Blair Whitmarsh

ELECTION: Langley Township council candidate Blair Whitmarsh

A Voter’s Guide to key election questions.

Blair Whitmarsh

Running for council in Langley Township

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Dean and professor of human kinetics at Trinity Western University, 51

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• Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: I am currently a councillor with the Township of Langley

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Candidate provided bio: I am completing my first term on Township council and am seeking re-election on Oct. 20.

I moved to Langley as a first year student at Trinity Western University 34 years ago and fell in love with the Township of Langley.

My time in Langley has been wonderful, and it truly has been a great place for us to raise our three daughters.

I will focus on five overarching themes: smart and sustainable development, affordable housing, a great place to raise our families including public safety, outstanding facilities for sports and the arts, and being fiscally responsible. There is no other place I would rather live, and we must work together to develop our community in a sustainable way.

Fostering a local economy that creates local jobs, caring for the environment, and establishing walkable, livable communities helps us to shape a Langley that will make us all proud.

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Website: blairwhitmarsh.com

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Facebook: @BlairWhitmarsh

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Phone: 604-807-8866

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Email: blair@blairwhitmarsh.com

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Twitter: @blairwhitmarsh

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• Who is your favourite superhero, and why? Superman – A regular guy with super powers.

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There are 23 candidates running for eight Langley Township council seats. The following are questions asked of each candidate hopeful. They were directed to provide a minimum of a Yes, No, or Don’t Know answer, and given an option to expand on one answer in print (to a maximum of 100 words per question). They could expand on all questions online, if they wished to do so. The following are their replies.

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Questions and Answers:

1. What neighbourhood of Langley do you live in?

Answer: Brookswood

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2. How many years have you lived in Langley?

Answer: 27 years

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3. How many Langley Township council meetings have you attended in the past year?

Answer: Being a member of the current council, I missed one meeting in the last four years.

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4: Should the municipality be directly funding social housing to reduce homelessness?

Answer: No. Homelessness is a complicated area that needs cooperation from all levels of government and the community.

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5. Do you support elevated rail over light rapid transit from Surrey to Langley?

Answer:a. Yes. This is the best overall option for transit from Surrey to Langley. However, there are financial factors that must be accounted for with this decision.

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6. Should the municipality fund an arts centre?

Answer: Yes, they should work collectively with the community and other levels of government to fund an arts centre.

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7. Would you vote to raise taxes to hire more police?

Answer: Yes

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8. Does Langley need a new or second hospital to serve the growing population?

Answer: Yes. This is not within the jurisdiction of municipal government, however, TOL needs to work with the province towards an expanded or new hospital to accommodate the growth.

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9. Does Willoughby need its own dedicated library?

Answer: Yes

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10. Is there enough effort being made to preserve farmland?

Answer: Yes

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11. Should Langley allow construction of residential towers?

Answer: Yes

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12. Should Langley have its own municipal police force, replacing the RCMP?

Answer: No

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13. Do you think residential property taxes are too high?

Answer: No

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14. Do you support the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline?

Answer: Yes

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15. Should the municipality offer tax breaks, incentives, or rebates to companies looking to set up shop here?

Answer: Yes. Certain areas of our community would benefit from greater incentives for business. We should be in the business of creating a strong, attractive climate for new companies.

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16. Is Langley being pushed to grow too fast?

Answer: No. Every area of the Lower Mainland is experiencing the pressures of growth. I believe that we can manage that growth if done properly.

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17. Do you support redevelopment of Fort Langley’s downtown?

Answer: Yes. Anything we can do to enhance our communities, including Fort Langley, should be encouraged.

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18. Should development of Brookswood be phased in?

Answer: No. Brookswood is already being phased in through the development of proper neighbourhood plans and the natural access to services. I am opposed to creating artificial phasing that does not work with the natural flow of development. Brookswood-Fernridge will develop naturally over the next 20-25 years.

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19. Should the Township set a deadline to finish widening 208th Street in Willoughby?

Answer: No. But I do think we should complete 208ths Street as fast we is financially feasible.

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20. Should there be a limit to the number of consecutive terms a member of council can serve?

Answer: No

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