he said.
An avid cyclist, Garrison spends his down time with his dogs, particularly at the Whiffin Spit, one of his favourite dog walking places.
If elected, Garrison says he wants to help make the Sooke-Esquimalt-Saanich riding a more integrated and inclusive area to be in.
“What we’re hearing at the door throughout the riding is that people are very interested in change, and that we’ve got an opportunity in October to make those changes,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the rest of the campaign.”