At first, he threw in his hat to ensure someone would run against incumbent mayor Jack Froese, but Alex Joehl believes he has some good ideas for Langley Township.
The Libertarian candidate — who has previously run in both federal and provincial elections — says the principles of his party can offer residents “as much choice as possible.”
When it comes to the Agricultural Land Reserve, for example — one of Joehl’s main platforms — he would like people to have the freedom to use their property as they see fit.
“If somebody doesn’t want to farm their land, they shouldn’t have to farm their land,” Joehl said. “Obviously, there are other consequences at play, but what speaks to me is, honestly, I’ve always thought that I know better than the government how to live my life, and my neighbour knows better than the government how to live his life. And I would like to try and apply that with one stroke across the board.”
Joehl, who moved to Langley three years ago, has a background in sports journalism. After attending Langara College, he worked at a newspaper in Ontario before returning to B.C. to finish his degree. While in school, he got a part time job at Superstore and has stuck with the company ever since.
His other two election platforms involve housing affordability and policing.
Joehl says that housing scarcity in the Lower Mainland is the “main reason” the cost to buy a home is so high, but the way the Township has been addressing this issue is “wrong.” He says Willoughby, and particularly 208 Street, is a good example of what not to do.
“We need to be better at planning communities and building the infrastructure first, and then having the housing developments come in,” he said.
Joehl would also like to investigate if a municipal police force — similar to what Abbotsford and Vancouver have — would better serve Township residents than the RCMP.
And even if voters don’t agree with his ideas, Joehl encourages everyone to do their research before heading to the polls.
“I really want people to have a look at my platform, have a look at me, get to know me,” he said.
“If they vote for Jack Froese because they think he’s the better candidate and that he’s the guy to run the Township for another four years, I have no issue with that. But if they voted for him because they didn’t know who the other guy was, well, shame on them.”