Langley Advance Times is offering this 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.
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 Sundays.
MOST RECENT – AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley is attractive to school staff, but given rapid growth trustees agree more must be done
Langley MLAs were asked: Should people who don’t own vehicles receive government funds akin to the ICBC rebate?
Abbotsford South MLA Bruce Banman
A. John Horgan and the NDP’s ICBC rebate doesn’t provide much relief for British Columbians burdened with the rising costs of gas, groceries, and other necessities.
Gas prices in Vancouver have risen by more than 90 cents per litre since the NDP came to power in 2017, and B.C. gas prices remain 50 to 60 cents higher per litre than neighbouring jurisdictions.
When B.C. is paying the highest gas prices in North America, it doesn’t just impact British Columbians at the pumps, but in all areas of their lives.
It has never cost more to run farm equipment, ship goods, or keep our communities moving through public transit. As a result, British Columbians are seeing the cost of groceries, public transit, and all of life’s necessities continue to skyrocket.
John Horgan has framed his one-time ICBC insurance rebate as his promised “gas price relief,” but this was slated to go out to drivers already. The rebate also ignores the fact that everyone — not just commuters — is feeling the impact of sky-high gas prices.
To help address our affordability crisis, communities want real long-term solutions to address skyrocketing gas prices, and there are crucial steps John Horgan and the NDP could take today to provide more immediate and long-lasting relief to British Columbians.
The BC Liberal caucus has called for John Horgan and the NDP to temporarily suspend provincial gas taxes, provide a one-time rebate through the Climate Action Tax Credit, and suspend hidden ‘import’ taxes on gas brought into B.C. from Alberta.
Abbotsford West MLA Michael de Jong
A. B.C. is in the middle of an affordability crisis. With gas, housing, and groceries more expensive than ever, action is most definitely needed to provide people with relief and to address rising inflation.
However, despite John Horgan and the NDP describing the ICBC rebate as a measure to help people with rising gas prices, it does nothing to actually lower the cost of fuel, and it isn’t targeted at the people who need it the most.
Rather than providing a small one-time rebate that provides little relief in the face of skyrocketing prices, this government needs to take real steps to lower the cost of gas.
This not only benefits those who own vehicles, but all those who depend on our supply chain.
High gas prices make everything more expensive, from groceries, to transportation— even to the cost of construction, which in turn increases the price of housing and other projects.
There are steps the NDP could take to make a difference, and the BC Liberal Caucus has been calling on them to act for months. They could temporarily suspend provincial gas taxes, provide a rebate through the Climate Action Tax Credit that would actually go to those who need it most, and suspend hidden ‘import’ taxes on gas brought into B.C. from Alberta.
These are common-sense steps that would help every person in this province – steps this government would immediately take if they were really serious about making life more affordable for British Columbians.
Langley-East MLA Megan Dykeman
A. We know that people are feeling financial strain at the moment, and that includes the price at the pumps worsened by the war in Ukraine.
This relief rebate is for ICBC policy holders, and it is possible because of higher-than-expected investment income, allowing ICBC to give back this one-time rebate. This is in addition to the changes the BC NDP made to ICBC that have saved drivers on their insurance.
Our government will continue to take steps to make life more affordable for all British Columbians, not just drivers, including unprecedented investments in childcare, making transit free for kids under 12, and tying minimum wage to inflation.
Langley MLA Andrew Mercier
A. ICBC is in a good position right now, thanks to more investments than anticipated and the changes that the BC NDP has made to the company since 2017, and that’s why they are able to offer this rebate to policy holders – to help offset the steep rise in the price of gas.
Our government knows that while this one-time rebate will be a great help to those of us who drive, that affordability is something on everyone’s mind, and we will continue to look for more ways to fight inflation and make life more affordable for British Columbians, as we have done through actions like eliminating MSP premiums and raising disability and income assistance.
Next week, Langley’s MPs are being asked: What is your party doing about the rise in incidents of hate crime in Canadian society?
Watch for the politicians’ answers online Sundays.
AT YOUR SERVICE: City council weighs in on supervised consumption sites
AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley trustees applaud positives found amid pandemic
AT YOUR SERVICE: Township council weighs in on lack of industrial land
AT YOUR SERVICE: MLAs see feds as partners in SkyTrain to Langley
AT YOUR SERVICE: Creating more housing, on all fronts, critical to stabilization: MPs
AT YOUR SERVICE: Heat wave another call to action – City council
AT YOUR SERVICE: Pools need to be part of Township-wide recreation planning
AT YOUR SERVICE: No current need for year-round schooling in Langley, trustees agree
AT YOUR SERVICE: MLAs suggest staying the course on battling of B.C. wildfire
AT YOUR SERVICE: MPs call for borders to be safely re-opened
AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley City council wants to keep higher density development north of Nicomekl
AT YOUR SERVICE: Passports key to keeping B.C. businesses open, people safe during pandemic
AT YOUR SERVICE: Trustees ponder what kids are missing out on during pandemic
AT YOUR SERVICE: Education should trump rules for vaccination of health-care workers, suggest MLAs
AT YOUR SERVICE: How to handle rising housing prices
AT YOUR SERVICE: City council divided on call for indoor pool
AT YOUR SERVICE: Council ponders vaccine requirements for workers
AT YOUR SERVICE: Skyrocketing enrolment prompts intensified lobby by trustees
AT YOUR SERVICE: Political stripes aside, MLAs agree heat dome was tragic and action required
AT YOUR SERVICE: MPs agree much must be done to right wrongs for Indigenous
AT YOUR SERVICE: Is pay parking in the City a viable consideration?
AT YOUR SERVICE: Some suggest more needed to protect floodplains from development
AT YOUR SERVICE: Monitoring student transport not good use of school district resources – trustees
AT YOUR SERVICE: Liberal caucus floats all-party committee in reaction to emergencies
AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley MPs address issue of rising food costs
AT YOUR SERVICE: Inflation inevitably hits City taxpayers in the pocketbook
AT YOUR SERVICE: Future of Aldergrove core up for debate
AT YOUR SERVICE: Trees and more greenspace at root of climate change solutions
AT YOUR SERVICE: Inflation inevitably hits City taxpayers in the pocketbook
AT YOUR SERVICE: Councillors differ on future of SkyTrain beyond Langley City
AT YOUR SERVICE: Bigger schools not necessarily solution to rising land costs
AT YOUR SERVICE: High gas prices of concern for MLAs of both stripes
AT YOUR SERVICE: Military readiness for climate disasters must be ensured – says one MP; other says army only one piece of bigger puzzle
AT YOUR SERVICE: Empty homes can be safety concern, but not huge concern in City
AT YOUR SERVICE: Most of council content with current pothole repairs
AT YOUR SERVICE: Survey gives school district tools for staff recruitment, retention
AT YOUR SERVICE: Liberal MLAs call for overhaul to B.C.’s student funding model
AT YOUR SERVICE: Canada must continue its support of Ukraine, MPs
AT YOUR SERVICE: Best use of industrial land paramount to Langley City councillors
AT YOUR SERVICE: More ALR land needs to be used for farming: Most of council