Home Election Tracker BC Green Party BC Greens launch their Langford-Juan de Fuca candidate

BC Greens launch their Langford-Juan de Fuca candidate

Camille Currie is the BC Green candidate for the (yet to be announced) by-election in Langford-Juan de Fuca

Thursday April 6, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated April 9, 2023]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

The BC Greens were highly charged with excitement today to launch their candidate for the pending by-election in Langford-Juan de Fuca.

They made the announcement in the downtown Inner Harbour area at the The Inn on Laurel Point, hoping that more nearby legislative press gallery media would attend in person. Not many did (noting this being the day ahead of the Easter long weekend).

sonia furstenau, bc greens
BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, April 6, 2023 in Victoria. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Introduced by BC Green Leader Sonia Furstenau, the BC Green candidate for Langford-Juan de Fuca is Camille Currie. She lives in Langford, where she operates a personal training business and her husband owns a marine repair business in the west shore.

Currie is the founder and President of Canada Pacific Health Care Matters Society (known as BC Health Care Matters). In January 2023, Doctors of BC presented Currie with the award for Excellence in Health Promotion by an individual for her work on health care.

Big shoes to fill in Langford-Juan de Fuca:

The upcoming by-election in the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding is, of course, gaining increasing attention as the former MLA was John Horgan, who served as the west shore riding’s MLA for 18 years (five terms during 2005 to 2023) and as BC’s popular and enigmatic 36th premier during 2017 to 2022. His active career with the NDP has spanned over 30 years (and continues in the background as ‘John from Langford’), including that as a political staff employee for 12 years.

camille currie, bc green
Camille Currie announced her intention to run as the BC Green candidate in the 2023 Langford-Juan de Fuca by-election, at a launch event April 6, 2023 in Victoria. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Horgan’s last day as MLA was just last week, at the provincial government’s fiscal year-end on March 31, 2023. There has been a series of ‘last speeches’ by the popular public figure (which went on for months), after Horgan announced his departure from the stress load of front-line politics after beating cancer a second time.

The sign is down from the former John Horgan constituency office on Jacklin Road, and the office functionality is offline. Urgent provincial constituency matters in Langford and Sooke may be handled in the neighbouring constituency, at the office of Mitzi Dean, MLA (Esquimalt-Metchosin).

Now political attention turns to who will fill the big MLA shoes in the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding that has a fast-growing population, a significant recent change-over in Langford municipal leadership, a booming housing sector amidst a housing-availability crisis, a doctor shortage (similar to most places in BC but additionally challenging due to surging population growth), and an overloaded school district (where to put all those new students?).

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Up against Parmar:

Currie comes into the local political picture under the BC Greens banner. But she will be up against the expected NDP candidate Ravi Parmar who has been Horgan’s fave since Parmar was in elementary school in Langford. Barely into his university years, Parmar had local NDP support that ushered him into public education leadership as a trustee on the Sooke School District 62 (SD62) board, where he was quickly swept upward into the chair’s role which he has held for now about eight years.

john horgan, ravi parmar
MLA John Horgan still working the local political angle for his hand-picked replacement candidate, Ravi Parmar, showing off flags outside the new Centre Mountain Lellum Middle School in Langford, Jan 31, 2023. [web]

Parmar has been seen at Horgan’s side on numerous political occasions. Most recently that was on March 31 at the SD62 office, announcing some seismic upgrades for the school in Port Renfrew. They also chummed around a few months ago outside one of the new schools in Langford with BC and Canadian flags in hand before Parmar embarked on a humanitarian mission to Ukraine.

The NDP stronghold in the geographically large Langford-Juan de Fuca is deep. Not only in Langford itself, but also in the Sooke and Juan de Fuca areas west of Langford. [Note: a proposed boundary change would see Langford decoupled from Sooke in a future provincial election.] Horgan had a fondness for Sooke that strengthened his voter base there. Parmar might not have the same natural interface with the long-time semi-rural Sooke community but the NDP support through Horgan’s connections and the deep reach of SD62 connections will probably stand him in good stead there.

BC Greens for Camille:

“With an education in political science and economics, Camille has spent most of her life living on Vancouver Island and now calls Langford home. She has held a number of positions in the public, private and volunteer sector, and is known for being a conscientious, articulate and committed team member who values integrity above all,” it was stated in the BC Greens news release today about Camille Currie as their Langford-Juan de Fuca candidate.

BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau today said that the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding needs a “positive, forward-thinking and solutions oriented” leader who “understands the challenge of life today”, which she itemized as the doctor shortage, housing crisis, and cost of living challenges.

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In her cause to promote BC Health Care Matters, Currie has held rallies, public meetings, and public advocacy campaigns.

