Michelle Connerty

ELECTION: Langley Township council candidate Michelle Connerty

A Voter’s Guide to key election questions.

Karen “Michelle” Connerty

Running for council in Langley Township

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Administrative sales, 48

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

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Candidate provided bio: My name is Michelle Connerty, I was born and raised in the Metro Vancouver area.

I moved to the Township of Langley (Brookswood) seven years ago with my family.

I became involved in local politics in 2014 when the “Leave Brookswood Alone” movement started to dispute a proposed OCP. I regularly speak passionately in front of council about the lack of neighbourhood plans, proper phasing of development and the importance of planing and funding infrastructure, prior to development.

In my opinion, environmental stewardship including tree cutting, wildlife corridors, aquifer protection and providing adequate green spaces are not being adequately addressed. I am very concerned that many of the issues that Willoughby is experiencing – such as parking, crime, overfilled schools and incomplete roads will be replicated throughout the Township.

We only get one chance to get this right – Your Vote is Your Voice – Let’s Build a Better Langley!

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Website: michelleconnerty.com

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Facebook: @MichelleConnerty

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Twitter: KMConnerty

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Other internet/social media platforms where voters can learn about you: LinkedIn

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Phone: 604-341-0211

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• Who is your favourite superhero, and why? Aquaman – I’ve always loved swimming and wanted to breathe underwater as a child (and maybe an adult) – scuba diving is a favourite activity of mine!

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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 – but I live all over Langley every week, exploring, eating, hiking, bicycling and shopping – I love our Township.

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2. How many years have you lived in Langley?

Answer: I have lived here in Brookswood for 7.5 years. We moved from New Westminster where my family owned a Tugboat and Log Barging business. We love it here – bunnies, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunk, deer, horses and possums are just some our neighbours.

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

Answer:Approximately 15 in person and the rest I watched from my computer at home. I would like the Public Hearings to be live streamed as well!! It is unreasonable to have meetings that go until 10, 11 or 12 at night and expect people who work in the morning or have to take care of small children, to be able to attend.

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

Answer: Yes, with the assistance of both the provincial and federal government and local communities groups. I would advocate loudly and heavily to start funding and planning housing for our homeless immediately.

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

Answer: I support LRT after hearing from the planners how it creates community with the “hop on, hop off” idea. However, Doug McCallum is running on SkyTrain in Surrey and I’m pretty sure he will be elected. I am concerned about how we will fund SkyTrain and what delays that will entail?

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6. Should the municipality fund an arts centre?

Answer: Yes, but what this looks like needs community input and planning and then of course additional funding from the province and the federal government.

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

Answer: No, without further input from the community I don’t think simply hiring more police is going to solve our crime problems. Addressing our homeless population and the issues around that will, I believe, help to solve a lot of our crime issues. We need to feed, shelter and support (medically and emotionally) this population to bring them back to being a functional part of our community.

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

Answer: Yes. However, I believe it will be built in the Cloverdale area. That will support Walnut Grove and Willoughby very well and take some of the pressure off the Langley Hospital.

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9. Does Willoughby need its own dedicated library?

Answer: No. I do not think a library should be a priory until the roads and schools are addressed. There is a library at the civic centre and until we get some of our infrastructure issues resolved I think an additional library can wait.

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

Answer: Yes, however I would be interested in looking into keeping building structures that are not farming related (houses, etc.) below a certain percentage or sq footage per acre/hectare.

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11. Should Langley allow construction of residential towers?

Answer: Yes, if the trade off is increased green space and there are no variances to remove the trade off.

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

Answer: Yes, but not until we do not have to buy out a contract. We will be a large enough municipality in the next 10-15 years to seriously consider this option.

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

Answer: Yes. Although residential taxes keep increasing the majority of residents are not seeing additional services to show the benefit of these increases.

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

Answer: No, I believe that we should be not transporting bitumen at all. It should be refined in situ in Alberta or Northern B.C. It’s too difficult to clean up if there is a spill. This will be a 100 year or more environmental problem if there is ever a breach/spill or marine incident.

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

Answer: Yes, if the company is “green” or carbon neutral.

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16. Is Langley being pushed to grow too fast?

Answer: Yes, the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy for Langley is out of line, in my opinion and should be reviewed.

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

Answer: Yes, it’s a lovely area that now has some fairly high density housing and those residents deserve services. I believe the redevelopment that has occurred to date has been done very well and I would hope that further development would continue to compliment the area and the historic values of Fort Langley.

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18. Should development of Brookswood be phased in?

Answer: Yes, absolutely, no more than two Neighbourhood Plans being built out at a time.

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

Answer: Yes, this needs to be done yesterday.

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

Answer: No – it should be up to the voters to determine who they want serving them.

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