FEDERAL CANDIDATE PROFILE 2 of 4: Christopher Causton

Federal Liberal candidate and on-leave Oak Bay Mayor Christopher Causton goes door-to-door campaigning along Boyd Street in James Bay

Federal Liberal candidate and on-leave Oak Bay Mayor Christopher Causton goes door-to-door campaigning along Boyd Street in James Bay

Oak Bay mayor in a race to get voters onside and out to polls

Christopher Causton is ringing the bell to one of three entrance doors to a James Bay house that’s been converted into suites.

The Mayor of Oak Bay, who’s taken a leave of absence to run as federal Liberal candidate in Victoria, is obviously not in Oak Bay any more.

“I like this,” he says, pointing to a handwritten sign on the mailbox that says “Have a great day!”

Seemingly always in a sunny mood, Causton’s brow furrows while door-knocking when asked about what he stands for.

“I bring to this campaign the Liberal position, which is a centrist position, of fiscal accountability along with concerns for social justice.”

Yes, but what would he do for Victoria if elected?

“Issues all revolve around regional knowledge and regional representation,” he says. “That could be regional transportation, as far as highways, an airport runway extension, a marina in the Inner Harbour.”

Causton pauses as he watches a couple approaching, then continues when they turn away.

“It’s been interesting, On the doorstep what I hear is ‘I know who Harper is’ – and generally they don’t like Mr. Harper – ‘I know who Jack Layton is, and I don’t know Michael Ignatieff. But you’re supporting him and I know you so that’s an indication you really like him.’”

Causton was born in Cobham, Surrey in England and studied hospitality at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. He came to Canada on a co-op in 1968, went back to the U.K. and returned again in 1970.

In 1972 he took the train across Canada and in the first few weeks in Greater Victoria, stayed at a youth hostel. Later that year he bought the Old Towne Bistro in Bastion Square with businessman Larry Hanlon and sold it in 1974. He worked at The Keg in the U.S. before starting Rattenbury’s in the Crystal Garden.

He was elected as an Oak Bay councillor in 1987 and then mayor in 1996, two months after he sold Rattenbury’s. He’s been a moderate voice as mayor, keeping the right wing happy with low taxes and the left with such forward-thinking initiatives as municipal electric cars.

He was also the tiebreaker in a council impasse last year, voting in favour of further examining legalizing secondary suites in Oak Bay.

He has been married for 30 years to his wife, Elizabeth, with whom he has two daughters, Sarah and Jennifer.

Causton stepped aside from his posts as B.C. Transit Commission chair and CRD Parks chair to run for Member of Parliament. Although he’s been Oak Bay mayor for 15 years, he thinks his regional work helps voters recognize him.

Then he gets down to brass tacks.

“This is a race between Denise (incumbent NDP MP Savoie) and myself,” he says. “Denise is pleasant, but she represents a third party in the federal forum … where it’s very difficult to get anything done.”

If elected, Causton says, he could “build from the middle out, as opposed to one side of the spectrum to another.” As MP he would lobby for operating funds to address homelessness in Victoria, but also to deal with bigger picture issues of mental illness and affordable housing.

His promise to put campaign signs only on private property means he’s working harder than his opponents, he says – although Savoie’s camp has pledged to do the same.

He’s also pledged to do his part to get voter turnout in the riding up to 80 per cent. Turnout nationally was 58.8 per cent in 2008. “I say even if you’re not going to vote Liberal, just get out and vote.”

vmoreau@oakbaynews.com

Platform points

• Affordable housing

• Transportation

• The health of the local, regional and national economy

All are tied to federal policies and potential funding directly to Victoria, to help solve some pressing issues: an infrastructure deficit affecting especially the City of Victoria; commuter congestion, and affordable housing for those who most need it.

– Christopher Causton

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The City of Victoria is hoping to ring in the summer by celebrating local art and offering some distanced, live music to surprise people in parks, plazas and other public spaces. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria)
Live, pop-up concerts and local art being showcased in Victoria this summer

People will see surprise serenades at 16 locations throughout the summer

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The 14th annual Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) awards June 3. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay celebrates its Young Exceptional Stars with outdoor award ceremony

Nine young people recognized in 14th annual awards

Jada Benwell and Connor Larkey are the valedictorians of the 2021 graduating class at Parkland Secondary School. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Pandemic taught lessons in perseverance for North Saanich high schoolers

Parkland Secondary School to release 2021 grad ceremony video on June 25

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read