BC 2020 Election Spotlight: Youth Candidates!
As part of the Global Shapers Vancouver #ShapetheVote initiative to elevate young candidates and youth voices, this article aims to feature youth candidates running in the BC Election. *As a note, this is also a work-in-progress with updates daily. If you have any information on candidates’ ages, biographies or if we are missing people, please let us know and we’ll work to update it.
The 2020 BC Election is happening on October 24th. That’s just 4 days away! For more information on when and where to vote, visit http://wheretovote.elections.bc.ca :)
On October 14th, we hosted Shaping Our Future: a BC Election Debate on Youth Issues in partnership with Apathy is Boring, CityHive, and Generation Squeeze. This debate was an opportunity for candidates to share the plans of their respective parties when it comes to issues faced by youth across the province. A big thank you to moderator Neetu Garcha, Global BC Anchor; David Eby, BC NDP candidate for Vancouver-Point Grey and current Attorney General of British Columbia; Annemieke Holthuis, BC Greens candidate for Victoria-Swan Lake, and Jas Johal, BC Liberals candidate for Richmond-Queensborough.
On October 20th, we released our latest episode of Shape the Conversation, our podcast where we amplify new voices and explore relevant youth issues in our community. We talked to two youth candidates running in #BCelxn2020, @harrison4nv and @tesiccatruong ; where we discussed why they decided to run, what they’re fighting for, and what their experience has been running as young candidates. Note: A couple of BC Liberal candidates were contacted, but were unfortunately unavailable.
This post will now be devoted to building youth momentum and shining a much deserved spotlight on some of the youth candidates in the ramp up to Election Day.
New Democratic Party (NDP)
Jaeden Dela Torre, Richmond North Center, 19 years old
Jaeden Dela Torre is a passionate voice for our community and young people across British Columbia. He is committed to fighting for the issues that matter in our community — affordable housing, stronger services, and building a stronger, cleaner future.
At 19, Jaeden already has a track record of fighting for an inclusive Richmond. In 2018, he organized and participated in a youth “sleep out” in front of city hall, to advocate for supportive housing in Richmond. He was a key part of building a coalition to support the project being built — and it is now home to 40 residents.
Spencer Chandra Herbert, Vancouver West-End, < 39 years old
Spencer Chandra Herbert was first elected as the MLA for Vancouver-Burrard in 2008 in a by-election, and then elected as the first MLA for the new riding of Vancouver-West End in 2009. Spencer was then re-elected in 2013 and 2017. He serves as the Chair for the Rental Task Force.
Spencer served as the Official Opposition spokesperson for Arts, Tourism & Culture, Film and TV, and PAVco. He previously served as Opposition Critic for the Ministry of the Environment, and the B.C. Lottery Corporation and Gaming Policy.
A strong community activist, Spencer was voted Vancouver’s Unsung Hero by readers of the Westender, and twice voted Best MLA by readers of the Georgia Straight. Spencer has stood up for renters facing illegal evictions and his work to reduce homelessness led to the founding of Vancouver’s Rent Bank. Spencer’s advocacy for equality and human rights led to the adoption of legislation explicitly protecting transgender people in BC’s Human Rights Code. He has also been an active voice for the environment, and worked to have the Pacific Salmon adopted as British Columbia’s Official Fish.
Spencer’s work for the creative economy and tourism industries led to the highest level of support for the B.C. Arts Council in B.C.’s history, and the restoration of an industry-led tourism marketer. Spencer served as an elected Vancouver Park Board commissioner from 2005 to 2008. Before becoming an MLA, Spencer was an award-winning artist and arts producer working primarily in theatre and dance. He was the associate producer of the United Nations World Urban Festival.Born and raised in Vancouver, Spencer lives in the West End with his partner Romi, a community developer
Kelly Greene, Richmond-Steveston, < 39 years old
Kelly Greene is a champion for our Richmond community and is fighting for you, to make sure our recovery is centred on people and the services they need. She has a proven track record on City Council and in our community, connecting and working with people to get things done. Kelly delivers on commitments, whether that is protecting our schools or saving Richmond farmland from rampant speculation.
