Alex Joehl

ELECTION: Langley Township mayoralty candidate Alex Joehl

A Voter’s Guide to key election questions.

Alex Joehl

Running for mayor in Langley Township

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Meat department manager for a major retail store, 36

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• Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: No

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Candidate provided bio: Langley has always been a part of my life. I grew up in neighbouring Surrey, and Langley is where I have worked for longer than anywhere else.

Likely because of my journalism background, I have had a keen interest in the way our government interacts with its constituents and how they are held accountable. I want the chance to represent everyone, not just special interest groups. I identify as a libertarian, and have run in previous federal and provincial elections before, trying to spread the message of choice and liberty.

I moved to Murrayville almost three years ago with my wife and son, who is now in third-grade at James Hill Elementary. I want the best for the entire Township – not just my community. I honestly feel that we should be doing our best to share this great city with anyone who wants to live here.

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Facebook: @ElectAlexJoehl

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Phone: 778-862-4605

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Twitter: @AlexJoehl

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• Who is your favourite superhero, and why? Captain America. In the recent movie renditions of him he started as a loyal soldier, but in time grew weary of the State, and realized the government didn’t always have the best-interests of its citizens in mind.

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There are three candidates running for Langley Township’s mayor’s chair. 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: Murrayville

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2. How many years have you lived in Langley?

Answer: Three years

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

Answer: None

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

Answer: No.

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

Answer: No.

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6. Should the municipality fund an arts centre?

Answer: No.

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

Answer: No. However, I would like to open a task force to investigate whether we’d be better served by a municipal police force than the RCMP. If we did make that transition, I would be in favour of adding more police officers. Please see https://tinyurl.com/yc4bwtqp for more about this.

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

Answer: No.

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9. Does Willoughby need its own dedicated library?

Answer: Don’t know.

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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: Yes. But before making this big transition the pros and cons of such a move need to be investigated. Likely the only negative is that it may add to policing costs, so the next council would need to manage that barrier.

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

Answer: No. As a libertarian, I’m against taxes in general. However, I also understand that we have many services being administered by government that are not easily eliminated or replaced. I feel that instead of reducing taxes, we need to put a greater focus on how revenue is spent. I would like to see a motion by council to freeze rates for a four-year period, and any additional spending would have to be balanced with cuts in other areas. The Township had the largest increase in spending, according to the Fraser Institute. It’s dangerous to continue this trend at residents’ expense.

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

Answer: Yes. My main concerns are property rights – that no land is expropriated – and that the company, in this case Kinder Morgan Canada, is held financially and criminally responsible in the event of a spill. Currently the minimum contingency fund they need to have in place is only $1 billion. The law should state that the entire clean up, in perpetuity, must be covered.

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

Answer: No. Favouring one business instead of another is unhealthy for the market. The best way to draw businesses is to continue our great residential growth rate but build infrastructure for our communities first, so that business can see the potential.

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16. Is Langley being pushed to grow too fast?

Answer: No. I love living in Langley and many others want to move here. Only by building more homes can we make sure that housing can remain affordable for all that want to live here.

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

Answer: Yes. While I support development, I feel that the Township has sunk too much public money into the projects and that private development could have done as good of a job, or better.

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18. Should development of Brookswood be phased in?

Answer: No. Infrastructure needs to be put in place NOW. Road improvements, parks, schools, they all need to be planned immediately. Housing development and sewer/water upgrades will then neatly fall into place.

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

Answer: Yes.

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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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