Former journalist Stephen Andrew will fill the open seat on the City of Victoria council after winning Saturday’s byelection. (Stephen Andrew/Submitted)

Former journalist Stephen Andrew will fill the open seat on the City of Victoria council after winning Saturday’s byelection. (Stephen Andrew/Submitted)

Stephen Andrew tops polls in Victoria byelection

Former journalist beat Stefanie Hardman of Together Victoria by more than 3,000 votes

Former journalist Stephen Andrew will fill the open seat on the City of Victoria council after winning Saturday’s byelection.

The municipality held the byelection to fill the spot after Laurel Collins had resigned her seat last year after winning a seat in the House of Commons for the federal New Democrats.

Unofficial results show Andrew with 6,937 votes, more than 3,000 votes ahead of second-placed Stefanie Hardman, who ran under the Together Victoria slate, the same slate that had helped to elect Collins, as well as current councillors Sharmarke Dubow and Sarah Potts.

Andrew, whose campaign had received the late endorsement of Coun. Geoff Young, promised to restore what he called “balance” to council in promising to stop the waste on city resources on issues outside municipal jurisdiction and work on things that benefit the community, listing public safety, affordable housing and taxation policy among other items.

Andrew had previously run for mayor in 2014 and council in 2018, losing the former bid against current Mayor Lisa Helps.

Andrew thanked his supporters Saturday with a message on Twitter.

“I promise to lead with an open door, an open mind, and an open heart,” he wrote. “My door is always open (and) I look forward to serving all of Victoria with honour!”

RELATED: Candidates finalized for Victoria byelection

RELATED: Meet your candidates in the 2020 Victoria byelection

While Andrew’s election may not fundamentally change the balance of power on council, his election as well as his margin of victory over the second-placed Hardman suggests that the public wanted to send a corrective message as Andrew has been critical of Victoria’s decision to allow 24/7 camping for homeless individuals in parks during the pandemic, a source of public controversy and legal conflict with a focus on Victoria’s popular Beacon Hill Park.

Helps, for her part, issued a public statement Saturday in which she welcomed Andrew to council for the remaining two years of the term.

Turnout for the byelection was 17.52 per cent as 12,327 out of 70,343 registered voters cast their ballots several months after the municipality had initally scheduled the byelection.

Victoria had originally scheduled the byelection in April but postponed to Dec. 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nine other candidates ran alongside Andrew and Hardman, with Roshan Vickery winning the third-most votes with 603.

Black Press has reached out to Andrew for comment and will update this story.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke council has sent a letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy calling for a province-wide ban on the use of rat poison. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke calls for ban on rat poison across B.C.

Letter of support follows similar move by City of North Vancouver

What was previously thought to be a flu shot fraud was actually a booking error, West Shore RCMP confirmed Jan. 27. (Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATED: Flu shot fraud actually booking error by Colwood London Drugs

West Shore RCMP previously said error was work of fraudsters

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed as Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria’ Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

A property at 1224 Richardson St. in Victoria is the subject of a rezoning application that seeks permission to build three low-rise buildings with 24 units, including four that would rent for below market rate. (Google Streetview)
Victoria development in Fairfield features subsidized housing element

Public hearings this Thursday (Jan. 28) for proposals on Richardson Street and Heywood Avenue

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
(B.C. government photo)
POLL: Would you like to see restrictions on travel to B.C. from other provinces?

With a host of more virulent strains of COVID-19 appearing across the… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Most Read