A pair of former rivals for federal office in Langley jointly announced that they are running for Township council on Sunday, Aug. 28.
Rebecca Darnell and Carey Poitras faced off as candidates for the Liberal and Green parties, respectively, back in the 2011 federal election.
The two became friends during the campaign, and say their friendship is based on both what they agree on, and what they disagree on.
Both say their primary concerns are public safety, development, transportation, including SkyTrain and transit in general, and the environment and sustainability.
“I want to see us up our game, if you will, at council,” Darnell said.
Both Darnell and Poitras have been frustrated by the tone of Township council debates in recent years.
Another thing they want to focus on is increasing the number of first responders and their capabilities, especially in fast-growing areas like Willoughby and Brookswood.
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Darnell said that Willoughby needs an additional hall to handle the massive population growth in the area.
Another area that Poitras is particularly concerned with is agriculture, the environment, and water issues.
“I just haven’t felt a really strong voice on there [council] for really one or two terms now,” she said.
Smart development and adequate road and school planning are also on her agenda.
Also related to development is Darnell’s desire for transit improvements. Langley Township and its neighbours put a lot of tax money into TransLink, but where is the bus service, she said.
Neither Darnell nor Poitras will be joining a slate, and although they announced together, they aren’t officially running together.
With a slate, there’s an expectation that all the members will vote in a certain way most of the time, they noted.
“We’ve always been able to find that we’re able to disagree with each other,” Poitras said.
If they’re elected, they will be able to bring that collegial spirit to the council table, they said.
“It just makes perfect sense to us that we should be in this together,” said Darnell.
Both also have significant ties to Langley.
Darnell is a lawyer who has served on multiple local boards of directors, including for the Langley Community Services Society, the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, and the Canadian Museum of Flight.
A 27-year resident of Langley, she has also donated time to projects like The Foundry, and is a fixture at local charitable galas and golf tournaments.
Poitras grew up in Langley after her family moved here 37 years ago. She’s been involved with local and district Parents Advisory Councils, and has also been a board member with Ishtar Women’s Resource Society, and taken part in local tree planting campaigns and sustainability projects.
A supply chain management professional, she is of Metis and Ukrainian heritage, and wants to see diversity and inclusion on the Township council, allowing people from all walks of life to have their voices heard.
The Township voters go to the polls on Oct. 15 this year.
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