Longtime Abbotsford resident and community activist Gerda Peachey has announced she is running in the city’s byelection on Sept. 25.
She becomes the fourth person to seek election to the council seat vacated by Bruce Banman, who is now the MLA for Abbotsford South. Dave Sidhu, Manjit Sohi and Dao Tran previously said they would be running.
Peachey said two of the men have “lots of money behind them and large support networks.”
“So why would I even enter a race with such formidable opponents? Because winning a seat at the council table should never be easy. We get better leaders when they have to compete in a robust battle of ideas. I hope there will be a lot of candidates in this byelection,” Peachey writes.
Peachey has previously run for city council several times – most recently for mayor in 2018, when she placed fifth out of six candidates and garnered 560 votes.
She also ran for council in 2014, finishing 20th out of 30 candidates, with 3,291 votes.
Peachey said she has run for council several times with the same motivation – “to raise issues unlikely to be raised by the contenders who promise you blue skies and lower taxes.”
“But in the past few years the stridency of the ‘woke’ crowd or ‘progressives’ or ‘politically corrects’ – whatever you want to call them – have made their presence known in Abbotsford.”
Peachey, a former banker and business owner, said among the issues that concern her are homelessness and the preservation of green space in the community.
She is an outspoken Christian who helped lead the charge several years ago to get Tradex to stop hosting the Taboo Sex Show.
In 2016, Peachey was among the residents to call for the preservation of land use contracts in her south Abbotsford neighbourhood.
She writes on her blog that although she is a Christian, “municipal government must not be about the religious beliefs of leaders or their intimate preferences.”
“Government must be about wise and just decision-making.”
The nomination period for the Abbotsford byelection runs until Aug. 20.