At the podium:

Today at her announcement of intention to be the candidate for Langford-Juan de Fuca, Currie said the role of MLA “requires and demands transparency, accountability, collaboration and speaking up for the people”. She identified herself as a changemaker. She said she would “listen to the community’s needs and advocate for them in the legislature”.

There’s a big difference between bringing one issue to the attention of the public and knowing a community deeply on a political level. Currie feels she can “effectively represent the public’s needs and achieve impactful changes for residents of British Columbia”.

She delivered a few emotionally-charged descriptions about people dealing with not having a family doctor. Even though she says she will focus on “what the community needs”, Currie runs the danger of being a single-issue candidate. She described herself as a parent and daughter, resident and taxpayer in Langford, and small business owner, but within a breath returned to the doctor shortage issue in expressing her concern about the health of children and seniors. She was born in Metchosin and now lives in Langford. “This is where I am from.”

earth day, langford

Currie said that in BC “health care has become a privilege for the few”. That’s something BC’s Premier and Health Minister as a champion of universal health care might take issue with. She insisted that health care is the top issue in Langford but also mentioned affordability, sustainability, and environment.

Pushing a change in government:

For the past several months there has been a swell of opinion on Twitter about how the current NDP government has been shortchanging British Columbians on the health care file.

Naturally, the BC Liberals would hope to unseat the long-standing NDP MLA leadership in Langford-Juan de Fuca. [Note: The BC Liberals are now changing their party name to BC United — as voted on in November 2022, with the official rollout announcement coming up April 12, 2023].

While the BC Greens will get traction with the doctor shortage issue, any BC Liberal (BC United) candidate would also have moneyed organizational power behind them in this riding. The Langford Juan de Fuca Liberal Riding page on Facebook has been mute on that so far.

Currie said today that if people want to send “a very clear message to this government that we need change and action now” then electing her is the way to do that. But she might be opening things up for a BC Liberal (BC United) candidate to come right up the middle, knocking out both NDP and Green on the progressive side of things.

It’s unknown yet if the BC Conservatives will run a candidate in Langford-Juan de Fuca; they posted online on March 15 that they’re hoping potential candidates will come forward for Langford-Juan de Fuca as well as Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.

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By-election date(s):

The by-election date for Langford-Juan de Fuca has not been set yet. Premier David Eby has up to six months to call any by-election after an MLA resigns. The MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant (Melanie Mark) also recently resigned, providing the opportunity for BC to experience two by-elections in the same 2023 time period.

john horgan, melanie mark
Two MLAs have announced their resignations, kickstarting the byelection process in Langford-Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Mount Pleasant.

Elections are not usually held in summer, as many people are away and possibly disinterested in politics while taking time off with their families.

“We’ll move quickly to call a by-election because Juan de Fuca and the East Side of Vancouver need representation in the legislature, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing who will step up,” Eby said on March 17 about candidates who might run in what are strong NDP ridings.

John Horgan has held the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding for 18 years (2005-2023), while Melanie Mark held the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant riding from 2016 to this year. Horgan’s resignation came after a battle with cancer, and Mark’s resignation was rooted in a culture-clash.

If Ravi Parmar wins as MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca that would open up a seat on the Sooke School District 62 board of education (in the Belmont Zone which represents voters in Langford, Colwood, Highlands and Metchosin), and thereby lead to a by-election at the school board level in the west shore.

lanford, juan de fuca, map
Electoral area map for Langford-Juan de Fuca.


Updates on the 2023 BC by-elections will be posted in the ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS BY-ELECTIONS ARCHIVE.

===== RELATED:

Seismic upgrades or more for SD62 school in Port Renfrew (Mar 31, 2023)

Replacing Horgan & Mark: two key BC by-elections this year (Feb 24, 2023)

John Horgan wraps up 18 years in BC elected politics (Feb 9, 2023)

Decoupling of Langford and Sooke in proposed new BC electoral boundaries (Nov 22, 2022)



mary p brooke
Mary P Brooke, Editor, Island Social Trends

Island Social Trends emerged in mid-2020 from a preceding series of publications by founder/editor Mary P Brooke and published by Brookeline Publishing House Inc, covering news of the Vancouver Island region, BC and national issues through a socioeconomic lens.

The publication series began with MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), then morphed to a weekly print newspaper Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and then into the weekly PDF/print West Shore Voice News (2014-2020). The news at IslandSocialTrends.ca (2020 to present) is entirely online.

The mission statement from day one in 2008 has been to contribute to a knowledge-based economy and society, as a way to improve conditions for people and communities.

Among many other qualifications, Mary Brooke holds a B.Sc. in Foods & Nutrition, as well as Certificate in Public Relations, and an industry certificate in digital marketing. She now reports with the BC Legislative Press Gallery.