The Langley Advance Times is pleased to introduce this new weekly feature, called “At Your Service.”
It’s another forum in which to put questions to our local politicians about key issues facing our community and its residents.
Instead of waiting for an election to arrive, we’re introducing this new weekly feature that will run ongoing, explained editor Roxanne Hooper.
Using a basic question-and-answer format, elected officials will be asked one question at a time and given the opportunity to respond (to a maximum of 250 words) on said issue.
Alternating between elected groups each week, we began with Langley City council, and are rotating through Langley Township council, Langley school board, now Langley MLAs, and then MPs – before starting at the top of the list again.
The answers provided will be published in their entirety online each Sunday.
In addition to questions presented by Advance Times staff, we are also open to suggested questions from the public on topics that are of concern to them, Hooper said.
Elected officials have been advised that we reserve the right to edit their submissions for brevity, legality, and clarity. If a politician’s answer is not included, it could be by error, but is more likely a failure on their part to meet the deadline.
Both Langley MPs were asked the same question: How can the federal government help make housing affordable without crashing the market and damaging the investments of millions of homeowners?
Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen
Any discussion on housing needs to clearly define what we are talking about if we want to implement good solutions.
Subsidized housing and affordable housing are two very different issues, which concern me on behalf of Cloverdale-Langley City residents.
Being able to own your own home has long been a path to financial stability for individuals and families in Canada. Government needs to ensure that the policies they put forward do not do more harm than good.
The recent spike in housing prices that face homebuyers today can be directly linked to many government policies.
The Bank of Canada’s current policy of creating new money to support government debt, while at the same time manipulating record low interest rates, has had significant consequences. Manipulation of interest rates played a huge part in fueling price rise. Without it, demand and prices wouldn’t have exploded.
The situation of chronic homelessness, on the other hand, needs alternate solutions.
One innovative possibility would be to encourage more developers to build rental housing by offering a deferred capital gain when selling if their money is re-invested in rental housing.
Making it easier to create much needed supply is critical from all levels of government.
Recently the Conservatives put forward a motion to examine a temporary freeze on home purchases by non-resident foreign buyers, replace the failed first-time homebuyer incentive, strengthen law enforcement tools to halt money laundering, and implement tax incentives focused on increasing purpose built rental housing.
This motion was supported by all parties except, unfortunately, the Liberals.
Langley - Aldergrove MP Tako van Popta
If a young family in Langley-Aldergrove decided a year ago to save up a little longer for a down payment on their first home, they are now $150,000 further behind.
In the words of one of my constituents: “it is so hard to be hopeful anymore.”
Metro Vancouver is ground zero for Canada’s housing affordability crisis.
People want to know – what is this government’s plan to tackle inflation and keep the dream of home ownership alive?
Basic economics tell us to create more supply meeting demand and maintaining price stability.
During the last six years, there has been a complete failure by the Liberal government to address the affordable housing supply.
If they would resolve their failed national housing strategy, poor economic and monetary policies, and deficit spending, Canadians – especially young Canadians – would have a shot at owning a home.
We also cannot ignore the impact that money laundering and foreign buyers have on the Canadian housing market.
I would also add that bringing SkyTrain to Langley would open up more housing development opportunities as a way to manage the housing affordability crisis.
On June 4, my colleague, MP Brad Vis, brought forward a motion to address housing supply and costs. The motion was passed on June 9 by all opposition members; the Liberals voted against it.
The Conservative Party has a proven record of managing Canada’s economy through challenging times.
Next week’s Langley City councillors are being asked: Langley City has a very large population of seniors, many living without air conditioning. What can and should the city do to help its seniors through extreme weather events in future?