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Is BC Green Party seeking to influence North Cowichan’s mayoral race?

“I actually don't believe political parties should play a role in local elections:” Rosalie Sawrie

BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley, has posted a selfie of herself with outgoing Mayor Al Siebring wearing an “I Vote Sawrie for Mayor” T-shirt.

Maeve Maguire, the Green Party’s chief of staff, has also posted a photo in which she is wearing the same T-shirt supporting candidate Rosalie Sawrie.

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It raises the question: is the Green Party seeking to influence the North Cowichan election? So far, no one from the party has provided an answer.

In a statement to sixmountains.ca, Sawrie said: “I have not received an endorsement from the Green Party nor am I seeking endorsements from any political parties. I actually don't believe political parties should play a role in local elections as it's important for local politicians to be able to work well with all levels of government across the political spectrum.”

Sawrie is running for mayor after completing her first four-year term as councillor. She finished fifth among six candidates elected to council in 2018.

Sawrie is up against Rob Douglas, who topped the polls in 2018, receiving 1,214 more votes than Sawrie.

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As an NDP candidate during the 2020 provincial election, Douglas lost to Furstenau by four percentage points. He was first elected to council in 2014.

Douglas and Sawrie both voted last month in favour of the new Official Community Plan. Siebring cast the only vote in opposition: https://bit.ly/3Dz0hEr Tek Manhas was not present for the vote.

Douglas and Sawrie disagreed in March 2021, however, on the important issue of when public consultation into future management of the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve should resume: https://bit.ly/3QPQfSs

Right-of-centre candidate John Koury, who ran unsuccessfully for council in 2018, is also running for the mayoralty.

Siebring is a former BC Conservative party president who won the North Cowichan mayoralty by 10 votes in 2018. He is moving to Alberta.

The following website provides links to posted North Cowichan campaign platforms, including how candidates can be reached: https://bit.ly/3eExhko .

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(Photos: Sonia Furstenau and Al Siebring; Rosalie Sawrie, Rob Douglas)

— Larry Pynn, Sept. 20, 2022

Al Siebring photo _edited.jpg