Voters in Langford clearly felt now wasn’t the time for change.
The six incumbent councillors: Lillian Szpak, Denise Blackwell, Lanny Seaton, Winnie Sifert, Roger Wade and Matt Sahlstrom, were elected with a resounding margin of victory over the slate of five Time for a Change candidates who campaigned for a change in the operational style of the current council.
Stew Young, who reiterated that residents appreciate the positive changes seen in the city during the terms of the current council, was elected to an eighth term as mayor, beating lone challenger David Shebib by a vote margin of about seven to one. Shebib, a Saanich resident who was running in all 13 Capital Region municipalities, attracted 556 votes in Langford, the most of any of the municipalities in which he was running.
“This council has been here for a long time. It shows that the community is behind what we are doing,” said the newly re-elected mayor. “We are very progressive out here and really it’s all about creating jobs and a vibrant community here and that is what they have elected here.”
Young pointed to job creation, affordable housing, and more recreation, including a new recreation and arts centre, a new high-level tennis facility and the new YM-YWCA as some of the city’s focuses over the next four years.
“We gotta be smart. We gotta make sure that we encourage investment in our community and make sure we look after everyone in our community as we have in the past,” he said. “That is basically the same goals we had 20 years ago.”
The voter turnout in Langford was still among the lowest in the West Shore at 19 per cent, but was up five per cent from the 2011 total.
– with files from Don Descoteau