EDITORIAL: Langford election ‘us against them’

Clear line between city's incumbents and 'Time for Change' hopefuls

Last week’s all-candidates meeting for Langford council hopefuls held plenty of promise going in.

Sure, the 75 or so people who came out to the Langford Legion missed out on hearing from two councillor candidates who were unable to attend, and mayoral candidate David Shebib, who should have 13 sets of arms given that he’s running in every Capital Region municipality. But every other candidate showed up to offer their version of life in Langford for the next four years.

It was clear once the candidates introduced themselves, and later answered two randomly drawn questions from a list of seven written up by Westshore Chamber of Commerce representatives, that audience members were witnessing a discussion not unlike question period at the legislature.

While the individual answers to questions about amalgamation, sewage treatment and traffic issues provided little discernment, there was a clear line dividing the two main camps.

The incumbents, representing the entire sitting Langford council, voiced pride in the accomplishments of the city during the past term and for some, since incorporation.

The three members present from the Neighbours of Langford slate of five, also known as Time for Change – as well as the three independents – did their best to give listeners a sense they are a viable alternative to the old guard and worthy of residents’ votes.

Shebib’s no-show gave Mayor Stew Young the opportunity to cast a few stones toward his fringe opponent. But having the mayor bookend the proceedings with two separate addresses backing the incumbents was unnecessary and solidified the “us against them” tone clearly present at the gathering.

In the end it’ll be up to voters to decide whether some fresh blood and ideas are required in Langford to help shape the city over the next four years.