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About Inside Langford

News and Views for Langford and Victoria BC

Inside Langford came into being as a side-effect of the City of Langford’s plans, announced at an unadvertised December 27, 2007 Special Council Meeting, to borrow up to $25 million dollars without seeking public approval. Concerned citizens doing research on the proposed borrowing created Inside Langford as a hub for news and information about the proposal. Since then Inside Langford has grown into a Langford news site that covers a broad range of issues facing civic government and Langford citizens.

Some of the Langford residents who were involved with the petition against borrowing money without public approval have created the Langford Coalition, with greater accountability in Langford, British Columbia as its goal. Coalition member Steven Hurdle administers Inside Langford, and everyone in the community is encouraged to submit articles and add their thoughts and any additional information they have to articles in the “Comment” box that follows each post.

Comment Posting Guidelines

We want to hear from you and we want this site to be factual and informative and a useful tool for working towards a common goal of better public policy in Langford.

A Resident said

January 13, 2008 at 8:25 am
Thank you for doing this petition, I learned a lot today when one of your canvassers came around. I was surprised to hear that Langford taxpayers were now responsible for the loan. Looking into it online here, I see Langford is getting a 5% interest rate, better than the developer can get. In the banking world, typically one group gets a better interest rate than another because the risk is lower. Why am I and other Langford taxpayers having to take on this extra risk for the developers? I want the interchange, but let them get their own financing and take on their own risk. Does no one remember the 80s when developments were going under? There’s a chance for a similar scenario with the housing market crashing south of the border. These petitioners are on the right track and I was glad to sign today.

Stan Bower said

January 13, 2008 at 5:30 pm
I don’t mind Langford council being aggressively pro-development, as long as they get and stay honest about it. Then the voters could decide, but instead they hide behind the ridiculous assertion that they’re the most green-minded around. I signed this petition yesterday because I’m tired of the backroom and fast-tracked decisions. Young and co. have to decide if they’re super pro-development or if they’re green. They’re not fooling anyone trying to pretend to be both.

Brigitte Halleran said

January 14, 2008 at 12:20 am
We need to keep local politics honest here. If the city intents to comp out a $25 million loan, we as residents and tax payers should have the first and the last say about it. We need to put it to a vote for sure! I can think of a lot of other more practical and worthy ways of city spending than another access way to rich and indebted. How about more affordable housing for low income families, maybe a little attention to the older pot holed streets in what I like to call Olde Langford now, which is essentially everything on this side of the hwy divide. I know the city thinks we have money to burn, but come on, this is a Langford bon fire here and I’m pretty sure we banned those. I am anxious to be notified when it’s time for the vote…because a vote is MUST!! if we want to believe we are not run by a corrupt system.

Denis O’Brien said

January 17, 2008 at 7:23 pm
I have been watching the orgy of development here in Langford, it seems Mayor Stewey hasn’t met a developer that he didn’t like. I am increasingly angry at the destruction of caves and wildlife habitat, desecration of indigenous sacred sites, and the raping of Skirt Mountain to provide overpriced housing and increased traffic. This new trend (approved by council) also seems to be one of blasting into rubble every bit of rock or natural feature rather than incorporating them into the design. The latest chest pounding over “environmentally sound” LEEDS housing is sad, given that in order to create this environmental housing, the actual environment is destroyed (as it wetlands). Reigning in this out of control council is long overdue.

Ian Dakers said

March 2, 2008 at 6:30 pm
This is an example of similair events occuring all across Canada and the world. Decisions are made behind closed doors and the main values are growth and profit which are fine if you are in an open ecosystem.

Unfortunately we are in a closed eco system.

As the movie The Corporation points out, the actions of our main organizational structure, corporations, are the same as a psychotic individual. Not a great long term plan to let loose a large group of psychotics in closed eco system.

The will of the people is not being heard and there is no voice which is imperative in a true democracy.

Looking at the bigger picture in regards to the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) Agreement which was signed in May 2005 between Vincent Fox (Mexico), George Bush (U.S.), and Paul Martin (Canada) WITHOUT PUBLIC CONSULTATION…..it is very obvious that the will of the people is the last concern of those who are looking to exploit any community they can.

They do this by making a very few individuals rich and the then use their money to influence whatever is necessary to occur through back room deals.

One important solution to this is to set up a grassroots media network so the people can begin to speak to each other in a consistent basis…a place where a petition could occur in a few days because EVERYONE in the community was a member of the communication network.

