Umbrellas were widely used during a unique outdoor all-candidates meeting held in the pouring rain at a Langley playground. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Election 2018: Township campaign gets off to a damp start

Milner Heights residents host an all-candidates meeting outdoors in the rain

It was, several contenders said, a “unique” forum for an all-candidates meeting.

A group of residents in the new Milner Heights neighbourhood in Langley Township held the late Sunday afternoon event outdoors in their community playground, an amenity they said was in dire need of improvements.

They wanted the hopefuls for Township council to see it up close.

What they didn’t allow for was the rain, a persistent downpour that forced most participants to take shelter beneath umbrellas and one of two portable shelters.

“Stanley Park has a theatre under the stars, we have theatre under the rain clouds” said Dean Duggan, one of the residents who organized the 90-minute event.

Duggan said the playground on 71A Avenue between 209 and 210 Streets only has equipment for children to play with because of a donation two weeks ago by a neighbour who provided a playhouse, table and other amenities.

The question put to the candidates about the playground asked “would you support or introduce a motion next year to install better playground equipment in this park?”

The residents also wanted to hear what the candidates would do about two other issues of concern — the undergrounding of electrical wire on 210 street and whether they would support a motion to have the Township take over the Milner Heights sanitary pump station which they current pay for.

Seventeen council candidate’s were directly invited, and 19 showed up (school board candidates were not invited).

About 30 residents attended.

Incumbent mayor Jack Froese and mayoralty challenger Alex Joehl took part.

So did incumbent councillors Petrina Arnason, David Davis, Bob Long, Angie Quaale, Kim Richter and Blair Whitmarsh.

Also present were former councillors Bev Dornan and Steve Ferguson, who are hoping to return to the Township chambers and candidates Michelle Connerty, Gail Chaddock-Costello, Gary Hee, Jonathan Houweling, Michael Pratt, Kerri Ross, Terry Sheldon, Craig Teichrieb and Eric Woodward.

Each was given a minute-and-a-half to respond to the residents concerns.

Those who directly addressed the three listed concerns during their remarks agreed with the residents, while others opted for a straightforward vote-for-me pitch instead.

The responses tallied by the residents group shows most candidates were supportive.

Three asked to delay their responses.

Among the 16 who did fill out the forms, 12 supported playground improvements, three were undecided and one, Joehl, was opposed .

On putting power lines underground, nine said yes, and seven were undecided.

On the pump station, eight said yes, seven were undecided and one, mayor Froese, was opposed.

Davis: I’m still considering

Councillor David Davis, who has been a consistent front-runner in previous elections, indicated he still hasn’t decided whether to run when he spoke, saying “if” he seeks another term, he would continue to advocate for preservation of farmland.

Following the forum, Davis said he hasn’t yet fully committed to running again, but not to read too much into that because he prefers to take as much time as he can before he makes a commitment.

“I’ll need a few (more) days,” Davis told The Times.”

“You have a time frame until the 14th (of September, the deadline for candidates to file).

READ MORE: Nomination period kicks off for B.C.’s 2018 municipal elections

READ MORE: Peter Fassbender announces run for mayor of Langley City

The Willoughby Residents Association will be hosting an all-candidates meeting on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m to 9 p.m. at the Shepherd of the Valley Church, 20097 72 Ave. It is open to all. Participants will be asked to submit written questions.

Other groups are also planning all-candidates meetings.

The Times will report dates and locations as they are confirmed.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


New council candidates Jonathan Houweling, Michael Pratt and incumbent mayor Jack Froese share a laugh before the all-candidates forum gets underway. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

MP Mark Warawa and Langley Township councillor Bob Long. Warawa was MC for the 90 minute all-candidates meeting held in a Langley playground. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Kerri Ross offers shelter to rival candidate Steve Ferguson. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Incumbent councillor Angie Quaale was one of 19 candidates who attended an outdoor forum in Langley. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Just Posted

VIDEO: Creative costumes at wine run through Langley

Campbell Valley Wine Run inspired by French event

Vancouver Giants earn a weekend sweep against Everett

Langley-based hockey team plays its next game is at home on Friday, Sept. 28, against Seattle.

Support for ‘Plywood bylaw’ at Langley Township public hearing

Regulation would require polycarbonate in place of plywood to board up buildings in Fort Langley

VIDEO: Driving from Langley to Whistler to help firefighters

Second annual rally for Porsche fans draws increased turnout

VIDEO: Multiple power outages in Langley

Traffic accidents among the causes

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Porsche impounded for going 138 km/hr in 90 zone during charity rally

West Vancouver Police said wet roads and heavy rain made it extra dangerous

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Phase 2 of $1.35B Royal Columbian upgrades won’t be a public-private partnership

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says it will be a design-build

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Family, friends of B.C murder victim want killer sent back to max security facility

Group wants convicted murderer Walter Ramsay sent back to a maximum security facility

Man facing charges after allegedly climbing into police car, spraying fire extinguisher

Vancouver police say the man appeared to be under the influence of drugs

Most Read