Posted by: Editor | April 7, 2011

Mr. Layton Goes to Esquimalt while Mr. Garrison hopes to go to Ottawa

Mr. Layton Goes to Esquimalt while Mr. Garrison hopes to go to Ottawa

-Esquimalt continues to get lots of love during the federal election campaign

By Tim Morrison 

As one of the top ten ridings to watch for all of Canada, our home constituency of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca is certainly getting a lot of attention. During the first week of the campaign, local Conservative candidate Troy DeSouza hosted Prime Minister Stephen Harper. And, this week, it was the NDP’s Jack Layton who made a local appearance, his second visit this year.

According to CFAX 1070 radio coverage of Layton’s visit, the NDP leader “blasted the Conservative record on health care; Senate appointments; and tax cuts for large corporations.” Layton also repeated his national campaign promises to provide tax incentives for small businesses to encourage job creation as well as to bolster the Canada Pension Plan, but refrained from commenting on any local issues within our community of Esquimalt. That speech will be left for NDP candidate Randall Garrison, whose fortunes are hoped to be bolstered by Layton’s stopover in Esquimalt.

NDPs Garrison

Garrison, an Esquimalt municipal Councillor, is the only Esquimalt resident to be on the ballot this time around. All the other candidates, including DeSouza, live elsewhere within the vast Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca riding.

Back at the beginning of this year when the election was still pure speculation, Garrison predicted a nail-biter of a campaign.

At that time, in an interview with Esquimalt Review, Garrison stated: “On the question of who will win, of course only the voters will decide that. I will say the Conservatives came close in Esquimalt- Juan de Fuca last time and are well-financed so they will obviously be the ones to beat in the race for an open seat.   I intend to run a strong campaign and offer a clear alternative to the Conservatives.  I think when voters take a close look at local candidates and national leaders, then the NDP will stand out as the right choice for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca.”

Garrison went on to point out the main differences between himself and DeSouza.

Conservatives DeSouza

“On policy, Troy and I will have our differences.  I favour federal support for commuter rail and rapid transit on the Lower Island and not the Mackenzie overpass.  I truly believe the rule on highways and overpasses is ‘build it and they will come.’  Unless we provide transportation alternatives, any additional road capacity created will be filled within months of completion.  As well, I am concerned about Troy ’s apparent endorsement of old style patronage politics where government members hand out extras to their ridings in return for support. My approach is to work together across partisan lines to get practical results which will make life a little easier and a little fairer for all in these hard times,” promised Garrison.

“I am encouraging Jack (Layton) to continue to put practical results for people ahead of political games and to deliver practical results for seniors, youth, veterans, and working families,” added Garrison. “One of the reasons I am running again is that I know that Jack is a leader who actually “gets” the situation ordinary Canadians are facing.”

When asked what he viewed as the top three federal issues for Esquimalt residents, Garrison listed “affordability issues, transportation, and fairness for veterans.”

“The federal government should act to provide some relief from the impact of the HST.  After all, both the federal Conservatives and Liberals voted for it. On transportation, I would like to see some support for commuter rail on the E & N.  On fairness for veterans, the federal government could act right now to stop clawing back disability and retirement benefits from veterans.”

“There is one thorny issue that is specific to the Township of Esquimalt and that is the arbitrary reduction in PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) that the Conservatives made this year,” added Garrison. “The federal government is supposed to pay Esquimalt a grant equivalent to what it would pay in property taxes each year based on assessments done by the BC Assessment Authority.  This year the federal government has chosen to pay less based on its own opinion that the assessment was too high.  The township is still in the midst of appealing this decision, but it is a concern that I think our MP should be monitoring.”

All eyes are on either Garrison or DeSouza to win with Desouza currently viewed as a very narrow front-runner. In addition to Garrison and DeSouza, the other candidates in the race are the Liberal’s Lillian Szpak of Langford and the Green’s Shaunna Salsman of Sooke.

One thing all the candidates can agree on is that this will be a very close race in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca. As local residents, our individual votes will have a real impact as to who will end up victorious on election night. While many voters across the country feel their votes make no difference in the final results; that certainly cannot be said of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca.



  1. NONE of these Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca candidates will make ANY comment on the incredibly wasteful, unnecessary $3/4 billion sewage plant that is planned for McLoughlin Point!! Why?? The federal government share is $350 million and the plant would be in the riding, a terrible black hole on the harbour. They don’t debate the sewage science because they KNOW that its a political decision, not science that has resulted in this crisis. They say “its mandated” so we can’t do anything about it they bleat – like somebody on Mars dictated it and not Parliament. What a hopeless bunch! Esquimalt residents and other CRD residents are going to be saddled with this white elephant that will do NOTHING for the marine environment, but will spoil development on the harbour AND produce thousands of tons of sewage sludge and greenhouse gases.

    For more information on the unnecessary sewage treatment plant:

  2. It’s looking like Randall is the one to beat. He has the smartest policies, is well liked, and has the experience. What does Troy DeSouza have? A campaign built solely on an overpass that won’t happen. If Harper cared about Victorians he would have used the money spent on the useless airport overpass to invest in transportation along the Colwood Crawl. I hadn’t even heard of Lillian Szpak before this election started, and still haven’t heard much from her since the election started!

    Vote Randall Garrison for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca!

    • In response to Richard Mclaughlin…anyone with common sense would know the traffic at MacKenzie isn’t going away. We don’t have the population to support rapid transit so better to keep traffic moving rather than sitting there for 6 light changes just to get on the highway. Boy, that’s sure green! At least DeSouza understands the issue, candidates like Garrison need to deal with it but they’re too busy sucking up to the greenies to get the real problems of our area fixed.

  3. […] as yet no visit from Michael Ignatieff. Keith Martin's open seat is now viewed by veteran local observers as returning to its Conservative-NDP roots, the Liberals not having won the seat on their own […]

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