In reponse to what is occuring here in Langford….a Langford Commons has been created which is a multiple functional communication forum…just like a my space…but specific to ths community….the members control the information loaded and therefore educate one another on what is actually occuring.

For real democracy to occur we need a Commons for people to meet. This does not occur anymore offline, but it can occur online…it just takes everyone to make it occur through word ofmouth.

if you are interested in helping to administer and grow the Langford Commons…please come to http://www.langfordcommons.ning.com

It makes sense to use the interchange as the first issue to rally around and truly find out the will of the people and to get all of the relevant information from all mediums of communication.

Shelly said

March 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm
Too bad the lawsuit between Quigg and the Bear Mt Partnership won’t slow down or even stop the Bare Mt
destruction. Where are they getting the water for the reservoir mentioned in the lawsuit from?
Is it water from the springs inside the Sacred Cave they destroyed in
Nov 2006? Is it water that should flow into the Goldstream / Florence
Lake watershed?”

Lanette Woolbert said

March 11, 2008 at 2:53 pm
I am very upset that a bylaw officer came along Florence Lake rd. yesterday to take down the “What is Langford upset about” signs with the attached website langfordprotest.org. .
I also find it quite strange that Mayor Stew Young was seen driving around Florence Lake rd the previous day, “checking things out”.
What happened to having a voice around here.
There are always garage sale signs, work related signs etc. that remain left alone. Graffiti on signs and trash thrown into Florence Lake seem to remain ignored as well. But signs against what is really going on around Langford, are torn down. Give me a break!!!

B.Faubert said

March 13, 2008 at 6:19 am
I am not a resident of Langford, but do have family living there so naturally I have been keeping up on the latest news.
I am appalled at the way the city is being governed by it’s elected leaders ( for the people,by the people ) What happened to democracy? This is 2008,not 1940! Scary business…The ‘Mayor’ actually driving through ‘HIS’ town ( not the ‘peoples’) tearing down public signs????
Do the people have the same right to tear down election signs when the time comes or will democracy ,then be an issue, for the elite??
Well Mr Young,better for you to spend more of the people’s monies on road repairs,soccer fields and the welfare of those who voted for you, then selling them out for your own prosperity.
If the people who want to develop Bear Mountain are such great and renowned Developers,let them use their own money,not take from the people of Langford. Either you are being ‘USED’ Mr. Young or you are not a very smart man………

Lenny said

March 21, 2008 at 1:46 am
A song for people to sing on their protests (to the tune of ‘One Tin Soldier’).

Listen, children, to a story
That was written long ago,
‘Bout a sub-burb on bear mountain
And the Langford folk below.

To the mountain there was no driveway,
No way for rich folks to drive home,
And the mountain people swore,
That they’d carve it for their own.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Progress,
You can justify it in the end.
There won’t be any tree frogs singing
Come that Interchange,
On the bloody morning after….
One rich Developer, rides away.

So the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill,
Asking for a vote to build it,
A democratic void to fill.

Came an answer from Bear Mountain,
We are special, we decide,
Local land-use shall decree it,
Our King Stewart will provide.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Progress,
You can justify it in the end.
There won’t be any tree frogs singing
Come that Interchange,
On the bloody morning after….
One rich Developer, rides away.

Now the valley cried with anger,
“Climb your platforms, rig the trees”
And they occupied the driveway,
But soon were bullied by police.

Now they watch as trees are fallen,
Police patrol to prove the worth,
Climb deep within the Langford Cavern,
Someone’s written, ‘Save the Earth’.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Progress,
You can justify it in the end.
There won’t be any tree frogs singing
Come that Interchange,
On the bloody morning after….
One rich Developer, rides away.

Gord McKie said

March 26, 2008 at 9:37 pm
Hi, thanks for giving my letter wider distribution. Here’s the commentary that inspired me to write, if you haven’t already seen it.

Keep up the good work!

Gord McKie
Colwood

>>The unintended consequences of suing protesters
If they’re liable for policing costs, why not bill everyone who calls the cops?
Jesse Lobdell and Jason Gratl, Special to Times Colonist
Published: Friday, March 21, 2008

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association watched with interest as Langford Mayor Stew Young threatened to sue a group of protesters to recover the costs of policing them.

One might argue that the mayor, having ordered up a well-armed assault team formidable enough for the Normandy landing, had something to do with the costs of policing, estimated at more than $100,000. But it’s far easier to scapegoat the protesters. And it’s an attractive argument to charge those who would break the law.

There would, of course, be some consequences.

