Wednesday, October 22, 2008

TOL All Candidate Forum Last Night

From all the feedback we have received from the candidates and general public, last night's All Candidates Forum for Langley Township mayor and council candidates was a big success. As many of you know, SmartGrowth BC partnered with us at South Fraser OnTrax to bring this all together. Editor Frank Bucholtz of the Langley Times did an excellent job of moderating this debate and keeping everyone on track (no pun intended).

Our primary concern was that of timing and fairness, as we needed to allow for 15 candidates to speak and for them to be able to provide an intelligent answer to the questions. We decided on only three (3) questions drafted by SmartGrowth BC and South Fraser OnTrax, with the remainder (7-10 questions) coming from the audience. Although our focus was smart growth development and transportation, questions from the general public ranged from crime and gangs to the potential of metering private wells.

We planned time 30 minutes before the debate for candidates to mix and mingle with the public over some fresh donated Starbucks coffee...thank you Starbucks! Our Township citizens got to meet the candidates face to face for a chat, drink good coffee, pick up some brochures, and get answers to their personal questions. There was information available from SmartGrowth BC. We at South Fraser OnTrax hosted a table display for people to get the facts on Light Rail Transit and it's cost effectiveness over SkyTrain.

We did have several Langley School Board candidates present and allowed them to also distribute their materials. Even a few candidates for Langley City Council could be seen here! Thanks to the generosity of SFOT Co-Founder Nathan Pachal, we were able to provide two door prizes to the public as well. A very nice historical atlas depicting Greater Vancouver's development, and a gift card for Wendell's Cafe in Fort Langley were given away last night.

My little camera was having a challenge dealing with the lighting in the theatre and it also had auto-focus challenges. I hope we were able to get at least one good shot of each candidate here and we wish all of the candidates well with their campaigns.

SPECIAL THANKS: Moderator Frank Bucholtz, Editor of The Langley Times, Michael Alexander and Alice Miro of SmartGrowth BC. Time Keeper Erik Wiens and Registration Staffer Bill Taylor of South Fraser OnTrax. Nathan Pachal, Co-Founder of South Fraser OnTrax for the generous financing of the event, lots of hard work, and the door prizes.

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