In announcing her candidacy for Langley Township council, Rebecca Darnell says that after many years of working, living, and serving in the community, she hopes to further her commitment to the people of the Township.
Darnell, who runs a law firm that employs four lawyers, one articled student, and seven full-time staff, said she does not have a personal agenda “but rather a personal desire to contribute.”
She would like to see council “operate collaboratively and co-operatively and treat each other with dignity and respect, inside and outside of the council chamber.”
The atmosphere of hostility and bickering “simply cannot continue,” she said, adding that the negativity on the current council “can only be addressed through change, through independence, and not by special interest slates or groups with specific agendas. Council absolutely must speak with one voice.”
Darnell says there are several major items that require attention in the new council’s first term, among them: The Township will have to decide whether or not to keep negotiating with Metro Vancouver’s Labour Relations Board or opt out as some local governments have done.
“Whatever route Township council decides, they must go to the bargaining table in good faith and be prepared to negotiate, rather than impose contracts,” she said. The Township “must be credible and prepared to compromise.”
Darnell advocates rehabilitation and social support services to reduce anti-social behaviour and promote pro-social behaviour.
Regarding transportation, she said that while people can board an airplane at YVR and fly to Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal virtually every hour of the day, there is still no direct bus service from Langley to downtown Vancouver or Abbotsford.
She called the lack of bus service to Trinity Western University “simply unacceptable.”
She said that light rail “may well be the long term answer, but surely bus routes today are the short term answer — and not just bus routes but buses that run often and can actually get students to school and home at all times that classes are operated.”
Darnell said that while the Metro Vancouver boundary ends at Langley, service ends at Surrey.
“Perhaps it is time for Langley to examine whether or not the GVRD is relevant.”
She welcome the scrutiny of the Auditor General in municipalities.
Developments must respect our water resources, especially the aquifers. “Much of the Township is in the Agricultural Land Reserve and our farms need the aquifers to survive.”
To that end, she said, “we need to ensure new project developers are required to install water access, rather than tapping into the aquifers. We need sewers, not septics.”
“We must do what we can to work towards minimizing pollution and ensure that those who use chemicals and pesticides do so wisely and adhere to best practices.”
Darnell ran for the Liberals in the recent federal election and has been involved in many community organizations in Langley, including a stint as chair of the Langley Community Services board.