Kelly will be a strong voice for Richmond-Steveston as she takes on the critical issues for our community. That means making sure our infrastructure, hospitals, and services keep up with our growing population, making sure families have the housing and child care they need, making life more affordable, and protecting the Fraser River and our environment to build a cleaner, stronger future.
Katrina Chen, Burnaby-Lougheed, < 39 years old
Katrina Chen was elected as the MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed in May 2017. She was sworn in as the Minister of State for Child Care in July 2017.
Prior to her election as an MLA, Katrina served as a Trustee on the Burnaby Board of Education, and worked in both provincial and federal constituency offices for over 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University with a major in political science and a minor in history, as well as a certificate in Immigration Laws, Policies and Procedures from the University of British Columbia.
Katrina has also worked as a community organizer with ACORN, emceed for major cultural festivals, and volunteered as an executive member for several local non-profit organizations. Katrina was born and raised in Taiwan, and moved to British Columbia many years ago.
As the mother of a young son, Katrina understands that quality, affordable child care gives children a strong foundation for the future and keeps our economy and communities moving by giving parents the option to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.
Amelia Hill, West Vancouver-Capilano, < 30 years old
Ameila will work hard to build a better future for all of us. As someone who has lived on the North Shore all her life, Amelia is committed to building a strong community where everyone can thrive. And she knows how to deliver results — as the youngest Head Coach in the BC Games, Amelia led her team to win the most medals in their zone. Amelia brings that same dedication and drive from her work in sports to making life better for people.
Laura Parent, Prince George-Valemount, < 30 years old
Laura Parent is an industrious, energetic and dedicated person. She believes strongly in the value of quality, accessible healthcare for everyone, especially as we grapple with the quickly evolving realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a UNBC political science student, she understands the importance of having an NDP government with a strong mandate in order to fight for what matters the most to people.
Bryn Smith, Surrey-White Rock, < 30 years old
I’m 25 years old and I grew up and went to school in South Surrey. I have a master’s degree in political science and I’m in the process of obtaining my teacher’s qualification.
Like many young people I’m concerned about the world we live in and which my generation will inherit. We are concerned about climate change, and the devastating fires to the south of us were a reminder of the huge challenges we face now and in the future.
I’m concerned about income inequality, and the fact that young people face the future with large debts from their education costs. I’m concerned about homelessness. I’m concerned that young families struggle to find affordable housing. Equally, I’m concerned that older citizens in our community are struggling to make ends meet, and they are missing their grandchildren because housing close to grandma is not affordable.
I believe that I have a responsibility as a young citizen from this community to engage in politics. I had a choice: to either complain from the sidelines or to ask for your support to bring commitment, energy, and a new voice to our provincial politics.
Justin M. J. Kulik, Kelowna-Lake Country, < 30 years old
Justin Kulik is dedicated to fighting for people in Kelowna-Lake Country. As a university student, he is very supportive of the BC NDP government’s Access Grant program, which makes it more affordable for people to get a post-secondary education.
Tesicca Chi-Yun Truong, Vancouver-Langara, < 30 years old
Tessica Truong is proud to live in Vancouver-Langara and is working hard to build a brighter future for the community. From affordable housing, to fighting the climate crisis, to building partnerships across the community that make a real difference — Tessica is fighting for you. She founded CityHive, a non-profit organization that directly engages young people when it comes to important decisions that affect their lives.
Bowinn Ma, North Vancouver-Lonsdale, 35 years old
Bowinn has worked hard to improve life for people in North Vancouver-Lonsdale in her three years as MLA. Bowinn has used her experience as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng) to improve transportation on the North Shore, and has been a champion for housing affordability, child care, and climate action.
Grace Lore, Victoria-Beacon Hill, 35 years old
Grace Lore is a mother of two and is proud to live in Victoria-Beacon Hill. Grace teaches at the University of Victoria and is a community organizer, anti-violence advocate, and researcher. Community means everything to Grace — she sits on the Fernwood, North Park, and Quadra Village neighbourhood planning group, is a volunteer at the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, a member of a national advisory panel for Canadian Women’s Foundation, and an Affordable Fernwood organizer.
