Metchosin councillor Andy MacKinnon has thrown his hat into a ring that boasts multiple notable names.
MacKinnon will carry the B.C. Green Party banner in the upcoming provincial election in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding and will face opposition from Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins (B.C. Liberals) and Pacific Centre Family Services Association executive director Mitzi Dean (NDP).
The seat has been held by the NDP’s Maurine Karagianis since 2005, although the boundaries have been redrawn since the 2013 election.
“It was a difficult decision (to run),” MacKinnon told the Gazette. “I got into municipal politics simply to deal with issues in Metchosin, but when I found that the two larger parties…didn’t have policies to address what I consider to be some of the important environmental and economic issues of our time, I thought it might be an opportunity to have some influence.”
The rookie councillor has written numerous books about plants of western North America and is an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University, where he was given an honorary doctor of science degree in 2013.
“I think we need to change the way that we do things on Vancouver Island if we want to receive a greater return from our resources and create and leave more opportunities for the next generation,” he said.
MacKinnon hopes he can continue in his regular duties on council during the race, but says he will request a leave of absence from council should juggling both roles prove to be too difficult.