Kate O’Connor is running for the BC Green party in Saanich South. (Travis Paterson/News Staff) Kate O’Connor is running for the BC Green party in Saanich South. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

17 and Green, recent high school grad chasing Island MLA seat

Kate O’Connor impatient with government progress, running in Saanich South

Compared to the general population, Kate O’Connor’s time in provincial politics is above average.

Still 17, O’Connor has volunteered on two separate campaigns including that of provincial BC Green party leader Sonia Furstenau. As a Grade 12 student in the recent spring of COVID-19 she helped co-founded the SMUS Political Review magazine at her high school, St. Michaels University School.

Last week O’Connor was announced as the Saanich South candidate. O’Connor turns 18 on Oct. 9, 15 days before the Oct. 24 vote.

READ ALSO: The future is Green: South Island students vote unanimously on Green Party

“It’s a little intimidating but it’s time that youth stand up and take leadership and I’m not afraid to do that,” O’Connor said. “After [Furstenau’s] leadership campaign I wanted to keep going and they wanted me to stay involved.”

O’Connor volunteered for federal candidate Racelle Kooy’s campaign in 2019 and hosted an all-candidate forum at her high school. Now, she’s primed to be quite likely the youngest candidate to run for office as the BC Green candidate for Saanich South.

The SMUS Political Review she helped start continues to publish, a response to the impacts of the coronavirus on globalization and education.

At the forefront of her priorities are bringing an urgency to B.C. and Canada’s climate action and a focus on Indigenous rights, and food security. O’Connor is also against the Site C dam.

“NDP campaigned on stopping Site C,” O’Connor posted Saturday. “When they broke that promise, they chose the billionaire oil and gas industry over local farmers, Indigenous rights and ecosystems.”

O’Connor isn’t the only young one running for the Greens in election. Twenty-year-old Harrison Johnston is running for the Greens in North Vancouver-Seymour, and 23-year-old McKenzie Kerr is running for Prince George-Valemount.

Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor, 21, knows a thing about running as a youth. He door-knocked as an 18-year-old for Saanich’s 2017 bylection and was voted in at the 2018 general election when he became the region’s youngest councillor and CRD director. It isn’t easy to run as a teen and Taylor endorses all youth to get engaged in politics with so much of their future at stake.

READ MORE: Saanich teen looks to bring generational shift to council

“When I first ran for council I did have some people tell me that they thought I was too young or that I didn’t have enough experience,” Taylor said. “But I felt that this is my generation’s future on the line and we deserve a voice at the table.”

O’Connor is on a gap year after graduating in June with a plan to study politics at the University of Toronto next year.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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

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

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Just Posted

A bear similar to this black bear was spotted on Elk Lake Drive on Oct. 20 and is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich the night before. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear spotted several times in Saanich likely to be euthanized

Conservation officers still searching for bear reported near Elk Lake Drive

Frederick Lee and Eva Lillian Baker lived in Victoria from the 1930s until their passing. Now, their great nephew who lives in Birmingham, U.K. is asking for Victoria residents’ help to learn more. (Courtesy Derek Roft)
Don your detective hats Greater Victoria — a U.K. man wants your help

Derek Roft is on a mission to find out more about relatives that emigrated to Canada in 1912

Canadians have been spending more money, not to too mention more time on online technology, according to Statistics Canada. (Black Press Media File)
YouTube, other free streaming services big winners as Canadians spent more time online

More than four in 10 Canadians experienced at least one type of cyber-security incident

(Black Press Media file photo)
Be prepared: Know what to do in the event of a tsunami warning

Localized alert systems can provide potentially life-saving information

The Alberni-Clayoquot Recycling Depot is located on Third Avenue in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
EDITORIAL: It’s Waste Reduction Week in Canada. What are you doing to reduce waste?

How can you challenge yourself to assist in diverting more waste from the landfill?

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

A mature Garry oak fell onto Richmond Road on Oct. 13 near Camosun College Lansdowne campus. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Crashing Garry oaks raise urban tree concerns

Saanich responded to 59 tree-related calls

The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
Sexual assault suspect sought by West Shore RCMP

Police are looking for help identifying this man

A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
The end of double cupping: Tim Hortons ditches two cups in favour of one with sleeve

Most recycling facilities in Canada don’t recycle single use paper coffee cups because of a plastic lining

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer doctor Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s chief public health doctor says in the age of social media, fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading faster than the virus itself. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
VIDEO: Fake news creates serious issues for battling pandemic, chief public health doc says

Both Tam and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to be responsible about the information they share

A concept of homes on Ronald Road as part of the Clark-Medd project. (Lantzville Projects Ltd. image)
Lantzville moves along massive housing development as protesters rally outside district hall

Council passes third readings of OCP amendment for Clark-Medd project by 3-2 votes

A pair of students take part in the Greenways Land Trust Junior Streamkeeper program last year. Photo supplied by Greenways Land Trust
Greenways continues work with school groups in Campbell River despite pandemic

Environmental group has concerns with possible loss of volunteers, however

Most Read