AJ Cheema, a professional chef and owner of the Otter Trail Winery and Bistro, has announced he will be running for Township council as part of the ‘Contract with Langley’ civic party. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

AJ Cheema, a professional chef and owner of the Otter Trail Winery and Bistro, has announced he will be running for Township council as part of the ‘Contract with Langley’ civic party. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

AJ Cheema joins ‘Contract with Langley’ slate

Chef, businessman, and farmer is son of former MLA Gulzar Cheema

AJ Cheema will be running with councillor and mayoral candidate Eric Woodward under the “Contract with Langley” banner for Township council in the Oct. 15 municipal election.

He made the announcement on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

Cheema’s election bio describes him as a professional chef and owner of the Otter Trail Winery and Bistro, currently under construction, located on 248th Street on Langley’s Historic Otter Trail. He also owns and operates a blueberry farm in Salmon River.

He said he decided to run for council following his application for his winery and bistro, after experiencing the current permitting process for construction for new businesses in the Township of Langley.

“The current processes, policies and timelines for small to medium size business people trying to create economic growth in the Township is ineffective. It is time for new ideas on how to improve things to make it easier for people to work and live in the Township while promoting responsible growth,” Cheema said.

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“It’s clear to me that we have to do a lot more for small business owners, our farming community, and our young, aspiring athletes,” Cheema said.

“I want be part of a great team to make real progress for Langley. “

Prior to relocating to British Columbia in 1993, the Cheema family lived in Winnipeg where his father, Dr. Gulzar Cheema, was the first Indian-born Canadian to be elected to a provincial legislature.

Following the move to BC, the elder Cheema was elected once again as an MLA, this time serving as a minister of both mental health services and immigration, and multicultural services.

AJ served as a special assistant to the minister of public service and procurement, where his key portfolio responsibilities were Canada Post, real property, defence procurement and indigenous community relationships.

Woodward said Cheema “will be a great asset on Council, representing all communities with a deep understanding of youth sports, inter-governmental relations, and small business that will be invaluable to getting things done.”

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Election 2022Langley Township