At UVic, Grace teaches Canadian politics, gender and politics, and research methods. Her current research includes social media harassment and online violence. Outside the academic world, Grace supports not-for-profit organizations to engage with community and navigate systemic change. Her recent work includes sexual assault response policy with the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre.
Jon Ellacott, Vancouver-West End, 29 years old
Jon was born in Nanaimo and was raised on a Salt Spring Island farm by his loving grandparents. Chores and farm labor were a regular responsibility during his childhood and this was formative for his development. He learned the value of hard work and the true inherent relationship between time and money at a very young age.
A passion for politics (encouraged by his Grandfather, John) manifested itself more and more from Jon’s teenage years into young adulthood. By the time he graduated high school he knew that political involvement would be a lifelong goal to strive for. Jon attended Capilano University to pursue this passion, studying Philosophy and Political Science.
Always known as a hard worker, professionally as an adult he put this ethic to good use. Jon has worked many long days, months and years on the tools constructing social infrastructure, residential housing, industrial infrastructure, commercial structures and civil projects. Eventually this experience paid off and he transitioned into construction management and business ownership. His past is the core of Jon’s personal ideology of fiscal conservatism and financial accountability.
With personal success, comes social responsibility. Jon has volunteered at various events, had the pleasure of working with the late great Jim Deva, volunteered with the SPCA and in federal and provincial politics.
Jon has a wife and toddler son, expecting another child in the new year
Corbin Kelley, Kootenay West, 19 years old
While I may only be 19 years old, I am still passionate about politics and especially the future of our beautiful province.
Born in Kamloops and growing up in Vernon I have deep roots in the interior, and I fondly remember coming to the Kootenays for summer holidays. I am now studying political science and economics at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. One thing politics has taught me is you should always be open to learning and understand that no one is right 100% of the time.
David Somerville, Victoria-Swan Lake, 25 years old
David Somerville was born and raised in Campbell River. A UVic grad, he’s lived in Victoria since 2015. And he’s resided in the Victoria-Swan Lake Riding since 2017. David is passionate about community. In Campbell River, he started volunteering in high school by mentoring teenagers in a community youth group. He continued his youth involvement as an Adult Youth Leader, while attending North Island College.
For the past 4 years. David has immersed himself as a political volunteer. At university, he served in roles of increasing responsibility as Membership Chair, Vice President and President of a political club — leading a highly productive team of students with a diversity of perspectives and regularly building consensus. He also networked with various levels of off-campus stakeholders and canvassed in Victoria. David’s election campaign experience includes duties as a Campaign Advisor and Campaign Canvasser. David’s other passion is Public Service. After graduating from the University of Victoria with a History Degree, he went to work at the Legislative Assembly of BC where he serves 3–4 BC Liberal Caucus MLAs as a Legislative Assistant. He’s comfortable excelling in the dynamic, high-energy environment of the Provincial Legislature.
Cole Anderson, Vancouver-Kingsway, 26 years old
Cole Anderson, 26, offers experience, energy, and a fresh approach to Vancouver-Kingsway. He plans to focus on the recovery and enhancement of neighbourhood small businesses, improvement of healthcare delivery and community support for local families, mental health and addiction issues, in addition to health, safety, and security for the elderly population.
Since childhood, Cole has had a strong affiliation and passion for the Kingsway neighbourhood. His grandparent’s home was situated directly alongside Trout Lake, which gave him the opportunity to spend much of his childhood immersed in the community with his brothers. After graduating from Vancouver College Catholic school in 2012, Cole began his political journey as an intern for the William J. Clinton Foundation in New York. He was humbled to have been selected as one of only 13 students for the assignment, chosen from thousands of applicants worldwide. During his time with President Clinton, Cole mainly focused on sustainable growth initiative and foreign policy.