The cost of a speeding ticket could go up if you had to pay for the officer to pull you over. Young would like to set such a precedent. He might argue that’s not what he had in mind, but there isn’t a difference. Trespass and speeding are equally against the law.

If the real agenda is to silence protest, however, especially when it is engaged in by those with shallow pockets, then certainly speeders should feel safe from the mayor’s legal team.

Would you call the police over a domestic dispute? It is your family that needs to be policed, and thus your family who could foot the bill. Would you call the police if you thought your neighbours were having a domestic dispute? Who foots that bill? Young might want to outline his policy. He could work with the Langford RCMP on that one, although they might charge him for their time.

It’s a bad precedent, having to think twice before you call the police. Once the precedent is set, it would be up to the discretion of the police. A good sense of discretion is not always displayed by our law enforcement officers, let alone our local politicians. It sounds a bit like policing for profit.

Young might want to outline which crimes are “bad” according to him, bad enough so that the taxpayer shouldn’t have to pay. According to Young, the worst crime is civil disobedience. To our knowledge, the issue of transferring costs of policing to the policed has only arisen over protest.

It’s tough to say whether future generations will regard environmental protection as important as universal suffrage or the 40-hour work week, rights won in part through protest that was not always peaceful or perfectly legal.

In another troubling recent incursion on civil liberties in Langford, Jennifer Andison decided to peacefully protest by placing signs in her yard showing her support for the protest against construction of the Spencer Road interchange. It seemed like a peaceful protest until Andison was visited by a Langford bylaw officer, who informed her that erecting a sign is illegal.

It’s an understandable mistake. After all, how many Langford residents have read the 17-page Sign Bylaw No. 700?

You might want to read the bylaw. After all, if your children are having a birthday, you wouldn’t want them to incur a $100 fine by placing a balloon in the yard without first getting a permit from the city. The bylaw includes the form to be filled out should your child be unable to afford the ticket or the legal expenses to challenge the constitutionality of such restrictions.

Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects our freedom of expression.

It’s hard to believe that one would have to invoke the charter to put a few balloons up. Or a small sign supporting an environmental cause, for that matter.

The drafters of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms thought so highly of freedom of expression that they called it a “fundamental freedom.” Young’s crusade against protesters is an assault on our hard-won freedoms, of conscience and expression.

To stifle that freedom with financial penalties runs counter to the values Canadians hold dear.

Jesse Lobdell is a caseworker at the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, where Jason Gratl is president.

Shelly said

April 25, 2008 at 3:38 am
Re: Western Speedway
I am a lukewarm supporter of the Speedway (after all it glorifies car culture which is killing our planet), if there is no expansion of race nights. There was a horrendous amount of noise coming from the speedway on Tuesday night…first time in my many years here on Florence Lake. Is this the motorcycle track? I can’t live with that racket all evening, after a day of blasting, rock crushing, chains saws etc..

Dave said

April 26, 2008 at 3:37 pm
I have two things that I would like to have discussed.
One: When did the community plan authorize a used car park, (belonging to Alpine which is the mayor’s big business) at the front of Hulls Field on Jacklin? I seem to remember that it was suppose to be commercial stores.

Two: When did Attree Ave become a private road? Did the businesses, Galaxy Motors, etal. pay the city for the removal, how much did we get etc?

Martha McGachie said

May 1, 2008 at 11:46 pm
How come the current “authorities” in Langford have taken into their hands to decide for all its population any matter, not giving enough or reasonable time to the people to study and give consent or their opinion?? They can be sure that, no matter how much effort (or money) they put into their next political campaign, they will not be elected back if things continue to go on as in the present. Langford has been improving its image in the last few years, and that may be the merit of Stew’s gang, (thank you!) but careful…! for we have not voted you to do “as you please”!! You only need to do your job well, that’s all! I am still trying to digest your actions about the Spencer interchange conflict… That is not why we chose you to your positions, and neither is now to (future benefit?) from this outrageous OCP proposal. Hopefully you will not need to watch over your shoulders when this term of yours end, for you know there is a LOT of resentment against you all. Sorry! but I usually say frankly what I think, and I know that sometimes the truth hurts… right?

