Rich Coleman, Langley East MLA, watched the results come in on May 9 during the provincial vote. (Langley Advance files)

Top Five in 2017: Politics revved up in the Langleys

From roads to mayoral races to lawsuits, there was a lot going on in 2017.

The biggest political story of the year was the upset of the BC Liberals in the provincial election on May 9.

Langley’s Liberal MLAs – Rich Coleman in Langley East and Mary Polak in Langley – both won their seats. But after the Liberals found themselves defeated in a confidence vote in June, Langley’s MLAs were on the opposition benches for the first time in more than 15 years.

Coleman would take on a new major role in the opposition, acting as interim caucus chair and leading the Liberals in the legislature while a new permanent leader is elected by party members.

Transportation was a major issue, with residents of Walnut Grove continuing to campaign for changes to the 216th Street interchange, even as construction began in the spring.

In both Langley City and Township, the races for mayor got off to an unexpectedly early start.

With elections now scheduled for Oct. 20, 2018, longtime Councillor Kim Richter announced in November that she would run for mayor.

Issues of growth and development, property taxes, and street parking are expected to be among those candidates will campaign on.

In the City, Mayor Ted Schaffer announced he would not run again. Though no one has stepped forward as a candidate yet, former mayor and Surrey-area MLA Peter Fassbender has not ruled out another run for mayor.

In November, a long-running court case was quashed when the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the petition of Serena Oh.

Oh was a failed – and last place – candidate in the 2015 Langley City council byelection that was won by Nathan Pachal.

Oh claimed to have won, though she lost all her appeals, the case cost Langley City approximately $27,000 in legal fees.

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