After this formidable introductory experience, Cole earned a degree in Political Science and History from UCLA. While completing his degree in California, Cole became an intern and volunteer coordinator for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign at the Democratic headquarters in Santa Monica, California. The months Cole spent working on the campaign allowed him to learn from some of the most effective political and public service advisors in the world.
Professionally, Cole has worked in Vancouver’s financial district and for a local startup company. His hands-on experience in finance and small business equips him to play an active role in BC’s economic recovery as the MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway. Cole is proud to be a supporter of Tuberous Sclerosis Canada and The Epilepsy Foundation of Canada, inspired by his brother’s struggle with brain seizures as a child.
Helen Poon, Mid Island-Pacific Rim, < 39 years old
As a small business owner and affordable housing advocate, Port Alberni city councillor Helen Poon is driven by her dedication to her community.After obtaining a law degree from SOAS University of London, Helen pursued her passion for serving the most vulnerable by developing safe, well-maintained affordable homes in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She also founded Barnsbury Capital, an organization dedicated to providing housing options free of discrimination for members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, in partnership with refugee and immigrant organizations.
Inspired by its beauty and an economic vision for the future of the town, Helen moved to Port Alberni and became an owner-operator of a local hotel-pub — continuing her record of regional economic revival by restoring historic establishments.She has since been a champion for the Alberni Valley Hospice Society by supporting its fundraising efforts, is a former board member of the Literacy Alberni Society and the Young Professionals of the Alberni Valley, and supports the Port Alberni overdose-prevention Community Action Team.
She was elected as a city councillor for Port Alberni in 2018 and was subsequently elected by her peers as a Director-at-Large on the board of the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) — providing her with an opportunity to further understand and advocate for municipal issues throughout the province.Helen is dedicated to seeking a diversity of perspectives and unique ways to contribute to the Mid Island-Pacific Rim region through her legal background, entrepreneurial spirit, and community service.
Mehran Zargham, Port Coquitlam, < 39 years old
Mehran Zargham is a project manager at BC Ferries, family man, and active member of the tri-cities community who strongly believes in public service.
Mehran entered BCIT’s Mechanical Engineering program in 2011 and right away was motivated to become a dedicated and involved student. During his first and second year, he joined BCIT’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB), helping it grow from being merely a campus club to becoming an initiative recognized by EWB’s National Office in Toronto. Mehran organized the first ever Fair Trade Soccer Game at BCIT and helped spread fare trade in the campus by promoting ethical beans and also fare trade equipment to be used.
In his second and third year of studies, Mehran was the president of the Mechanical Engineering Student Society (MESS) and team member of the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Baja project. The objective of Baja is to design, test, and build a recreational off-road vehicle (yes, from scratch!) and compete with it in an annual competition alongside other universities from across North America. Mehran was part of the first team that put BCIT’s Baja team on the map.
After graduating from the degree program in 2015 Mehran worked as a project engineer for a Meridian Marine Inc., a shipbuilding company, where he delivered one of BC’s innovative renewable energy projects–Water Wall Turbine–which, with the help of tidal energy, delivered electricity to Dent Island. Around that time, Mehran applied to UBC’s Masters of Engineering (MEng) program, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Working part-time to complete the project for Meridian Marine Inc., Mehran was able to finish his master’s degree.
Before graduating he received a job offer from Lloyd Register to work around the world as a surveyor. Mehran spent the next year and half working in Toronto, London, Southampton, Venice, and many other cities, where he gained valuable experience. He came back to Vancouver after getting hired as a project manager for BC Ferries, where he is currently working. Mehran is responsible for managing multiple ship refits in planning, executing, and closing stages, and he works closely with his project team to develop preliminary and detailed business cases and deliver projects on time. Mehran has been a resident of the Tri-Cities since 2003. He loves playing soccer, chess and swims regularly. He is an active member of the Iranian community in Vancouver.
