Esquimalt Municipal Elections

Which candidates will take effective action on housing?

We looked at platforms, public statements, voting records, and responses to our housing survey to rank candidates for mayor and council in Esquimalt.
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Homes for Living is a volunteer organization focused on improving housing afffordability and availability for people across Greater Victoria. The rankings are based on housing track records, public statements on housing, platforms, and replies to our housing survey. Rankings DO NOT represent a political endorsement and voters are encouraged to do their own research. The data pertains exclusively to housing, those interested in other issues should consider information provided by other organizations and research candidates independently.

Our top ranked candidates for mayor and council can be found below. Please review the full details of the scoring including candidates' responses to our survey in the data table at the bottom of the page.

For Mayor

  • Sonya Gracey - Sonya Gracey has a strong position on housing. Her survey response had ambitious quantitative housing goals but she does not support changing zoning to align with the OCP. Her housing platform is comprehensive. Her public statements on housing indicate strong support for below housing options and she has signed the affordable housing pledge by the “Make Housing Central” organization.

For Council

  • Jacob Helliwell - Jacob Helliwell has a strong record on housing. He has voted in favour of most housing proposals brought before council during his term in office. He also voted to legalize garden suites in 2021. His response to the housing survey was thoughtful and his answers tried to capture many nuances associated with housing policy. His platform highlights housing as a key priority but could be more detailed.
  • Duncan Cavens - Duncan Cavens has a strong position on housing. He scored the highest on our housing survey, with comprehensive answers which indicated his support for a variety of pro-housing measures. Housing affordability is one of the four pillars prioritized in his platform. Duncan has sat on the Township’s Advisory Planning Commission since 2017 where he has demonstrated support for housing solutions.
  • Chris Munkacsi - Chris Munkacsi has a strong position on housing. His response to the housing survey was excellent as he indicated his support for a variety of housing solutions. His platform demonstrates a good understanding of housing and zoning issues facing the municipality. He regularly makes pro-housing statements online and he currently serves as a member of the Esquimalt Advisory Planning Commission.
  • Darlene Rotchford - Darlene Rotchford has a mixed position on housing. Her response to the housing survey was selectively supportive of the various housing tools available to municipal government with notable exceptions around infill housing, aligning zoning with the OCP, and support for measures to reduce tenant displacement. She generally makes pro-housing statements online and over social media. While her platform prioritizes housing, it is not detailed.


Note that there is a different weighting for incumbent councillors vs new candidates since we are able to use more data points (notably their voting record) for incumbents. See the detailed methodology or the summary below.

The total score is the summation of individual sub scores defined below:
Housing Reform Score - A score for incumbents' voting record on key housing reforms. In Esquimalt this only included legalization of garden suites.
Vote Tracker Score - A score for incumbents representing their voting records for individual housing projects at public hearing.
Survey Score - A score for all candidates representing the total points given for the answers on the Homes for Living survey.
Platform Score - A score given to all candidates on the quality and content of their housing platform.
Public Statements - A score for new candidates given for public comments on housing.

Scores and rankings were assembled by volunteers carefully reviewing data and public information on candidates' positions and records on housing. Spot a mistake?  Email us to have it reviewed.

Passionate about affordable housing?

Come join the conversation on the Homes for Living Discord. We are a group of community volunteers that are taking action to make Victoria a better place to live for primary homeowners and renters.