The candidate running to reclaim the riding of Oak Bay Gordon Head for the B.C. Liberals says the riding’s current Member of the Legislative Assembly and his party are not the only advocates for the environment.
“My generation grew up with environmental concerns,” says Alex Dutton, who won her party’s nomination by acclamation on Dec. 6. “I don’t think Andrew Weaver and his (B.C. Green) party have a monopoly on the environmental agenda.”
Weaver has represented the riding since 2013 when he defeated B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong, a former Saanich councillor who had held the riding since 1996.
Weaver – who recently ascended to the leadership of the B.C. Green Party – won the riding thanks in part to his scientific credentials, which identify him as one of the best-known scholars of climate change.
Since joining the legislature, Weaver has emerged as a vocal critic of the government’s environmental and economic agenda in calling for various environmental measures.
Dutton argues that her party offers a “more realistic and sustainable approach” toward balancing economic and environmental concerns.
“We want to protect the environment, but we also want jobs and opportunities,” she said.
Weaver’s party, said Dutton, is not in a position to form government. “If people want to make sure that they want to be heard, I’m in a better position to deliver for the community.”
Dutton says the environment is one of four issues on which she will focus. The others consist of housing affordability, accessible and sustainable health care and dealing with the area’s deer problem.
Born and raised in Oak Bay as the daughter of a surgeon, who worked at Royal Jubilee Hospital, Dutton recently returned to area.
“This is where I want to be and this where I want to raise my family,“ she says.
A graduate of the University of Calgary Law School, Dutton currently works as a lawyer at Cook Roberts, where her practice focuses on litigation and dispute resolution.
Prior to her current career in law, Dutton held several positions with the provincial ministry of health, including chief of staff. She also has government experience through her prior work with the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar’s government relations committee.
An alumni of Glenlyon-Norfolk School, Dutton continues to serve her former school as a governor and as debate coach.
She is also a public representative with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of B.C., the body that regulates audiologists, hearing instruments and practitioners and speech language pathologists.