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Student vote sees very different outcome in Langford

Mock election encourages children’s civic interest
Student Vote elections are run through CIVIX and take place in participating schools. Students are taught the process of how to vote, including looking at each candidate’s viewpoints before hitting the polls. (Black Press Media file photo)

If it were up to the kids, the results from this municipal election would look a little different, especially in Langford.

The Student Vote, run by CIVIX – an organization that seeks to encourage children to engage with civics – held student elections at a number of schools throughout the West Shore, seeing children cast ballots for both their municipal council and their school district trustees. These ballots aren’t official but were tallied up to determine the students’ picks.

The results were quite different in Langford.

Stew Young would have been re-elected mayor based on the student vote. Students from Crystal View Elementary, Belmont Secondary, Lakewood Elementary, Lighthouse Christian Academy, Millstream Elementary and Royal Bay Secondary School gave Young 237 votes versus Scott Goodmanson’s 175.

He’d be joined by an entirely female council, with two of Young’s Community First Slate members joining him, Shirley Ackland (158) and Norma Stewart (143). Only two of the Langford Now slate made the cut, with Kimberly Guiry (146) and Colby Harder (199).

Long-serving councillor Denise Blackwell, who ran as an independent and wasn’t re-elected in the municipal election, would be returning to council chambers in this version. Blackwell received 150 votes, with long-serving Sooke District trustee Wendy Hobbs also being voted in with 196 votes.

In Colwood, students generally saw eye-to-eye with their elders. Doug Kobayashi (276) beat out the incumbent Rob Martin (118) for the mayor’s seat, and there was only one change on council, with Steven MacAskill, a recent graduate from Belmont Secondary, who was voted in with 192 votes, meaning Misty Olsen missed out in his place. The other elected councillors were David Grove (198), Ian Ward (177), Kim Jordison (177), and re-elected councillors Cynthia Day (203) and Dean Jantzen (188).

Students from David Cameron Elementary, John Stubbs Memorial, Royal Bay Secondary and Sangster Elementary voted on the Colwood side.

In View Royal, students at Eagleview Elementary copied their parent’s answers when it came to voting for council. Students also voted long-time Mayor David Screech (2) out in favour of Sid Tobias (23). Joining Tobias on council would be John Rogers (19), Don Brown (15), Gery Lemon (14), Damian Kowalewich (11), Ron Mattson (11) and Alison MacKenzie (7), as was the case in the election.

For the Sooke School District, students picked Ravi Parmar, Trudy Spiller, Russ Chipps, Cendra Beaton and Mary Brooke from the Belmont zone (students were able to vote for five candidates). From the Milnes Landing zone, Allison Watson and Amanda Dohwy topped the polls, but the students voted in Philip Ney over Ebony Logins.

READ MORE: 2022 Election Coverage

About the Author: Goldstream News Gazette Staff

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