A collective of dissatisfied residents has formed the group Langford Now, with the aim of bringing political change come the municipal election in October.
Fifty residents are members, and the group is now registered as an electors organization with Elections BC, The group is currently open to applications for new members and vetting – for things like a criminal record check, if they’re an eligible voter and an applicant’s social media history – potential candidates for Langford city council in October’s election.
Common issues cropping up are the preservation of green space, traffic, a perceived lack of community engagement and the overarching concern about the pace of development in Langford.
“We’re not against development. We are for measured and balanced development. We have development now that’s outpaced our infrastructure, that’s not workable. We see that with traffic jams, we see that with missing amenities, with missing green space. So it’s a matter of balance and looking at what’s actually good for the community, not just the developers,” said Corrina Craig, the authorized principal official for Langford Now.
Craig said she hoped members within the group would be interested in running and the group would look to support candidates who announce they’re running on their own.
“I think people are really excited about the fact that they don’t have to go it alone. I think it’s a very intimidating process to go up against a really long-standing council – especially given what we’ve seen with the council meetings in the last little while.
Mayor Stew Young, who has held the position since 1993, said in a previous interview he plans to wait until the summer to officially make his decision on running for re-election.
Langford’s seven councillors have a combined 170 years of experience on council between them. Three were elected before the new millennium – both Young and Coun. Denise Blackwell were elected to council in 1992, and Coun. Lanny Seaton was elected in 1996. Szpak was elected in 2002, the same year as Coun. Matt Sahlstrom. Coun. Roger Wade was elected in 2008.
The most junior member of council, Norma Stewart, was elected in 2018.
Despite this, Craig said she’s confident Langford Now could see some members elected in the upcoming election.
“The winds of change seem to be blowing.”
The municipal election in B.C. is set for Oct. 15, 2022.