PV Vancouver Bureau
One of the most critical school board races in the October 15 municipal elections across British Columbia is in Victoria (District 61), where a record 33 candidates are vying for nine at-large positions. First-time trustee candidate Tyson Strandlund is making a strong push for election, with the backing of a wide range of progressive and labour activists who also support the outgoing board’s progressive incumbents.
But a far-right transphobic slate is also attempting to take control. Six so-called “Viva Victoria” candidates linked to the reactionary People’s Party of Canada are targeting District 61’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) policy, but their campaign also aims to reverse the current board’s record of fighting for improved public education.
Born and raised in Victoria, Strandlund is a member of the Métis Nation of BC. His campaign is focused on “ensuring a safe and effective learning environment, while keeping public education completely provincially funded, without added fees, and universally accessible to ensure equity for all students.”
Public education is a vital foundation of any democratic society, Strandlund says, advocating for students, parents, and unions to participate in decision-making processes.
A longtime supporter of Indigenous solidarity movements, Strandlund is committed to protecting and supporting Indigenous education. He recently completed his MA through the University of Victoria’s history department, writing his thesis on the history of decolonization and national liberation struggles in the 20th century. His education also reflects his Ukrainian family heritage, having spent a semester abroad studying in Kyiv prior to the war at the Kyiv-Moyla Academy.
For several years, Strandlund has been active in a range of progressive causes in Victoria, including the labour, peace and student movements. During his studies at UVic, Tyson worked as a teaching assistant. Presently, he works as a regional director for a non-profit organization focused on educating the public around social, historical and political issues.
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