Out of the gate today, there are four all-candidate meetings on the books in Langley.
Following the writ being dropped today, interested people still have seven days to register as a candidate for the May 9 provincial election.
Thus far, nine people appear to have registered to run in the two primary Langley ridings, those being Langley and Langley East.
In Langley, incumbent Liberal Mary Polak is seeking re-election, along with NDP candidate Gail Chaddock-Costello, Green Party candidate Elizabeth Walker, BC Conservative candidate Justin Greenwood, and BC Libertarian hopeful Rob Pobran.
In the Langley East riding, incumbent Liberal Rich Coleman is seeking re-election, and running against him is NDP candidate Inder Johal, Green Party hopeful Bill Masse, and BC Libertarian candidate Alex Joehl.
Only two of candidates thus far have set up campaign offices of which the newspaper has been made aware. Coleman’s office is at #10 – 8948 202nd St., and Polak’s is located at #100 – 20329 Logan Ave.
STORY CONTINUES BELOW
CAPTION: Gail Chaddock-Costello, NDP-Langley
CAPTION: Justin Greenwood, BC Conservative-Langley
CAPTION: Mary Polak, BC Liberal-Langley
CAPTION:Rich Coleman, BC Liberal-Langley East
CAPTION: Inder Johal, NDP-Langley East
Editor’s note: These photos appear alphabetically and by riding (Langley and Langley East) and are the only candidates who have so far provided photos or whose photos could be accessed from the party websites.
Hearing from the candidates
Nevertheless, leading into the election, the Langley Advance will continue each week to highlight the top issues of the day.
Last week, for instance, we addressed the issue of health care in the community – with a focus on the lack of family GPs.
This week we will be tackling the issue of environment, and focusing on the pipeline.
As well, we will be giving each of the candidates a chance (through our print and online editions) to answer a series of these questions. Yes/No answers and a chance to expand on their top two questions will be provided in print, while all answers – in their entirety will be published online.
“We feel it is imperative to provide as much information as possible to our local voters, and we will strive to help educate the community about the local issues and the candidates in the coming weeks,” said publisher Lisa Farquharson, alluding to last week’s editorial [Our View: Good information is key for Langley voters].
The first all-candidate meeting is set for next Wednesday, April 19, from 1 to 3 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, focusing on seniors issues.
Following a standing-room-only all-candidates for the last municipal and federal elections, coordinator Marilyn Fischer is expecting a similar showing for this afternoon event.
It’s the first opportunity for Langley residents to meet and interact with the candidates who hope to represent Langley in Victoria.
Their session has been opened to candidates for the Langley and Langley East ridings.
“We especially invite seniors and those interested in seniors’ issues, and we are challenging the candidates to provide meaningful responses to questions about matters concerning them,” Fischer said.
“This will be a meeting where seniors can talk individually with their riding candidates, rather than listen to canned speeches,” she added.
“We understand that as the election campaign moves along we will hear from our candidates about many important issues pertaining to the wider community. However, plans are for the discussion at this meeting to focus primarily on issues concerning Langley’s large population of seniors” Fischer said.
Questions that will be posed to candidates will be related to affordable rental housing, HandyDART, health and home care, MSP premiums and benefits, pipelines, poverty reduction, isolation, and abuse, she concluded.
Doors for this all-candidate meeting open at the church (20676 Fraser Hwy.) at 12:15 p.m.
Later that same day, the Langley Teachers’ Association is hosting its all-candidates forum.
“The LTA has a long history of keeping our members well informed in regards to all the candidates running for provincial and municipal elections,” said president Wendy Cook.
The event is being hosted Wednesday, April 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Langley Seniors Resource Centre, 20605 51B Ave.
“This non-partisan public forum will be focused on educational, environmental, and other equity issues,” she said, explaining that the meeting is being held in partnership with the Langley District Parent Advisory Council, Kwantlen Nation, Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C., the Kwantlen Student Association, PIPE-UP, and CUPE 1260.
Also coming up later in the month are two separate all-candidate meetings being planned by the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce and held in cooperation with the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.
President Scott Johnston described it as a “valuable opportunity for Langley residents and business people to meet the candidates in their riding, prior to the provincial election on May 9.”
The first chamber forum is specific to the Langley riding on Tuesday, April 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 20901 Langley Bypass.
The second is specific to the Langley East riding, and it is being held Thursday, April 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre west gymnasium, 7888 200th St.
“Your vote is your voice!” Johnston said.
“As a non-partisan organization, the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce is honoured to host the Provincial All Candidates Meetings for the ridings of both Langley and Langley East. These events are free for the public to attend and offer an opportunity to our members and all voters to meet the candidates, and to become attuned to their platforms.”
In both these forums, candidates will be given an opportunity to introduce themselves, followed by questions by written submission.
Written questions for the candidates can be submitted in advance or at the meeting (no verbal questions accepted). Questions can be written on a form provided at the all candidates meeting, or online to submit question ahead of time.