Brennan Day, Courtenay-Comox, < 39 years old
Growing up in the Comox Valley, Brennan Day happily took childhood in stride — fishing, skiing, and exploring vast forests throughout the Comox Valley; indoors, he played standup bass with the Comox Valley Youth Music Centre.While attending Highland Secondary School in Comox he clinched a spot to represent Vancouver Island at the Forum for Young Canadians in Ottawa for a one-week academic adventure into the world of politics — with Parliament Hill as the classroom, and Ministers, MPs, Senators, and business leaders the teachers for hundreds of like-minded youth from across the nation.
It was then, that Brennan got hooked on the affairs of his country, his province and his community. Soon after, he attended Vancouver Island University and the University of Calgary to focus on political science and international relations, which set him up to later volunteer on several local political campaigns and get involved in municipal politics.At age 21, Brennan took an unpaid summer internship at a Canadian energy company in Kazakhstan and worked his way up the ladder. At one point, he managed a staff of 600 personnel, focusing on project management, purchasing and logistics in the central Asian country.
After several years of successfully running his own Canadian-based company that provided overseas training, parts and consultants for industrial and energy operations, Brennan and his wife, Jennifer, returned to the Comox Valley to start a family. Three years ago, around the time his son was born, he brought his business expertise to a local concrete supplier.Brennan has always believed in hard work. As sales manager at Hyland Precast, he has been known to show up in the wee hours of the morning to swing a hammer with his team to get the job done and delivered to the client — on time.
He believes that hard work should be rewarded, an incentive for decent-working women and men in the Comox Valley to get ahead, and in turn, for businesses to grow and flourish and provide steady employment. Throughout his career, Brennan has developed a refined skillset of focusing on managing and overseeing projects, from conception to a finished product, and working with teams based on respect. Coupled with this business acumen, Brennan is a strong advocate of community service to improve the lives of those needing support.
He sits on the board of a local mental health organization, which dovetails with his philosophy: it’s wrong to simply house the homeless in tents and run-down motels without support programs. Brennan believes providing meaningful treatment for mental problems, creating a win-win for communities increasingly plagued by drugs, theft and violence — typical behavior of many with mental illnesses.
And to financially assist all walks of life and businesses, Brennan stands behind his party’s election promise to eliminate the PST for one year and three per cent the following year. The plan, he believes, will lower costs for small businesses, encourage spending in the community and ease financial burdens for low-income families.
Brennan strongly believes that the Courtenay-Comox riding needs a strong voice in Victoria to create a community that fosters entrepreneurship, and to push for legislation to create opportunities for small businesses to grow and prosper. And he will be a strong advocate for providing better housing and programs for hard-working families and disadvantaged seniors so that they no longer struggle and can live their lives with dignity and pride.
Petra Veintimilla, Boundary-Similkameen, < 39 years old
Petra is the proud mother of two beautiful and energetic boys and the third generation in operating a small family business. She is a second term Town Councillor in Oliver, a Director on the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen and Chair of the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District.
Petra is a dedicated community volunteer and a community builder who believes in hard work, and in leaving things better off than she found them.
Matt Pitcairn, Richmond-Steveston, < 39 years old
Matt Pitcairn was born and raised in Steveston. He attended Lord Byng Elementary, Steveston High and McMath Secondary. He then went on to earn a BA in political science at the University of British Columbia.
Most recently, he was President and CEO of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce for 5 years and worked tirelessly with its Boards and committees during that time to modernize the Chamber’s member communications and administration. Matt has always been passionate about community-building and policy work that made Richmond and BC better. He brought that passion and commitment to his work with the City of Richmond parks department, working on Fraser River related challenges. He continued that commitment with his work in the BC Legislative Assembly where he spent time as a Legislative assistant doing policy work.
Matt’s commitment to Steveston and Richmond included working with the Richmond Caring Place Society, the Richmond City Centre Community Association, in addition to being actively involved with the Steveston Historic Society.
Matt is married to Vanessa Tong and together they have three beautiful children, two sons and a baby daughter, and well as a puppy and kitten. Family is a top priority for Matt and ensuring that his children have the best possible future.
