Two UVic students make bids for local office

Candidates Isabella Lee and Nathan Daisley hope to bring fresh perspectives to municipal politics

Graphic via Pixabay

This fall, a pair of UVic students are hoping to make the leap from the classroom to city council. Political Science major Nathan Daisley and Sociology major Isabella Lee are two candidates running in the Oct. 22 municipal race for the regions of View Royal and Oak Bay respectively.

Daisley was born and raised in View Royal and is eager to prove that he’s working harder than anyone else on the campaign trail — despite  his young age.

Lee, a resident of Oak Bay who currently serves as both a UVic student senator and the UVSS’s Director of Student Affairs, is vying for a spot on the Oak Bay Council with the hope of bringing her passion for politics to the municipal level.

Lee and Daisley took a break from their busy civic and academic responsibilities to discuss how they got involved in politics at such a young age, the role UVic has played in shaping their career, and some specific policies they would like to work towards in each of their municipalities.


Nathan Daisley—View Royal Council

Provided photo via Nathan Daisley.

The Martlet: How has your time at UVic shaped who you are as a candidate?

Nathan Daisley: I’ve learned so much being here, and I’ve taken a big part in dealing with all the political clubs on campus. It’s really nice because we have been doing a lot of cooperation between all the clubs … It’s just really nice being able to talk to people with so many different political ideologies, and have that help shape my policy pieces.

 

If elected, how would you like to see View Royal impacted by your time in office, particularly in reference to tangible change?

Two of the big things we are pushing for is on transportation and housing. I’d love to see some progress start up on the E&N railroad. We’re having meetings with my MLA and the province is interested in paving it over so we can run buses along it. That would cut out huge swaths of traffic, because for View Royal 67 per cent of our town’s pollution is just on transportation alone. But, we also have problems with renovictions going on in View Royal right now, so I’d really like to bring [in] more cooperative housing. I’ve been born and raised in a co-op, and I couldn’t have asked for a better childhood growing up.

 

What advice do you have for other students looking to take part in local politics?

Just start getting involved. I signed up in 2015 to join the Green Party of Canada, and from there it has launched my political career. Just the amount of networking you can do, and political parties are hungry for young people right now … I used to work for Andrew Weaver in the Legislature, I was his office manager in 2017 during the provincial election, there is a lot of opportunity out there if you just show some initiative.

 

Can you summarize what makes you stand out as the candidate voters should choose in the upcoming election?

I’m working harder than anyone else. We got our campaign well off the ground, we’ve already knocked on over 650 doors, and we’re going out and talking to people.


Isabella Lee—Oak Bay Council

Provided photo via Isabella Lee.

The Martlet: What inspired you to run for a position in the municipal government?

Isabella Lee: I was going to work on another municipal candidate’s campaign in Oak Bay, but as I was looking at their policies and looking at what they wanted to run for, I realized that I stood for a lot of what they did, but I also had my own ideas and my own interpretation of what I’d like to do. I kept on thinking, ‘it’s okay, I’ll wait another four years, another eight years, and then maybe I’ll get to run and get my ideas brought forward.’ But then I kept thinking . . . ‘how long am I willing to wait for sustainability to be a priority of council? How long am I going to wait until parks are improved?’ And I realized I wasn’t willing to wait any longer, and that’s why I want to run, because these are things that I believe in and would like to see happen sooner rather than later.

 

Can you summarize what makes you stand out as the candidate voters should choose in the upcoming election?

I think I am someone who is very passionate about municipal politics, someone who will put in a lot of time and effort, and someone with a little bit of perspective that may not be on council right now [but] could be if I get elected.

 

If elected, how would you like to see Oak Bay impacted by your time in office, particularly in reference to tangible change?

Infrastructure and sustainability, affordability, and then a parks priority are kind of my three big things, parks being [of lesser importance] but still super important and something I think we should put some emphasis on. Right now we have a two million dollar deficit in our infrastructure and we really need to get working on that and put the shovel to the ground, making a real plan. Water mains are the biggest thing in Oak Bay, they’re just falling apart, and we need to make sure that they’re fixed cause otherwise bigger problems come with that. It just creates a bigger mess.

 

How has your time at UVic shaped who you are as a candidate?

I always thought I was too young, or I wasn’t the right type of person that would run for office in any sort of form. But this time at UVic has allowed me the opportunity to realize that no, I am someone that can run, I am the type of person that people might want to see and my ideas are worth hearing. I think that’s so important for everyone to realize—that their voice has value to it—and to me that was just so crucial, cause that’s what encouraged me to run for municipal council, even being someone who was young.


These interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity and brevity.

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