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 MLAs were asked the same question: Does the lack of a federal commitment to the Langley SkyTrain extension endanger the project? And if so, what must you and the province do to move it along?
Langley City MLA Andrew Mercier
A. SkyTrain to Langley is an incredibly important project. During the election, and since becoming MLA for Langley, I have been a strong advocate for this project (in fact I have become somewhat known for bringing it up in the legislature).
My own passion for the project aside, our government is committed to extending the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain all the way to Langley City. Langley is a growing community and needs better, more accessible, transit. SkyTrain is a key part of that.
That is why this year’s provincial budget (2021) allocates $7.6 billion for transportation investments over the next three years – that funding includes work on the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain project.
We’ve also been working closely with the mayor’s council and the federal government to finalize the plans for the complete Surrey-Langley SkyTrain project. We are encouraged by the fact that the federal government announced that it will spend $14.9 billion over the next eight years on public transportation projects across the country.
Langley is growing, and SkyTrain will make it easier for folks to travel between Langley and the rest of the Lower Mainland. We are going to continue our work on this project in collaboration with all levels of government. I’m very excited to watch SkyTrain to Langley move forward, and to be involved in the process!
Langley East MLA Megan Dykeman
A. We know that investing in reliable transit is beneficial for a host of reasons. Whether it be a more affordable and accessible commute, the creation of jobs, or the ability for people to live somewhere more affordable.
Both the federal government and our government here in British Columbia are committed to bringing transit that works for people. This shared commitment is reflected in the funds laid out for transportation in BC’s Budget 2021, and in the federal government’s commitment to transportation projects over the next eight years.
Commitments to stable and predictable transit funding is great news for British Columbians, and we are working with Infrastructure Canada to develop these investments so that we can make sure they best address the needs of people.
The Surrey Langley SkyTrain is an important investment for our area, and we as a province are committed to completing it.
This project will not only provide sustainable transportation choices for people south of Fraser but will come with opportunities for transit-oriented development and affordable housing, as well.
I’m personally looking forward to it being easier for people to be able to come out and visit Langley for a day. While they are here, I hope they visit our incredible local businesses and maybe grab some food from some of our amazing local farmers while they’re at it!
Next week’s Langley MPs are being asked: How can the federal government help make housing affordable without crashing the market and damaging the investments of millions of homeowners?
Watch for their answers online Sunday.