A questioner addresses remarks to candidates for Langley Township council at an all-candidates' meeting Friday night at George Preston Recreation Centre, sponsored by the Unelection Campaign.

A questioner addresses remarks to candidates for Langley Township council at an all-candidates' meeting Friday night at George Preston Recreation Centre, sponsored by the Unelection Campaign.

Election 2014: Full house Friday for Langley Township candidates’ debate

All but five candidates out of 25 were in attendance at Friday night's meeting at George Preston Recreation Centre.

  • Nov. 10, 2014 10:00 a.m.

James Inglis

Aldergrove Star

The meeting room of the George Preston Recreation Centre was a lively venue on Friday night for the all-candidates meeting for Langley Township mayor and council candidates, hosted by the Unelection Campaign.

Some members of the audience didn’t hold back from voicing their displeasure over past decisions made by the current council. Plans for Brookswood were a frequently-mentioned concern, along with the often-raised issues over Willoughby and the proposed Aldergrove pool.

Close to 400 people attended.

The format of the meeting consisted of questions being asked by the moderator, followed by  questions from the floor. Questions were also asked via Twitter and text message. The moderator started off by asking candidates what top issues inspired them to run for office, what education and experience they bring and what council committees they would like to serve on.

The format of the meeting consisted of questions being asked by the moderator, followed by  questions from the floor. Questions were also asked via Twitter and text message. The moderator started off by asking candidates what top issues inspired them to run for office, what education and experience they bring and what council committees they would like to serve on.

In response to a question on the issue of increased crime in Brookswood, Kerri Ross suggested  “revisiting the basement suite reprisal” issue and using a community-based approach in “dealing with problem tenants.”

Jackie Mandzak acknowledged the increase in crime, in particular car thefts and house break-ins. She felt there needed to be “better community programs and community safety programs where we learn to take care of ourselves. We need to get the RCMP involved, so they know better how to take care of us, and we need to encourage things such as Block Watch.”

In response to a question from the floor suggesting there be a Township-wide bylaw to protect trees from being cut down by developers, Bob Long stated, “the right to farm legislation in the province prohibits a bylaw on agricultural land,” but went on to say that “Brookswood is addressed with the interim clear cutting bylaw.”

Regarding concerns over the Kinder Morgan pipeline, Steve Ferguson said “we’re looking for safety on the routes and the safest placement. We don’t want our frontline workers in jeopardy if there is not a good safety plan in place. All issues of safety and security must be put in place.”

In response to a question on revealing donors to campaigns prior to the election Clint Lee said, “I absolutely agree that needs to be disclosed. The only reason why we haven’t (he and Ross are running with Live Langley) and chose not to disclose this year is because it is an uneven playing field. I respect the privacy of our donors and if other candidates aren’t gong to disclose or are not required to, then I’m not going to jeopardize the privacy of our donors.”

David Davis said “the only person I want to keep how much I spent from is my wife.”

Other issues raised included dealing with council’s need to regain the trust it has lost with the public, increasing the developer charges to fund schools, councillor accountability and the need for more public consultation before decisions are being made by council.

All candidates for council attended the meeting, except for Karl Buchanan, Angie Quaale, Blair Whitmarsh, Bev Dornan and Grant Ward.

Also in attendance were mayoral candidates Rick Green, Jack Froese (who arrived late, after another engagement) and Serena Oh. Councillor candidates also  attending were Charlie Fox, Kim Richter, Michelle Sparrow, Solon Bucholtz, Zosia Ettenberg, Mel Kositsky, Patricia Lessard, Kevin Mitchell, Scott Nichols, Petrina Arnason and Dave Stark.