1- What is the most important issue facing the Township, and how would you propose to deal with it?
Livability – this is the common theme which unites all of us in Langley. When I talk to people from various communities, the conversation inevitably turns to why we chose Langley as our place to live, work and play. Langley is a great place to raise our families, conduct our business and enjoy our leisure activities, but it’s become increasingly more difficult to do so under decisions made by our past council. It’s been alarming to hear concerns from longstanding residents that Langley no longer provides the opportunities it once did, and even more alarming to witness people moving from our great community, because they no longer find Langley as an attractive community. Most of the issues surrounding livability currently revolve around growth, so my primary objective is to better manage our growth throughout our Township. To that end, we need to take a step back and reflect on what Langley really needs in our various communities. If we re-engage the public through vigorous open consultations, we can create a strategic vision and plan for how our communities will unfold into the future. By empowering our residents, we can truly begin to shape our communities so that every resident, worker, and visitor feels that they can fully participate in our Township without fear or apprehension of their surroundings.
2 – Should there be restrictions on development in Willoughby until the situation regarding funding for new schools has been resolved?
Clearly, the situation in Willoughby requires a solution and part of that solution may be an evaluation of the type of development that is permitted in the community in the short term. I dislike the term “restrictions” as it implies a heavy hand of government. What Willoughby really needs is proper growth management. We need to review the Willoughby OCP and the various neighbourhood plans to see where we’ve gone wrong and to see if we can find ways to ameliorate the crisis that is Willoughby. By managing how much development, the type of development, and the timing of the development, we can begin to bring some semblance of livability back to this community by allowing our infrastructure and schools to catch up.
3 – Do you support a pool and recreation centre complex in Aldergrove, and if so, when should construction begin? If not, why not?
Absolutely. I have heard from many in this community that its heart will be a new rec centre and pool. However, I see the rec centre and pool as part of the larger issue of revitalizing this community. Aldergrove has been ignored by our past council for far too long. The core is becoming decrepit and people are leaving the community because there are no available activities. We need to energize Aldergrove by building the pool and rec centre and revitalizing the core. As far as timing, I would like to see construction of the pool sooner rather than later, preferably within the new administration. I also firmly believe that construction of the pool should not be contingent on the sale of Township property.
4- What type of development, if any, should be encouraged in a new community plan for Brookswood and Fernridge?
Personally, I like Brookswood as it is, but I recognize there will be both internal and external pressures for this community to grow. As for type, I think the residents voiced their concerns pretty clear during the public hearings earlier this year. Clearly, the Willoughby experiment should not be encouraged for this area. Brookswood’s ecosystem will rightfully limit this community’s capacity for growth so we have to be very careful where we can provide for additional sustainable development. It may be that in certain areas, increased density may be a sustainable option, but for the most part, we should seek to preserve the area as best we can.