Dilraj Atwal, Surrey-Green Timbers, < 39 years old
Dilraj Atwal grew up in Delhi, India with his grandparents and parents who are in the farming and trucking business. The family’s ancestral village is Chitti in Jalandhar, Punjab. He holds a bachelor’s degree with Majors in Philosophy and Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. After arriving in Canada in 2011, he worked in the banking industry and is now the successful owner of a residential construction company in Surrey.
In addition to his accomplished business career, he was a professional level cricket player in India and is a past member of the British Columbian provincial and Canadian national cricket teams. Dilraj is married to Samrit Hothi and they have two young children. He is proud to call Surrey home and is committed to being a strong voice for all of Surrey-Green Timbers in Victoria.
Kate O’Connor, Saanich South, 17/18 years old
Kate is 18 and a fierce advocate fighting for urgent climate action which includes Indigenous rights, food security and protecting local farmers. Kate represents a generation of young people who are done being ignored. They’re standing up and demanding their future is protected, so that they and their kids and grandkids don’t have to worry about choking on smoke, extreme weather events and food insecurity
Adam Bremner-Akins, Coquitlam Burke Mountain, 18 years old
While at Terry Fox Secondary, I led the first climate action strikes in the community. I went on to bring together candidates from the Port Coquitlam-Coquitlam and Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows electoral districts, in a Climate Strike on the Pitt River Bridge on the September 25th, day of global climate action. In October 2019, I co-moderated a debate centred on the environment between candidates from the Port Coquitlam-Coquitlam and Port Moody-Coquitlam electoral districts.
I am inspired by such activists as Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Bernie Sanders, Mumilaaq Qappap, and Laura Dupont. These people are not only strong leaders who care about their communities but individuals who use their public positions to fight for, among other things: environmental justice, youth representation, and a more equitable society.
Our society is currently facing multiple crises including climate collapse, housing affordability, opioid overdoses, and the voids in mental health and addiction resources. Only by moving to new ways of doing politics can we find solutions. I believe that I, along with my fellow young Greens, bring new ideas, diverse opinions, and a passion for change that can move the legislature in the ways we will need if we, as a Province are to come back stronger than before.
Harrison Johnston, North Vancouver-Seymour, 21 years old
Until the snap election was called, Harrison was studying to become a high school teacher. Harrison has spent the last two years volunteering as an organizer and mentor with Sustainabiliteens Vancouver. In this role, he was a lead organizer of the climate strike on September 27th, 2019 and Greta Thunberg’s visit to Vancouver in October, 2019. He has worked with city councilors and mayors across Metro Vancouver to advance climate action. Harrison has worked as a landscaper, a retail worker, a chairlift operator and a math tutor.
Samson Boyer, Columbia River-Revelstoke, 22 years old
Samson Boyer is running for the Greens in the local riding, he also ran for the party in 2017’s provincial election. He says climate change is his main focus, and he hopes to bring a youth injection to Victoria if he’s elected.
Mackenzie Kerr, Prince George Valemount, 23 years old
I’m running as the Green Party candidate in Prince George-Valemount because we need a strong voice in Victoria to hold the federal government accountable. I’m a 23 year old student at the University of Northern British Columbia who is honest, ethical and definitely not a professional politician. Prince George has been my home for thirteen years.
I understand the importance of the forest industry to our community. Over the past three summers, I have worked in the Stores department at Canfor’s Northwood pulp mill, working closely with all the trades at Northwood and implementing a battery recycling program. I will fight for a federal commitment to a sustainable forestry industry in our community, our province, and our country.
I also understand the importance of agriculture to Prince George-Valemount. My experience with the 4-H program as a National and Provincial Ambassador taught me the importance of local agriculture. My 4-H experience has also given me the skills to represent our riding in a serious, professional manner.
Prince George-Valemount definitely needs a person who puts us, the local residents, first. Unlike the NDP and Liberals, the Green Party does not force Green Party MLA’s to toe the party line. That’s important because I am deeply committed to putting Prince-George Valemount first.
