The new Live Langley civic party has selected its candidates for the November municipal election, but is not willing to say who they are just yet.
Party president Clint Lee said there will be at least four Live Langley hopefuls campaigning in the Township race, describing them as strong candidates who believe that development in the Township needs to be better managed.
“Something needs to be done,” Lee told The Times on Monday.
Lee hasn’t yet decided if he will run himself.
“My primary concern is building the party and finding great candidates,” Lee said.
He said Live Langley is not anti-development, but it does object to what he calls an “over-abundance” of big development proposals that don’t respect the existing character of neighbourhoods like Brookswood, where there was a battle over a proposed plan to increase housing density. Community plan changes were defeated by council Monday night.
“We [Live Langley] do want to see development … but we want sustainable development,” Lee said.
During a recent appearance at the second night of the marathon public hearing on the Brookswood plan, Lee drew appreciative laughter when he spoke by referring to Willoughby, the rapidly-growing Township neighbourhood where he lives, as a “cautionary tale.”
Lee described the current council as a “slate” several times as he spoke, demanding they “listen to the vocal majority” and reject the plan.
“In my previous submission to this very council, I’ve pointed out that a fundamental principle of the Township is to provide a sustainable community,” Lee said.
“The notion of a sustainable community is peppered throughout Township literature, including its website. If the Township no longer believes in sustainable communities, then may I strongly suggest that you rewrite your materials so that we are all on the same page.”
In confirming Live Langley will be fielding candidates, Lee was careful to say they were not a slate, but a group of “like-minded” people.
In a November letter to The Times, Lee explained the distinction the party is drawing.
“At its core, a slate is a group of representatives who agree to vote together on the same issues,” Lee wrote.
“In our opinion, a quick review of voting patterns over the past years reveals, especially on controversial matters, an existing slate on Township council.
“A political party, on the other hand, is a group of representatives who espouse a common ideology or vision,” Lee went on.
“They may disagree on particulars.”
Two of the founding members of Live Langley have left in recent months; vice-president Brad Richert and secretary/treasurer, Carey Poitras.
The new vice-president is Kerri Ross, a Willoughby resident.
Lee said an announcement of a new secretary/treasurer is pending.
Live Langley earlier announced it will not accept contributions from corporations, unions and other societies, and will limit the amount that individuals can donate to the party and individual candidates.
The party constitution states that “no contributions will be accepted from corporations, unions or other registered B.C. societies. Maximums from individuals will be limited to $750 per calendar year.”
All contributions are to be made public, and addresses and contact information will not be disclosed.”
Although there are strict donation limits in federal election campaigns, under existing laws, there are no restrictions that limit the amount or who may contribute to municipal campaigns.
The provincial government recently announced a new Local Elections Campaign Financing Act and Local Elections Statutes Amendment Act that would tighten spending rules in municipal election.
If passed, the new laws will require third-party advertisers to register with Elections BC, identify donors who contribute more than $50 and require all election advertising to name the sponsor.
Mayors and councils would be elected to longer terms; four instead of three years.
The issue of spending limits won’t be addressed until 2018.
– with files from Black Press