Monday, December 17, 2018

Langley City and Township: A brief history of cooperation

Because of our shared origin, Langley City and Township have a history of working together for the betterment of residents and businesses in both communities. Today, we jointly fund policing, Langley Youth and Family Services*, dog control, emergency management, and search & rescue services. Our fire departments, along with Surrey, have mutual aid agreements, and our local water systems are interconnected.

Because Langley City is surrounded on three sides by the Township, there is also cooperation when it comes to planning for things such as transportation or stormwater management. We even still jointly fund the Douglas Day luncheon.

In the past, we also jointly marketed both communities as a tourist destination.

Last week, I posted about some of the historical documents that are available online about local governments. This is because all Orders in Council, dating back to the beginning of our province, are available online. Another interesting document that I found was from the late fall of 1971.

Langley City and Langley Township both have separate parks and recreation departments today, but for a period, we had a joint recreation commission. Some of the joint projects that both municipalities worked on in the past include the W.C. Blair Pool and McLeod Athletic Park.

The joint recreation commission was long gone by the 21st Century though finding this old document reminded me of my hometown. The City of Vernon and District of Coldstream have had a joint parks and recreation department since before I can remember.

I am not suggesting that Langley needs to have a joint recreation department again, but even shortly after Langley City became its own municipality, there was still room for cooperation. Over the years, that spirit of cooperation has waxed and waned, but it has always remained.

Map of the Langley Regional Town Centre. Select map to enlarge. Source: Metro Vancouver.

With rail rapid transit on the horizon, and both communities sharing the Langley Regional Town Centre, there will continue to be opportunity in the coming years to work together.

*This organization provides early intervention counselling service in cooperation with the Langley RCMP, the community and families toward preventing child and youth entry into the criminal justice system.

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