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Colby Harder - Langford council candidate 2022

Colby Harder

Are you associated with or running as part of a slate? If so, which one?

Yes, I am endorsed by the Elector Organization, Langford Now

Do you live in the municipality where you are running, and if so, for how long? If not, what is your connection to that community?

Yes, I have lived in Langford my entire life, with brief periods in Colwood.

What is your occupation, and for how long?

I am currently a graduate student at UVic, working towards a MSc in Geography expecting to graduate in 2023. Previously, I worked for the Capital Regional District in Regional and Strategic Planning after graduating from my undergraduate degree in 2019.

Tell us about your previous elected and/or community experience.

I do not have any previous experience as an elected official, but have been involved in community building and volunteer efforts throughout our community. My interests in municipal politics and policy began while I was working with the Capital Regional District, informing residents on efforts to conserve and protect our region’s supply before working in transportation planning with the Regional and Strategic Planning Division. Currently, as I work through my Master’s degree, I am an active volunteer with Capital Bike, I support their work to improve road safety and mobility access for cyclists and other active road users.

Why are you running? What’s your motivation?

For my entire life, I have lived under the same leadership in Langford as they’ve made important decisions on our city’s behalf. Langford has reached a critical stage in our development. New perspectives and voices are needed to guide a clear path for sustainable growth into the future.

As a young woman running for local office, I hope to bring new representation, fresher perspectives, diversity, and a greater sense of empathy to Langford City Council. I am running to serve as a role model for today’s youth and to prove that it is possible to lead positive change in Langford.

What are your top three issues?

1. Complete Communities and Affordable Housing: ensuring future growth is being directed in a way where residents can readily access leisure spaces and amenities, meaningful employment, natural greenspaces, and essential services.

2. Investing in Infrastructure for Safer Streets: focusing on efficient, sustainable road design and sidewalk infill to support comfortable, convenient, and reliable routes to walk, bike, roll, and take transit.

3. Protecting and restoring natural areas: ensuring Langford’s resilience through unprecedented climate futures. We must invest in retaining and restoring natural areas to support a healthy environment, community, and unique outdoor experience.

What’s your vision for your community in 25 years?

Over the next four years, I intend to support thoughtful and responsible development in Langford to foster social connection and environmental resilience in our growing city. I want to take action on how development happens now, as a way to prepare for future floods, heat waves, and climate events.

In 25 years, I dream of living in a close–knit community where residents feel they have a fair choice and a voice in their city. I envision creating neighbourhoods where residents are able to choose from a range of stable housing options while being able to escape to natural areas and greenspaces, walk, bike, roll, and take transit to local destinations, and enjoy truly accessible public services suitable for diverse life stages and incomes.

What’s one “big idea” you have for your community?

During my first term, I would like to see the completion of multiple community garden spaces in Langford as a way to support local food security. We currently have no community gardens in Langford, which creates barriers for residents like myself, who live in multi–family buildings but wish to grow some of their own food. I envision supporting a collaborative program approach to create several small–scale gardens for neighbourhoods across Langford, where members of our community can gather and learn how to grow food for our community. I hope to extend the reach of this work by partnering with the Goldstream Foodbank, SD62, small farmers, horticulturalists, and dedicated residents to distribute healthy options to families and individuals in need.