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Ahead of Oct. 15, the Advance Times offers a profile and Q&A opportunity to each candidate
Blair Whitmarsh is running for mayor of Langley Township. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Blair Whitmarsh


Professor, age 55

Brookswood resident who’s lived in Langley 31 years

I came to Langley in 1984 to attend university, and since that time I have actively engaged in the Langley community with wife, three daughters, son in laws, and now five grandchildren.

My council experience started in 2014, and with the endorsement of [current] Mayor Jack Froese, I put my name forward as an independent for the Township of Langley.

As a collaborative mayor, I will focus on five overarching themes: smart development – diversity of housing – and job creation, safe neighborhoods and communities, healthy relationships with community partners and neighbouring municipalities, outstanding facilities for sports and the arts, and financial stewardship.

We must have an inclusive community with local jobs, care for the environment, and livable neighbourhoods that make us all proud.


Twitter: @BlairWhitmarsh


Phone: 604-782-2392


Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: Councillor since 2014




(These answers are presented as the candidates submitted them)

1. Should the Township set targets for the creation of more low-income and seniors rental spaces, social housing units, and/or co-op development to improve home security?

Yes. We need to work with the other levels of government and those providing homes in our community to provide more rental spaces and different types of more affordable housing that could include social housing, co-op housing, below market rentals etc.

2. Should the Township create a performing arts venue within the next council term?

Yes. I have been advocating for a performing arts venue/concert hall facility for the last few years. I will continue to support the need for more sports, recreation, and park facilities but we truly need a multi-use, arts facility in Langley Township. It would help bring the arts community together, be a gathering space for large community events, and a place to celebrate the great community of Langley Township.

3. Does the Langley Township fire department need to be expanded in terms of crews, equipment, and/or halls?

Yes. We need to keep up with the growth in our community and ensure that our community is safe. We must fully staff the Brookswood-Fernridge firehall and add an additional full staffed truck in the Willoughby firehall during the next term. Those changes will come with purchase of the necessary equipment to make that possible. We do need to expand/update our firehalls in the Township of Langley and Council did approve a feasibility study for the renovation/replace of three firehalls. That information will be most helpful as we look to strengthen the fire service in TOL.

4. Should property tax increases be restricted to the rate of inflation or lower?

I am committed to keeping property tax increases low.

Setting the standard increase at the rate of inflation is a good standard to start the budgeting process.

Through careful analysis of our revenues, expenses, and public expectations, we can determine if the rate of inflation standard is best for a given year.

My preference would be that we have tax increases below the rate of inflation every year, but I also understand the difficult balancing act between what we can afford and what the public desires for new facilities, infrastructure, and other types of spending.

We must keep tax increases low, but to restrict it to the rate of inflation limits the budgeting process and reduces the likelihood of taking advantage of good opportunities as they arise.

5. Should the Township encourage greater housing density in new and existing neighbourhoods?

Yes. The Township of Langley has 75% of the land set aside for agriculture which leaves 25% available for housing, commercial, industrial, and institutional purposes. As more people move to our community, we must look at ways to increase density to provide the homes that we need. In addition, housing density creates the opportunity to have walkable communities and to protect more of our land for valued greenspace.

6. Should the Township do more to build and upgrade roads, sidewalks, and bike paths in fast-growing areas?

Yes. A very challenging but necessary task given the size of the Township of Langley at 316 square kilometres. I am fully supportive of upgrading our roads, ensuring we have more sidewalks throughout Langley, better crosswalks at busy intersections, and more multi-use and separated cycling paths across the Township. We will have to balance the costs of upgrading these improvements with other needs in the Township and determine the best way to accomplish our goals within the budget.

7. Is the Township’s population growing too fast?

No. The Township of Langley is a great place to live, work, and play which partly explains why it is also one of the fastest growing municipalities in BC. Our residents love living here and others want to become part of this great community. We are part of Metro Vancouver which has a Regional Growth Strategy for accommodating the expected population growth. It is not a question about how fast we are growing but rather how are we able to keep up with the need for infrastructure and facilities to handle the expected growth. We need to make the necessary adjustments to ensure we can accommodate the growth that will be coming to the Township.

8. Should the Township consider switching to a municipal police force, instead of using the RCMP?

No. The RCMP is doing a very good job in our community. We do need to ensure we that we add more RCMP members as we continue to grow. The community police stations should be staffed and fully operational and the addition of mental health professionals would be helpful in the RCMP detachment.

9. Does the Township have enough parks and public spaces to meet the needs of its growing population?

We have a significant number of parks, trails, sports fields, and outdoor spaces to enjoy but as our population continues to grow we need to ensure that we increase the public spaces and parks to match the growth.

10. Should the Township commit to making a decision on proposed new developments within 12 months or less?

Yes. We should make every effort to get the needed housing completed in Langley as soon as we can. We are growing at a fast pace and people want to live in Langley because it is such a great place to live. Decreasing the time for permits should be a priority starting with hiring more staff and then looking at ways to streamline the process. Local government should not be the impediment to providing homes.





How the questions were presented to each candidate

Langley Advance Times readers have repeatedly told us how much they value this important, straight-forward reference guide that helps orient them with the range of choices on the ballots – both at the council and school board levels.

Towards that end, we have attempted to make this package available (along with the following instructions) to each of the candidates in a timely fashion ahead of the Oct. 15 election.

Please read carefully before you start to fill this out.

To help voters in Langley make their choices on election day, the Langley Advance Times is asking local candidates 10 issue-based questions.

You must provide a ‘yes,’ a ‘no,’ or a ‘don’t know’ (Y, N, D) response to EACH of these questions.

Each question MUST be answered with yes (Y), no (N), or Don’t Know (D). This will be published in a grid in the Oct. 6 edition. Any questions not answered will be LEFT BLANK.

Candidates may also expand on ANY OR ALL of these questions (to a maximum of 200 words each). Please note any responses longer than that will be cut off at the 201-word mark.

Due to space limitations, we can only guarantee to run one of these answers in the Langley Advance Times print edition ahead of the election. You must CLEARLY indicate which expanded answer you want to see published in print. If you do not specify, we will choose. Any and all expanded answers provided will be published online at


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