Debbie Rife said

October 21, 2008 at 4:22 pm
I was shocked and horrified when leaving Westshore Mall with my children a few sunny Saturdays ago
To our horror we passed a man with a tank full of poison on his back spraying the flower beds surrounding the parking lot. We passed him with our mouths hanging open in disbeliefe only to see a bird eating a bug in the sane bed he had just sprayed!
In this day and age I cannot fathom that this kind of disregard for our community and planet can still exist! Come on Mall Owners! If you can not garden reasponsibly pave the whole damn thing! Just don’t kill our remaining wild life to make it look like you maintain what you’ve planted, you got caught! Hire someone who is not too lazy to bend down and pull weeds and has pride in his/her community enough to say NO to poisons
A person is no longer allowed to smoke (I am a non-smoker) outside the doors to protect others and yet this person is allowed to openly spray poison in a crowded parking lot wearing no protection at all
I feel frustrated angry and confused and am willing to shop else where if the powers that be are not willing to correct this matter and appologize to the community

Herman Surkis said

October 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm
I was not there, so I cannot speak to the specifics. It may have been a ‘green approved’ pesticide (is there such a thing?). But I do agree with your sentiments. If you made mental note of the chemical, so much the better.

For best effect, you should copy your comment and mail it to the Westshore Towncentre, or drop it off to their offices in person. Email is too easy and gets minimal attention. But a letter takes real effort (how times have changed), and tells them that you are really serious about your complaint. A follow up to the press will really get their attention, and might stir up a lot of other people who feel the same way.

http://westshoretowncentre.com/contact/

Brenda Faubert said

November 16, 2008 at 11:56 am
Congratulations to the Coalition. Even though you did not make it as council members,you gave it a great fight. Langford,now knows it will have accountability as there are a group out there,making themselves known to the people. Who knows what the next three years will bring? By the number of votes ,there is definitely a following. You all have done a wonderful job and I know,will continue to keep Stew Young and his people on their guard as to will of the people. Again ‘way to go’!!!!

Sam Snipes said

December 3, 2008 at 11:36 am
Noticed today in the Business Examiner that Home Trust company is suing both the City of Langford and Kensington Realfund Corp for $350K. I wonder if there is a story there? Did the city backstop another developer loan that we hadn’t ehard about?

Ian Phillips said

April 11, 2009 at 9:27 pm
Activism-the policy or practise of using vigorous action to bring about political or social change( Oxford Canadian Dictionary)

Zoe, it seems to me that Mr. Jones has just paid you a complement. Other activists that come to mind are Gandi,the Dali Lama,Abe Lincoln,Ralph Nadar,David Suzuki,Green Peace..and the list goes on and on.
Sometimes you have to “fight fire with fire” and the actions necessary to deal with “boneheads” like Mayor Stew Young unfortuneately don’t include diplomacy.

Keep up the good work Zoe and the focus on the fact that democracy has been slowly eroding in Langford during Stu’s regime.

It may take time but one day civility will return to City Hall.

Zoe said

April 12, 2009 at 12:11 am
“civil disobedience classes on how to disrupt the 2010 Olympic Torch Run…”

Excuse me, but this is a complete fabrication. If you have an issue with me, I have an email address. I don’t post to this blog and your comment is off-topic, not to mention delusional.

“Celebrity activists…”

LOL!

Sam Snipes said

April 12, 2009 at 8:30 pm
I think that the point about maintaining a higher standard is a valid one. Lowering oneself to “fight fire with fire” just allows the mayor and council to lump all “naysayers” together as wackos and troublemakers.

Fred Bloggs said

October 20, 2009 at 10:47 am
Although, I don’t care much for the coalition or their views, I do appreciate that this web page has allowed me to post my concerns and opinions even when they go against the grain of most users.

Shannon Ireland said

January 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm
Owner of Historic Landmark/Pub apparently received approval to change the name of Ma Millers Pub

This morning I was invited to an event via Facebook to attend the Grand Opening of the new “hooters Branded Style” pub – Twin Peaks Bar & Grill formerly known as Ma Millers.
It is a pub, yes, but a big concern is the types of clientele that will be entering our quiet neighborhood now. The types of events the owner/manager is advertising now are disgraceful and are more suited for a Backwoods Brothel. Which, by the sounds of it, it will soon be.

So, I thought you might want to know about this and maybe there is something you can do?

The concerns are:
1. There is a school in the area. Children in our neighborhood often walk to their friends homes or to/from school from morning till after dark. It is a safe and quiet neighborhood. With this kind of clientele coming for events like the ones listed below, is it still safe for the children to be wondering around anymore?
2. There is already a prostitution problem in this area. Particularity Finlayson Arm Road/Goldstream Provincial Park area where Johns’ take the Pro into the woods for their date. Events listed below ‘could’ add to more of this type of people coming into Langford.
3.OFFICIAL NAME CHANGE APPROVED BY LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD – Changing the name of an Inn/Pub that’s been there since 1864. It’s one piece of history that should be left alone. What next…get rid of the 6 mile? These are landmarks that define who we are as a community.
4.That type of sports bar ‘should’ be in a more central area…. Goldstream park is for families and campers…. Hooters type places belong downtown or in a more public location.
I am copying in the details of the invitation to this email.