I am also deeply committed to engaging young people in the future of Canada. That commitment led me to found the very successful Young Greens club at UNBC. This experience and my commitment to a sustainable future led to my election as the Sustainability Representative on the UNBC Student Society this February. More recently, I co-chaired the 2019 Walk for Alzheimer’s in Prince George, an experience that exposed me to our generous community of Prince George volunteers who dedicate themselves to making a difference.
Lastly, I have a keen interest in the electrification of transportation and as a student pilot I am eager to be part of the emerging era of electric aviation. Throughout my time at Beaverly Elementary School, College Heights Secondary School, College of New Caledonia, and now at UNBC, I have seen significant changes in our environment, from increasing numbers of forest fires to decreasing snow pack in the winter. I decided to run for the Green Party because it’s the only party that has a deep, credible commitment to solving the climate crisis. I will not be a politician who says one thing before the election, then does the opposite after — I am deeply committed to climate action. It’s my future after all.
The people of Prince George-Valemount need a strong, committed, honest person to represent us in Victoria. I am that person. I will bring a brave, strong “can do” voice to Victoria. I will not just be a voice for the party bosses in Prince George. I champion Green Party values because the Green platform is progressive, evidence-based, and provides practical climate action.
Jonah Timms, Fraser-Nicola, 26 years old
I grew up in British Columbia and my parents moved from Salt Spring Island to Clearwater when I was young. Both locales formed who I am today through my connection to the land and the closeness I feel to the natural world whenever I’m out on my many hikes that I take with my wife, Christina. This conservation ethic led me to obtain my Geography degree focusing on Environmental Sustainability. I was also the Digital Strategist for the Divest UVic movement on campus. I took a position with the BC SPCA in Victoria after I graduated. I spent two summers working for Parks Canada as a Park Interpreter in Jasper helping people from all around the world form connections with the wonderful wildlife we have in Canada and create the spark of a conservation ethic in others. This past winter I worked in New Zealand with the Department of Conservation removing invasive species and protecting their amazing flora and fauna. Nowadays, I reside in Lillooet where I am hoping to set down roots as I now work to bring government, First Nations, and industry together to come to solutions on balancing forestry practices, conservation, and ensuring that small communities continue to be an integral part of the mosaic of British Columbia. I’m excited to see the positive change that we can make and to see how those changes translate to having more young people involved with us across the province.
Nicola Spurling, Coquitlam-Maillardville, 30 years old
I am a public figure, a small business owner, a project manager, a political commentator, an LGBTQ2+ advocate, and an affordable housing advocate.
James Marshall, Vancouver-West End, 32 years old
James Marshall has been working with the Vancouver tech sector for the past ten years as an animator, artist, and technical artist in the cityâ€™s vibrant film and video game industry.
Heâ€™s also an avid musician, regularly performing in many of the cityâ€™s live music venues, and locally recording albums. For eight years he played as a member of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band drum line, and won three world championship titles during his time there.
James spends much of his time volunteering and advocating for ways to improve our political system to ensure that more people are able to feel well represented and proud of their vote.
Maayan Kreitzman, Vancouver-False Creek, 34 years old
Dr. Maayan Kreitzman is a sustainability scientist whose research focuses on the environmental, agronomic, and social dimensions of perennial crops and agricultural landscapes. Maayan is a coordinator and spokesperson with Extinction Rebellion Vancouver, where she organizes direct actions to raise awareness about the climate and ecological crisis. As a scientist, Maayan understands that the planetary emergency is so dangerous that we must do everything we can to prevent it, including risking our personal freedom with peaceful civil disobedience and arrest to oppose legally-sanctioned ecocide.
Maayan holds a PhD from the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC. She also obtained a BSc. in Biology from UBC and MSc. in Genetics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and completed a cycle with the SFU Semester in Dialogue program. She worked at the BC Cancer Agency’s Genome Sciences Centre as a bioinformatician before returning to UBC for her PhD.
Maayan has written in various publications and co-hosted the podcast UBC Insiders On Air, for which she and her co-host won the National Campus and Community Radio Association’s top award for a current affairs program in 2016. During her PhD, she served on her department’s student society and on the graduate student society for two years.
