Bob Long

ELECTION: Langley Township council candidate Bob Long

A Voter’s Guide to key election questions.

Bob Long

Running for council in Langley Township

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Businessperson, 61

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• Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: Yes, six consecutive terms

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Candidate provided bio: The Township is the most desirable municipality to live in the Fraser Valley. I am proud of my service on council and this election is one of the most important.

I live in Aldergrove where the town is seeing revitalization, and with the OCPs passed for Brookswood and Willoughby – council needs to finish these neighbourhoods in a complete, walkable, sustainable and timely manner.

As much as it is argued, infrastructure comes with development and waiting or slowing is not the answer. I agree that ALR lands must be protected and any proposals involving farmland must benefit agriculture.

The council elect must work closely with the province on homelessness, the expansion of medical services and of course transportation. Council needs to hold on to the planning principles it has proudly upheld and resist the temptation to take shortcuts. It must keep Langley the best place to live, work and play.

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Website: BobLong.ca

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Facebook: @clrBobLong

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Phone: 604-671-8948

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Twitter: @clrBobLong

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• Who is your favourite superhero, and why? No answer

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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: My wife Karen and live in Willowcreek apartments in downtown Aldergrove.

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2. How many years have you lived in Langley?

Answer: 30. I first came to The Township in 1987 and lived in Walnut Grove area. I took a position as the press manager at Trinity Western University.

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

Answer: All of them, as I am a sitting councillor.

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

Answer: No. I have to say no because our municipal taxes are to be used for municipal services and not to take on the responsibilities of other orders of government which is housing the homeless. That being said, Township does provide some dedicated funding to local agencies to try and help with local issues.

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

Answer: No. I think both systems have their benefits – light rail for densely populated areas and skytrain to bridge longer distances.

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6. Should the municipality fund an arts centre?

Answer: Yes. Arts and culture are just as valuable as other forms of recreation. Building community spirit is as important as building sport fields.

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

Answer: Yes. As crime becomes more sophisticated, we need the resources to address it. There is a ratio we must strive to meet – officers vs population

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

Answer: Yes. I said yes, but council should be approaching the provincial government to expand LMH as perhaps a more viable option.

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9. Does Willoughby need its own dedicated library?

Answer: Yes. We can create a community learning centre within easy walking distance from the Willoughby Town-centre, perhaps in partnership with a school?

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

Answer: Yes. Some questions cannot be answered yes or no – In this case, we can always do more. Langley does have an active Sustainable Agriculture Committee and I support their work in trying to get more of the farmland in Langley productive. Almost half of it sits ‘fallow’! My position is that any proposals that involve ALR lands must have a net benefit to agriculture.

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11. Should Langley allow construction of residential towers?

Answer: Yes. There are areas such as in and around North Carvolth that have been designated for towers. It is another housing choice that makes sense in certain areas that are close to transit hubs.

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

Answer: No. The cost of changing to municipal police will far outweigh the ‘perceved’ benefits.

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

Answer: No. Of course the popular answer could be YES – but the fact is we are trying to provide reasonable services without an extraordinary raise in taxes.

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

Answer: Yes. It is something we should get on with, and get the country moving. Of course, I do support the move to a more sustainable energy source, but in the meantime I see a great threat to the environment by moving oil by rail.

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

Answer: No. I don’t think that these types of initiatives pay off, businesses move here for other good reasons. We need to continue to put efforts into being ‘business friendly’ accommodating all businesses – large and small.

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16. Is Langley being pushed to grow too fast?

Answer: No. The market is driving growth, we need to complete our OCP’s so as to enjoy complete communities. Our OCP’s only permit growth in designated areas, so that Langley will always maintain a blend of rural and urban lifestyles.

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

Answer: No. This question obviously pertains to large brick buildings that change the character of the village, so although the short answer is no – the more interesting challenge is how redevelopment can be done in such a way as to complement the village feel. I say yes to that.

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18. Should development of Brookswood be phased in?

Answer: No. I say no because phasing will increase land costs as build out nears completion. Development will occur near existing and expanded services providing an automatic ‘phased’ approach.

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

Answer: No. We need to get the OCP’s completed and that will include the widening.

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

Answer: No. The term lengths are set in the community charter.

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