While many provincial ridings are working to secure their nomination for the Oct. 24 election the BC Liberals named their candidate, Roxanne Helme, in late June.
Helme is a career lawyer who has sat on local, national and international councils. Having been declared early she’s among the more prepared BC Liberal candidates but shares the party’s disappointment in the snap election.
“I’m interested in good governance and not politics, and it’s politics which has taken us into this election and at an undesirable time,” Helme said . “I was looking at another year [until the election], so I’m happy enough to get on with it personally. But my neighbours are not happy with it. We had a stable government and this is just politics.”
The Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding will have a new MLA as incumbent Andrew Weaver will not run again.
Helme actually graduated from Oak Bay High in the same class as Weaver in 1980.
“I’m still friends with Andrew 40 years since we graduated and I hold him in high regard though I was not thrilled with his decision after the last election [to sign the CASA and support the NDP minority government],” Helme said.
Helme’s focus is on the economy (specifically an economic recovery from COVID-19), the environment and policing.
She spent five years on the Esquimalt-Victoria Police Board, and also served as treasurer of the B.C. Association of Police Boards.
Locally, Helme has a long history of serving on executive boards. She was on the Leadership Council of the Coalition to End Homelessness and is currently a member of the board of the Oak Bay-based Canadian College of Performing Arts. She is the past-president and current chair of the board for the Inter-Cultural Association of Victoria.
As a lawyer, Helme served 20 years on the Victoria Bar Association then took on the treasurer, vice-president and president roles. Helme represented at the Canadian Bar Association and did four years on the council and two years as co-president for the International Criminal Bar.
“That is a lot of work in governance, dealing with lawyers practising in the international criminal court at The Hague,” Helme said. “So I’ve been elected by my [professional colleagues] before.”
Now she seeks the vote of her neighbours, she said.
Cabinet minister Ida Chong was the last BC Liberal member to hold the Oak Bay-Gordon Head seat, serving four terms from 1996 until 2013.
Throughout her career, Helme was also a courtroom lawyer with experience in litigation and defence, “helping all sorts of people in hard situations.”
“I don’t act for agencies, I act for people,” she said. “Now more than ever we need an economic recovery action, we’re beyond the planning stage. After seven months of free rein with [federal] money, there’s money not spent, and we need action not planning.”
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