Facebook Event Link: (copy and paste) https://www.facebook.com/events/338307809535386/

This is what is reads:

When Saturday, March 3, 2012
Description IT’S OFFICIAL NAME CHANGE APPROVED BY LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD :

MA MILLERS PUB AS OF MARCH 3 RD IS BEING RE BRANDED TO A HOOTERS STYLE PUB NEW NAME WILL BE TWIN PEAKS BAR & GRILL . ( as in breasts )

WE ARE HAVING A GRAND OPENING PARTY SATURDAY MARCH 3 RD THE BAND ROXXLYDE WILL BE PLAYING AT 9 PM . THE PARTY STARTS 3 PM

TWIN PEAKS BAR & GRILL WILL HAVE THE FOLLOWING TO OFFER OUR CUSTOMERS: HOT SERVICE AND HOT FOOD

WE HAVE A NEW RED SEAL CHEF WITH A NEW MENU PROVIDING EXCELLENT FOOD WITH LARGE PORTIONS. NEW SERVERS & HOSTS THAT ARE ALL EXPERIENCED TO PROVIDE EXCELLENT SERVICE TO YOU

WE ARE GOING TO BE HAVING MONTHLY THEME NIGHTS:

WET T SHIRT CONTESTS – BIKINI CONTESTS – 70′S – 90 ‘S NIGHTS – PLAYBOY MANSION PARTIES – MEXICAN NIGHT – CALIENTE SPANISH DANCE NIGHT – SINGLES MINGLES NIGHT WITH PRIZES FOR BEST HOOK UP

– DJ PLAYING DANCE MUSIC EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT

TWIN PEAKS BAR & GRILL IS GOING TO BE PARTY CENTRAL IN BEAUTIFUL LANGFORD !!!!!!!

I’d be interested in hearing your comments about this.

Anonymous said

February 11, 2012 at 11:32 am
sounds like a great place

Steven Hurdle said

June 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm
This news will likely be of interest to you:

“Cash crunch has bars turning to strippers

A Langford pub is bringing in exotic dancers, joining several other B.C. bars that are looking to strippers to improve business.

The dancers are expected to debut June 20 at Ma Miller’s Pub on Sooke Lake Road, where owner Dan Stephenson said he is struggling with declining revenue.

“I’ve tried to get people in there … I’ve tried to reach out to the neighbourhood,” said Stephenson, who has informed the city of his plans. “I have a lot of money that I want to get back out of that place. The landlord is not impressed that I’m going this [route] either, but it’s down to survival mode now.”

Stephenson said he believes there’s a market for exotic dancers in Langford. “It’s not just old perverts that go to these places. There’s more women than men in most places now,” he said.

Making the transition to erotic entertainment, however, has its obstacles. Some Langford council members say they would ban strip bars if they could, but the bar’s licence permits it. “I think it’s a good idea not to have that type of licensing permitted within our zoning at all,” said Coun. Lillian Szpak. “I’m not sure we can do that, but I’d like to look into it.”

Wayne Kalnciems, a Victoria-based promoter for exotic dancers, said there’s been a recent increase in the number of B.C. strip clubs because bar owners are struggling. His company, W.K. Entertainment, books dancers at new clubs in Kelowna and Prince George. He also handled bookings for two up-Island bars for about a month after they introduced dancers in April.

Paul Manhas, the owner of the bars near Nanaimo, said he is attempting to reverse declining revenues by bringing in strippers. Manhas added exotic dancers to his Club 241 in downtown Nanaimo. He coordinated scheduling so the dancers could also work at his Arlington Pub on the Island Highway in Nanoose Bay.

“The pub business is a dying business – it’s not the same as it used to be,” said Manhas, who also owns four liquor stores in Nanaimo. “People aren’t going out as much anymore. Liquor store sales have been up for a while, but bar sales are down.”

At Ma Miller’s, Missy Dunn will help manage the new entertainment. Dunn, who has worked at other strip clubs, argues a properly operated club does not attract problems. “I know what it’s like out there. As long as you take care of the room and obey the laws and you’re not over-serving and you’re diligent at the door, there aren’t going to be any problems,” she said.

dspalding@timescolonist.com