July 2018

202 203 LANGFORD, BRITISH COLUMBIA people involved in the trades?’We started an open door policy for business in Langford–that was the key.” So, the push was made for economic oppor- tunities, jobs, and education. Infrastructure was sadly in need of improvement. Prior to 1992, there were no sewers, and the downtown only had one brick sidewalk, so a full makeover was required.“Most of the Council has been with me in office for 25 years,”Young declares.“That’s an amazing statistic to have! It’s because we were all fighting for the same thing–to create eco- nomic activity and some excitement in our town - to promote a positive message that the com- munity can be proud of, for the general prosper- ity of everyone.” In the last twenty-five years, Langford has seen good growth and plenty of housing construction; 60 percent of local jobs are in the trades.Hard-working families live in the community, building future homes for people working in other trades.The city now has a pop- ulation of 40,000, thanks to its well-deserved status as a world-class sports tourism destina- tion.Young recalls,“We had to find out what we could do to contribute to the economy. So, about 20 years ago, Council decided to make recre- ation a destination here in Langford and build recre- ational facilities to a higher standard than average community-owned properties.” The city is always taking on projects–fields for soccer, baseball, rugby, football, even a bowling alley-whatever the community asks for. Every year or two, they build a top-notch arena or stadium. Langford went after sports in a big way and ended up with national training centers for Rugby Canada, Golf Canada,Tennis Canada, and Cycling Canada. The great year-round climate helps considerably, given that Langford hosts international athletes from all over the world, training for the Olympics and other competitions.“They’re all here buzzing around our town, it creates a lot of excitement,” says Young.“The mix of sports and international events has made it a vibrant hub for families and young athletes.We’ve always got something going on.” Recreational tourism is now the major industry, boosting the economy with restaurants, retail, a beautiful Westin Hotel, and Sheraton Four Points –firsts for this emerging community.Thousands of people come for tournaments and stay and shop. The biking community is also gaining momentum –Langford was recently the site of Mountain Bike Championships and has a huge involvement in Mountain Cross and BMX, as well.The city is spread- ing the word that it’s open for business, and partner- ships are welcome. Technology companies are showing interest, as are manufacturers. Rezoning is done within three months and building permits issued in 48 hours. “Our staff are part of the program,” says Young.“We want to make sure customers (our residents, busi- ness people, and investors) get treated with respect, and know that we appreciate their investment in