Basil Langevin running a long campaign for change
On March 12, Basil Langevin held an outdoor event at Playfair Park to kick off his campaign for Saanich Council and the Capital Region District (CRD) for the October 2022 municipal elections. The rain held off for the UVic student as he spoke to his group of supporters about why he believes he should be elected in the fall.
“Our world is changing, and we can’t take what we have here for granted,” said Langevin in his address under the trees, an ASL interpreter beside him. “In order to adapt to this changing world, we need new approaches.”
The District of Saanich is one of the 13 municipalities in the CRD, and is governed by a mayor and eight sitting councillors. Municipal councils have the responsibility and power to create policy, adopt bylaws, and set budgets, among other duties, for their given communities.
Langevin says his campaign focuses not on a single issue or election promise, but rather on the intersection of crises that he believes is affecting the citizens of Saanich, with climate change, affordable housing, and street safety being a few.
“I’m aiming for … a policy that supports all of these issues at the same time,” said Langevin in an interview with the Martlet a couple days after the kickoff event.
“My key on council will be to find a way to improve our housing process, … reconfiguring our streets … and then working to make sure that our municipality is doing all it can to support vibrant, lively, walkable neighborhoods and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.”
When his employment status in the restaurant industry was put on hold due to the beginning of the pandemic, Langevin enrolled at UVic in the School of Public Administration. He also previously attended the University of Toronto and Ryerson University.
For the past seven years, Langevin has been a part of an international organization called Asexual Outreach. He is currently the executive director.
“We work across Canada and the United States to support community leaders in creating inclusive, welcoming spaces for Ace people,” said Langevin, adding that he will be leaning on this experience in his run for council.
Langevin’s bid for candidacy was in part inspired by current Saanich Councillor Ned Taylor, who was the youngest person ever elected to the Saanich Council in 2018. Taylor has advocated for more youth to run in the upcoming municipal election.
“Here I am thinking, if this 19-year-old can do it and has been really successful on council as a … youth voice, why can’t I?” said Basil.
While the election isn’t for months to come, Langevin says he plans on listening and working with the community during the long lead up.
“I really want to take the time and opportunity to listen to people, to try to understand better the challenges that individuals are facing, so that when we really ramp up in the election season in the fall I am able to speak to those issues,” said Langevin.
Long-time Saanich resident, parent, and road safety advocate Elise Cote said that she will be a supporter for Langevin throughout this process.
“I’m not just planning to vote for him, I’m planning to donate and volunteer for him because I’ve seen Basil in action from doing road safety advocacy work together,” said Cote in an interview with the Martlet. “I believe that he has the right attitude and skill set to be a really, really outstanding councillor.”
Candidates will submit their official nomination forms beginning Aug. 30, and municipal elections voting will open on Oct. 15.