One of the province’s most recognizable politicians is hoping to return to public life.
Former deputy premier, housing minister and solicitor general Rich Coleman is running to become the next mayor of Langley Township.
Coleman was first elected as a BC Liberal MLA in Fort Langley-Aldergrove in 1996 and served until leaving provincial politics in 2020. He also served as the BC Liberal leader after Clark resigned and before Andrew Wilkinson was elected by party membership.
“I still have a lot to give to my community. I think I have some really innovative ideas on housing and to address public safety,” Coleman told Global News on Thursday.
“I love this community whether as a volunteer or in public service. I think with my leadership and the Elevate Langley team, we can raise the bar and build an even better community.”
Former B.C. Solicitor-General Rich Coleman considering a return to politics
Coleman served in former premier Gordon Campbell’s cabinet starting in 2005 and was one of Christy Clark’s most senior cabinet ministers between 2011 and 2017.
Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese has confirmed he will not run again in the 2022 municipal election, scheduled on Oct. 15.
Current township councillors Eric Woodward and Blair Whitmarsh have also tossed their hats in the ring for the top job,, along with former councillor Michelle Sparrow.
Coleman comes into the race with a lengthy political track record and some baggage.
The three-year Cullen Commission report into money laundering in B.C. faulted senior provincial government ministers, including Coleman, for being warned about incredible growth in suspected laundering of criminal cash in government’s casinos, and failing to “ensure such funds were not accepted.”
The commission, however, did not find evidence that such failures to act were motivated by corruption.
Report says B.C. politicians may have been complicit in money laundering but were not corrupt
As an MLA, Coleman helped deliver on the Langley Events Centre and several schools, including a new $60-million high school in Willoughby. He also helped secure two Langley Memorial Hospital expansions and a new Langley Hospice in 2019.
“Whether it’s the new schools, the overpasses built at 200th Street and 216th Street, the Carvolth Exchange and the 202 Street underpass, my ability to bring people together contributed to delivering results,” he added in a campaign launch news release.
“I think it’s important that the mayor is a leader with a team of people who work together to drive an agenda by listening to and working with the community. We can do great things together.”
As B.C.’s solicitor general, Coleman led the creation of the integrated homicide investigation team (IHIT) and initiated the first gang task force in in the province.
Coleman and his wife Michele have lived in Langley Township for 38 years.
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