We told everyone we met that they had to vote for her. And I grew up understanding that if you love a place, politics is one way to make a difference. My mom didn’t win, but throughout my childhood - and throughout my life - I’ve volunteered on political campaigns, covered them as a journalist and treated the X I get to mark on a ballot like a prized possession.
For almost the last decade my wife, Rayne, and I have lived in and fallen in love with Saanich. I also lived here when I was a student at the University of Victoria.
When the world was locked down I was reminded every day of how lucky we were to live here - how beautiful it is, how safe we feel in this community and how many fantastic friends we have.
It became clear that this is home and now I want to do my part to nurture - and improve - the place I love.
My home. Your home.
I recently served on the Saanich Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee and thought... I want to do more... It’s time to do more.
As the author of books on endangered orcas, endangered sharks, endangered forests and climate change, I’m passionate about environmental issues. If you visited the Royal BC Museum’s orca exhibit: Orcas: Our Shared Future - I wrote that.
I host a podcast - Skaana - where I interview scientists, environmentalists and activists about orcas, oceans, eco-ethics and the environment. So I’m always focused of the importance of protecting the natural world.
As an author, playwright, performer, filmmaker and someone who has served on and continues to serve on boards and committees for numerous national and regional arts organizations - I’m passionate about arts, culture and creativity and well aware of what artists and the people who support them bring to communities, neighbourhoods, schools and small businesses.
As an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria I’m aware of the concerns of students, the unique challenges they’re facing during these strange times and their contributions to making Saanich a special place to live and play.
As a renter in Saanich, I’m aware of - and living with - concerns around the importance of finding and maintaining affordable housing in these uncertain times.
As a former and, hopefully, future homeowner, I’m aware of the impact of property tax assessments, zoning shifts and the challenges faced by homeowners.
And as someone who has worked as a journalist and interviewed people for most of my life, I’m aware of the importance of listening.
If I’m fortunate enough to serve on Saanich Council, my top priority will be respecting and honouring the people of Saanich - and that means listening to you.
I never forgot my mom’s campaign slogan because it was positive, polite and so very her. When my wife, Rayne, and I decided I should run for Saanich council I asked my mom if she was okay with me borrowing it. She laughed and gave me her blessing. My mom asked the voters of Vancouver - who had the chance to elect ten councillors - to “save one vote” for her.
Today I’m asking you to do the same. Please save one vote for Mark Leiren-Young for Saanich Council and CRD - and I’ll do all I can to honour your trust.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about me and my campaign.