Wednesday April 20, 2022
Sharmarke Dubow is photographed at City Hall in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. CHAD HIPOLITO/THE CANADIAN PRESS
Toronto (HOL) - Somali-Canadian Victoria councillor Sharmarke Dubow said on Tuesday that he would not be seeking re-election later this fall."After much thought and consideration, I have made the difficult decision not to seek re-election in the upcoming municipal election in October. In the meantime, I will continue to serve the people of the City of Victoria and push for meaningful change."
In a statement posted to Twitter, Dubow said he "made the difficult decision not to seek re-election" after serving a single term.
Dubow said that he was proud of what he accomplished during his first term as a public servant. He said that he tackled affordable housing and public transport issues to create a more inclusive, equitable, and accessible city.
"I ran for office because I love this community and wanted to be part of pushing it to be more inclusive at the decision-making table," Dubow said.
Dubow, a former refugee from Somalia, made headlines in October 2018 when he won a Victoria's City Council seat. Ironically, it was the first time he cast a vote in a democratic election.
Canadian Heritage has recognized a "noteworthy historical figure" as part of its celebration of Black History Month and he was a finalist in the Royal Bank of Canada's Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.
Before fleeing Somalia in 1992 at the age of eight, Dubow spent nearly 20 years bouncing between Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt before arriving in Canada in 2012. Since arriving in Canada, Dubow earned a business technology degree from the University of Cape Breton and worked on the Canadian Council for Refugees and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria.
"In June 2022, it will be my 10th anniversary of living in Canada, and I have been working hard for the betterment of communities since day one," he added. "It's time for me to explore other opportunities to continue on my own learning and to take a step away from public office in order to do so."
"I am so grateful to the residents of the City of Victoria who elected me for this opportunity," Dubow said in the statement. "Serving you on council over the last four years has been the privilege of my life."