Local realtor Blair Herbert will run for the Liberals in the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding in the federal election on Oct. 21.
Herbert, who is taking his first step into politics, joins NDP incumbent Alistair MacGregor, the Conservative Party’s Alana DeLong, and the Green Party’s Lydia Hwitsum in the race to represent the riding so far.
Herbert has been a realtor for Royal Lepage in Duncan and Salt Spring Island for the past 12 years, and has spent a total of 35 years working in the construction and real estate industries.
He was acclaimed as the Liberal candidate at a nomination meeting last month because he was the only qualified contestant to have successfully completed the nomination application process to be the party’s candidate.
Herbert said now that his children are grown and spread across Canada, he thought it was a good time to give something back to the community and try his hand at politics.
He said he decided to run for the Liberals because he has worked in industries where the ability to compromise is very important, and he sees the Liberals as being the best party to do that in today’s political landscape.
“Our politics have become so polarized these days, with the Green Party on one far side of the spectrum and the Conservatives way on the other that are quite a ways apart, and it’s become very difficult to work together,” Herbert said.
“There’s plenty of room in the middle of the political spectrum and if we can soften some of the extreme positions, we can get a lot more work done.”
But Herbert said the changing environment is another key reason motivating him to throw his hat into the ring for this election.
He said the Liberals have committed $61 million to address threats to the southern resident whale population and $1.5 billion to the Oceans Protection Plan to improve marine safety and protect Indigenous and other coastal communities, among other initiatives.
“The Liberal government’s climate commitments constitute an unprecedented investment in transit, infrastructure and renewable energy, in addition to putting a price on pollution, all in order to drive down greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
As for his chances in a riding where the Liberals haven’t seen an elected MP for many years, he pointed out that the Liberals came second in the riding in the last federal election.
“Getting elected in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford is not far outside the realm of possibility if people buy into what we’re saying,” Herbert said.
“The environment is a very important issue in the riding and the Liberal Party has plans to do something on that file.”