Langley Advance Times introduced 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 one thing the government of Canada should do to advance Indigenous reconciliation in the next year?
MP John Aldag
A. Our government is committed to delivering on all Calls to Action that are under federal or shared jurisdiction.
One step that our government should deliver in the next year is compensation for Indigenous children who went through the residential school system.
Our government believes that the current compensation model provided by the human rights tribunal does not reflect the varying amounts of time that Indigenous children have been removed from their families. It also does not create long-term reform so we can avoid a future model repeating our past wrongs.
We want to provide a fair, equitable compensation to First Nations children on-reserve and in the Yukon, who were removed from their homes by child and family services agencies.
We also want to achieve long-term reform of the First Nations child and family service program and fund the delivery of child and family services on-reserve.
That is why our government, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and the Assembly of First Nations have agreed to work towards reaching a resolution by the end December, pausing further court action.
I am hopeful that this will lead to resolution that both provides compensation and long-term reform.
MP Tako van Popta
A. Conservatives have called for the Liberal government to implement immediate, needed action – including the development of a comprehensive plan to implement Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action 71 through 76, by July 1, 2021 – a target they failed to reach.
For too long, Indigenous peoples have been waiting for the Liberal government to deliver on their empty promises.
The TRC report also stated that too many Canadians know little or nothing about the deep historical roots of these conflicts. Canada’s Conservatives have called on the Liberal government to develop a detailed and thorough set of resources to educate Canadians of all ages on Canada’s tragic history of residential schools.
As a Conservative Member of Parliament, I will also continue to focus locally to support progress on advancement in reconciliation by building relationships with local Indigenous members, learning more about the history of Indigenous peoples, and developing a more nuanced intercultural competency for furthering reconciliation between the government and Aboriginal peoples.
Next week’s Langley City councillors are being asked: With SkyTrain on the way, will future Langley City parking plans include pay parking in some downtown areas?
Watch for their answers online Sunday.