Election 2015: New Liberal candidate in

Newly installed Cowichan-Malahat-Langford Liberal candidate Luke Krayenhoff has less than three weeks to make an impact.

Despite it being the longest lead up to an election since 1872, newly installed Cowichan-Malahat-Langford Liberal candidate Luke Krayenhoff has less than three weeks to make an impact.

Krayenhoff replaced Maria Manna on Monday after she withdrew from the race following controversy surrounding her 2013 comments on Facebook about 9-11.

“I am excited to be able to represent the Liberal Party of Canada. I look forward to the next 21 days,” Krayenhoff said.

The Saanich resident was able to be nominated for the position quickly as he’d previously tried to win the candidacy in the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding and so had already been vetted by the Liberal Party.

Despite being dropped into the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding at the last minute, Krayenhoff said he doesn’t feel like he’s behind.

“It places me in the underdog position, but the party as a whole has been great in getting the message out and Trudeau has been doing great in the debates,” he said. “I’m pretty up to speed on the national issues like infrastructure, middle class prosperity and veterans.”

As a former RCMP officer who’s worked in government to help streamline police services, not to mention lived near the Royal Canadian Navy’s Pacific Fleet for most of his life, Krayenhoff holds a special place in his heart for current and former service people.

“Veterans’ issues are a top priority for me,” he said.

Improved highways and commuter rail are also high on his list. “We really have to get going on transportation initiatives; we’ve really got to get that Highway 1 moving,” he said.

While transit solutions have to be part of the overall solution, so too does rail.

“I know the Island Corridor Foundation has been struggling along to get things going, working to get funding commitments, but I’d like to see the feds and province step in to help.”

Acknowledging the riding’s diversity, from the more agricultural, resource base of the Cowichan Valley in the north to the more urban development-minded tone of Langford, with First Nations playing a role throughout, Krayenhoff said the Liberals have the best plan that works for all.

“There’s a lot of people who are going to vote strategically to unseat Harper, but I really think the Liberals have the best chance of forming government; we have the most credibility,” he said. “Once you’re in, you have to have a good set of policies, and we do.

“The role of government is to set the stage for the private sector to create wealth,” he added. “The idea is not to get everybody working for the civil service, it’s to have a good foundation to grow the economy. Government can be kind of a baffling thing, and it’s important to know [its] limitations and I think I do.”

A biography sent by Krayenhoff Tuesday afternoon notes he’s got more than 25 years of experience in both the public and private sectors in finance, policy, mediation and arbitration.

He holds a BA in Business Administration and a Masters of Public Management and is the former director of Justice Programs for the B.C. Attorney General.

“Luke has more than 25 years’ experience in change management in the public and private sectors,” said his bio. “He has worked with policy, stakeholder engagement, facilitation and mediation, and finance to help government agencies, non-profits and individuals see through their current circumstances to achieve their ideals. He works as a change manager with a track record of achieving consensus among stakeholders with differing viewpoints.”

Krayenhoff is also the current president of Langham Court Theatre in Victoria and is active at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

— with files from Don Descoteau