RIDING PROFILE: Cowichan-Malahat-Langford candidates focus on Langford in the final stretch of the federal election


These piles of rocks and dirt will be transformed into another neighbourhood, fueling the population growth in Langford, one of the province’s fastest-growing municipalities.

“Hello sir, I’m Alistair. I just wanted to thank you for putting the sign up.”

That’s why all four major party candidates running in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford are running flat out campaigning in Langford.

“Thank you very much. Thank-you.”

Even a federal party leader drops in on her candidate in Langford during a campaign stop to highlight the importance of this municipality. According to Statistics Canada, Langford is growing at a rate of five per cent annually, fueling key issues in the riding. NDP candidate Alistair MacGregor said he hears the same issue from residents.

“A lot of people are really starting to discuss affordability issues,” MacGregor said.

“Down here in Langford, certainly it’s transportation issues,” Liberal candidate Blair Herbert said the municipality struggles with adequate transportation for its residents.

That’s echoed by Green party candidate, Lydia Hwitsum, “I hear a lot about transportation.”

“Now it’s very much the affordability,” is what Conservative candidate Alana Delong is hearing on the doorstep.

With little debate over the key issues in this riding, Dr. David Black from Royal Roads University said it’s an indication of how close the races are on Vancouver Island.

“I think you have a decent incumbents, but you also have re-matches, you have strong contending candidates, Green or NDP depending on who is not currently incumbent,” Black said.

Incumbent NDP candidate Alistair MacGregor said this community is key to any election win.

“Langford has grown immensely over the last four years. I mean there are entire neighbourhoods that exist in this city which didn’t exist in 2015,” MacGregor said.

Gridlock is a problem the Liberal candidate sees as a major election issue.

“The interchange at McKenzie is going to improve traffic flow quite a bit. But we’ve also added quite a bit of population to this area in the last few years, and that’s going to bring us to where we were about six, seven years ago,” Herbert said.

After knocking on thousands of doors, Delong says she hears the same issue.

“There’s a lot of nice homes, but there is also a lot of people in here on fixed incomes. And so, when costs are going up, then it can get quite difficult,” Delong said.

And Hwitsum says Langford residents want better transit.

“People are trying to get from one place to another in terms of public transit. So taking the opportunity to really look at how to do public transit better,” Hwitsum said.

Voters will have their chance to decide Monday at the ballot box.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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