Langley Advance Times runs a new weekly feature, call it “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.
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 that said issue.
Alternating between elected groups, Langley City and Langley Township councils, Langley school board, Langley MLAs, and Langley MPs each have a chance to participate.
The answers provided will be published in their entirety online each Sunday.
Both Langley MPs were asked the same question: What is your party doing about the rise in incidents of hate crime in Canadian society?
MP John Aldag
A. The rise in hate crimes is an issue that should deeply concern all of us.
We introduced a bill to fight online hate, sexual exploitation of children, and incitement of violence in June 2021.
We will re-introduce a similar bill after further review this parliament.
It is clear that harmful online content is a serious problem, but there is no consensus on how to solve it.
A panel of 12 experts will advise us on how best to address hateful content online. These experts will provide new solutions so we get this legislation right. This legislation will prevent and prosecute hate crimes in Canada.
Our government continues to work with anti-hate groups across Canada.
We have announced $15 million in funding for 85 anti-racism projects.
We will introduce a National Action Plan this year that includes recommendations from the Antisemitism and Islamophobia summits. It also includes specific action on fighting hate crimes in Canada, including possible changes to the Criminal Code, training, and tools for public safety agencies.
We will invest in digital literacy and prevention against violent radicalization.
We are taking steps through legislation, funding, and shaping our political culture to build a stronger and more inclusive society.
MP Tako van Popta
A. My House of Commons colleagues and I are all working toward a safer Canada for everyone, through various pieces of government legislation and Private Members’ Bills.
MP Kevin Waugh has tabled Bill C-250, which seeks to prohibit the promotion of antisemitism, and MP Garnett Genuis has tabled Bill C-257, which would add political belief and political activity to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination.
These are among many other legislative efforts that the Conservative Party has undertaken to fight against ideological discrimination and hate.
Educating people about tolerance and compassion, to think critically and to take responsibility for their actions are also key components to a safer Canada.
In healthy communities, citizens need connection to others and to a purpose. Without that, a void is left, which makes it possible for negative forces to have influence on thoughts and behaviour.
At a national level, Canada must pay attention to and act on such issues as radicalization, and the impact of easily accessible misinformation online from sources at home and abroad.
Again, education is the key.
As stated at a public safety committee meeting by Dr. Kara Brisson-Boivin, director of research at Mediasmarts (Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy): “We need to ensure that all people in Canada have the tools and critical capacities to safely and positively engage as ethical digital citizens.”
Next week’s Langley City councillors are being asked: Should the City reconsider its stance to permit cannabis stores to operate within municipal limits?
Watch for their answers online Sunday.