Youth movement: Saanich's new 19, 23-year-old councillors eager to go to work
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Monday, October 22, 2018 6:54PM PDT
There's new blood on Saanich council after Saturday's election, and not just in the metaphorical sense.
Ned Taylor, 19, and Zac De Vries, 23, were both voted onto council with the third and fifth-highest vote totals, respectively.
Taylor, a Reynolds High graduate, netted more than 16,000 votes – finishing only behind incumbent Colin Plant and top vote-getter Rebecca Mersereau.
"That just blows my mind," Taylor said Monday. "I'm so honoured and it's such a privilege to be able to serve in this role."
He spoke with CTV News while taking down the dozens of campaign signs erected in Saanich over recent months with two handy volunteers – his mom and dad.
"I think they're in a bit of disbelief, and so am I, frankly," said Taylor. "It's going to be a new life that I've got here and I'm looking forward to it."
He said he'll start councillor training immediately and will be sworn in as an official councillor two weeks from now.
As for his priorities as a councillor, Taylor, who grew up in Saanich, says housing and affordability is at the top of his list.
"We have some very experienced councillors and we also have people like myself and Zac who are just getting started," he said. "We're going to be able to get a lot of things accomplished."
De Vries, who had more than 13,000 voters cast ballots for him, also spent the day dismantling campaign signs and says he can't wait to get going on council.
Affordability is also in his crosshairs, as are municipal parks and farmland.
"I'm a staunch defender of our parks and our farmland, and not just protecting our farmland, but I want to see it productive," he said. "A lot of people are struggling and trying to think how can I stay in Saanich and continue to afford to live here?"
Living with mom and dad Helps, and both candidates do.
In fact, one of Taylor's campaign promises sees him charging into Saanich's rental crisis and getting some wheels.
"He's got a bicycle that costs more than most people's cars, so maybe he'll start riding that," said Taylor's father.