Maayan was born in Vancouver in 1986 and has lived here most of her life. She is a former member of the Israeli Green Party’s Jerusalem chapter where she was an active organizer, and a founding member of the Jerusalem Bar Kayma food co-op.
Stephanie Hendy, Vancouver-Langara, 38 years old
Stephanie grew up in Vancouver, born and raised in False Creek. Stephanie began her secondary education at Kitsilano High School, and graduated from one of the Vancouver School Board Adult Education Centres. Stephanie spent some time working low wage jobs until learning enough about herself to devote her life to improving the health of others. She recognized her unique disposition and felt it opened her up for greater empathy in working with her clients.
Stephanie went on to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, with a focus in Active health and Rehabilitation, from Simon Fraser University in 2013.
Stephanie has worked in public health and private health, in general fitness and chronic condition management, with people aged 18–86, and in Australia and Canada.
Jenn Neilson, Victoria-Beacon Hill, 39 years old
Jenn is a local organizer, artist activist, and longtime public servant in the education and arts and culture sectors. She has recently turned her attention to provincial politics in an effort to build resilient communities in the face of the climate crisis.
With HQ Collective, a grassroots advocacy organization, Jenn produces events, leads consultations with local residents, and presents findings to Victoria City Council, staff, community sponsors, and relevant advisory boards. As a direct result of her advocacy work, Victoria City Council voted unanimously to request that staff prepare amendments to both the zoning bylaw and the Official Community Plan to limit the permissible uses at 950 Kings Road to a school, park, community centre, gymnasium or fitness centre, daycare centre, art school, cultural centre, community garden or library.
Jenn is is the founder and artistic director of the Out There Art Festival, a distanced community and interactive art festival that took place in Victoria in August 2020. Jenn is passionate about equity, and has developed and run workshops on privilege, intersectionality, and healthy masculinity with Fouth Wave Solutions. She also has experience as a small business owner. In 2014 she raised over $20,000 on Kickstarter to launch Jill and Jack Kids, a new social enterprise making kids’ clothes with a unique fit and messages that go beyond pink and blue. Jenn grew up in North Delta, and now lives in Victoria with her family. She enjoys making the world a better place, one art project at a time.
Jordan Reichert, Victoria-Beacon Hill, 38 years old
Born and raised in Victoria, B.C., Jordan is an animal advocate, activist, and vegan community organizer in his home town. In the fall of 2015, he ran in the Canadian federal election in Victoria, B.C. for the Animal Protection Party of Canada.
He is the founder of the Victoria Horse Alliance and co-organizes a number of organizations and events including the Vancouver Island Vegan Association, Vegtoria Veg Fest, Animal Advocacy Camp, Pets OK B.C., Island Animal Liberation, Victoria Animal News, and the View Royal Rabbit Rescue. He has been employed at Island Health for the past 9 years and continues helping people experiencing mental health and addiction issues through their recovery.
After the 2015 federal election, Jordan became the West Coast Campaign Officer for the Animal Protection Party of Canada and is employed by the Animal Alliance of Canada. In 2014, Jordan graduated with distinction from the University of Victoria with a double major in sociology and philosophy.
He has written numerous papers, blogs, and given public presentations on the integration and struggles between animals and society. As well, he has often volunteered his videography, photography, graphic design, and editing skills to local environmental, social justice, and animal advocacy organizations in need of pro-bono support.
Jordan is an experienced community leader and advocate, and has presented to council many times on a variety of issues including animal advocacy, budgets, infrastructure, banning single use plastic bags, promoting a guaranteed basic income, recovery services, affordable and pet friendly housing.
Although Jordan is not yet a city councillor, he is regularly contacted by residents in Victoria for his advice and opinion on a variety of issues affecting them in the community which he is happy to help with.
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By Cecilia Pang — Cecilia is an avid writer that loves to empower youth, explore policy and the power of civic engagement, as well as engage in the arts.
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