VICTORIA -- The Victoria byelection is about to get underway, with 11 candidates vying for a single vacant seat at the city council table.

The byelection will be officially declared on Nov. 16, with voting to follow on Saturday, Dec. 12. General voting will take place between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

The city is expected to publish candidate profiles on its byelection website on Nov. 17.

There will be six voting places across the city, each equipped with two voting machines:

  • James Bay Community School, 140 Oswego St.
  • Oaklands Elementary School, 2827 Belmont Ave.
  • Sir James Douglas Elementary School, 401 Moss St.
  • Da Vinci Centre, 195 Bay St.
  • Crystal Garden, 713 Douglas St. (An accessible voting machine will be available here)
  • Victoria High School at SJ Willis Education Centre, 923 Topaz Ave.

The city will also hold advance voting starting Dec. 1 at Crystal Garden, located at 713 Douglas St. Advance voting is open to all Victoria voters and an accessible machine will be available:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 2, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 4, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 7, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 8, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 9, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Mail-in voting will also be permitted. To request a mail-in ballot package, residents can fill out an online form at the city's election site or call 250-361-0571. Voters can apply for a mail-in ballot package up to and including Dec. 12.

All mail-in ballots must be received by the City of Victoria before 8 p.m.on Dec. 12.

Completed mail-in ballots should be placed in the mail by Dec.4 at the latest. After that date, all requested mail-in ballots need to be picked up at city hall and can be placed in the dropbox at the Pandora Avenue entrance or dropped off at one of the six voting places on Dec. 12.

The city’s open council seat was vacated by Laurel Collins last year after she was elected into the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for Victoria.

To be eligible to vote in the byelection, voters must be 18 years or older on voting day, be a Canadian citizen, a resident of British Columbia for at least six months, a resident of the City of Victoria or a registered owner of property in Victoria for at least 30 days prior to voting day.

If you own property in Victoria but live elsewhere, you are eligible to vote as a non-resident property elector – as long as you own the property as an individual, not as a corporation. 

The byelection was initially scheduled for early April but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 11 candidates in the running are:

  • Stephen Andrew
  • Rob Duncan
  • Riga Godron
  • Stefanie Hardman
  • Bill Heflin
  • Jason Heit
  • Sean Leitenberg
  • Hailey McLeod
  • Keith Rosenberg
  • Alexander Schmidt
  • Roshan Vickery