Saanich mayoral candidate David Shebib.

Election 2014: Mayoral candidate David Shebib calls foul on exclusion from debates

Shebib says he's been given similar treatment at several Victoria-based all-candidates meetings

Saanich mayoral candidate David Shebib is calling foul after he was unable to join a mayoral panel discussion at the University of Victoria last week.

Shebib arrived to an Oct. 30 panel inside UVic’s student union building that included mayoral candidates from Oak Bay and Saanich.

But when he approached the stage, organizers told him he couldn’t participate in the discussion.

“They said I hadn’t responded to an invite, but I never saw any invite,” Shebib said.

“I’m thinking of laying charges and formulating a legal suit and charging the organizers who are discriminating against me in a democratic election. I don’t think the people know what’s going on.”

Shebib said he was given similar treatment at several Victoria-based all-candidates meetings.

Greg Atkinson, UVic Student Society’s director of external relations, said Shebib was turned away “as a matter of having limited spaces available at that event. When choosing who to exclude, we chose to exclude the person who was running in all 13 municipalities,” he said.

Atkinson said Shebib did not attend an all-candidates meet-and-greet last Wednesday, though he was invited to attend that event.

Shebib said he’s running in all 13 Capital Region mayoral races to illustrate the dysfunction of the political system, and to show that amalgamation is necessary.

“Yes, there are too many candidates, but I didn’t create the system,” he said.

“You have the same problems in Langford as you do in Victoria with major issues. I’m running against the idiocy of government and the majority of people agree with me. But the majority of people don’t vote.”

Shebib said he intends to attend the next Saanich all-candidates meeting, tonight at Cadboro Bay United Church (2625 Arbutus Rd.). The event begins at 7 p.m.

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