Wednesday April 12, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC
EDITORIAL: Political insights by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
Today in Langford, long-time NDP supporter Ravi Parmar officially announced his candidacy to run for MLA in Langford-Juan de Fuca.
He has long been in former Premier John Horgan’s pocket and that of the Langford business community (under Stew Young’s guidance) for years, as well as the education community through his role as trustee on the Sooke School District 62 board (where he’s been chair since 2017).
Parmar is a senior provincial government employee (currently a senior ministerial advisor to the Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation), where he has built a civil service career. In past years he also worked in the Horgan constituency office and on several of Horgan’s re-election campaigns.
Horgan was MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca since 2005 and served as this province’s 36th Premier during 2017 to 2022.
Parmar will undoubtedly take advantage of the NDP stronghold that Horgan has built in the west shore over the last 18 years. And while Horgan says he is now ‘just John from Langford’ he is still taking part in various provincially-supported announcements such as the one about salmon protection in Sooke last week (posted online by Parmar).
Candidates in the race:
Now there are two candidates in the Langford-Juan de Fuca by-election race. The BC Greens declared their candidate Camille Currie last week. The BC Liberals (once their party name is officially changed to BC United this evening) will likely announce their candidate soon. The BC Conservatives have been looking for a candidate.
While the NDP have many reasons to feel confident about success for Parmar as their next MLA in Langford-Juan de Fuca, there could be substantial vote-splitting in the upcoming by-election.
Premier David Eby has not yet called the by-election date. Horgan’s resignation was only just two weeks ago (March 31 was his last day).
Parmar stepping back as school board chair:
During the nomination period and by-election campaign Parmar will be taking a leave of absence from his position as SD62’s board chair but seems to be continuing in his government employment, which for some reason doesn’t strike anyone as a conflict of interest. Today at the nomination meeting Parmar reportedly said he will revisit his stepping-back from being SD62 board chair; if he wins, carrying both roles would no doubt be inappropriate.
Meanwhile, SD62 Vice-Chair Amanda Dowhy will be taking over as chair. She is a first-term trustee with a voter base in the Sooke side of the SD62 voter footprint. Parmar was re-elected to SD62 in October 2022 from the Belmont Zone side of SD62 (Langford, Colwood, Highlands and Metchosin), knowing full well he wouldn’t be serving long before running for the MLA spot.
Shades of moving on to other interests… Parmar didn’t manage to secure SD62 board support to establish a formal working relationship during his mission to Ukraine earlier this year; he went to the war zone independently (with former SD62 board vice-chair Bob Beckett and others) but with the board’s blessing to represent the board.
Attending at the nomination meeting today were former SD62 trustees Bob Beckett and Dianna Seaton, both deeply connected with the Langford business community.
Also attending was Mitzi Dean, MLA (Esquimalt-Metchosin) who has a wide footprint in the west shore, and former Langford City Councillor Lanny Seaton.
Also present at today’s announcement was Hans Fredericksen who was a long-time Horgan constituency worker.
Updates on the 2023 BC by-elections will be posted in the ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS BY-ELECTIONS ARCHIVE.
===== ABOUT THE WRITER & ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Mary P Brooke is the editor and publisher of Island Social Trends as published daily at islandsocialtrends.ca.
Ms Brooke has been covering the news of politics, business, education and communities through a socioeconomic lens since 2008 on south Vancouver Island (previously as West Shore Voice News, and before that both Sooke Voice News and MapleLine Magazine).
Ms Brooke followed and wrote extensively about the COVID pandemic during 2020-2022. She has covered Sooke School District 62 (SD62) in-depth since 2014, and was an SD62 candidate in the October 2022 election cycle (SD62 Belmont Zone – Langford, Colwood, Metchosin, Highlands). She participates with the BC Legislative Press Gallery.
Among other qualifications, Ms Brooke holds a health sciences B.Sc., a university Certificate in Public Relations, and an industry certificate in digital marketing. In many ways head of her time, Mary Brooke’s company Brookeline Publishing House Inc won an innovative award from National Post Business in 2000 for launching an e-learning portal that ended up running for many years (1998 to 2012).