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.
Langley MLAs were asked: With Christmas approaching, what’s the one thing you’d ask Santa for – on behalf of your local constituents in Langley?
Abbotsford South MLA Bruce Banman
A. Dear Santa, this Christmas, I would like to ask for a government that works for people and uses common sense.
This might be a tall order, considering the BC NDP is on Santa’s naughty list after such a disappointing performance year after year, but British Columbians deserve results.
Under the tree, I hope to find paramedics, doctors, and nurses that aren’t burdened by bureaucracy, so that when you call 9-1-1 or visit the emergency, help is available. With one in five British Columbians not having access to a family doctor, this is urgent.
I also ask that the people of Lytton are brought back home and that farmers are given the proper support to protect themselves from the dangers of climate emergencies before, during, and after.
Some snow ploughs and highway upgrades would be nice to keep our commuters safe, as well as measures to protect young British Columbians who face disproportionally high ICBC rates and the vulnerable people out on the streets due to a lack of available shelters.
Maybe asking Santa would work since government has ignored repeated calls to do so. After six years of an NDP government, things only seem to be getting worse and my wish list gets longer.
The current solutions aren’t working, and people want results this Christmas, not empty rhetoric and flashy announcements. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the BC Liberal caucus to hold the government accountable for these concerns in 2023.
On a more personal note, may you be surrounded by family, loved ones, and good cheer this Christmas, and may you find more under the tree than you deserve!
Abbotsford West MLA Michael de Jong
A. 2022 has been a whirlwind year in British Columbia. It’s included wonderful moments of community building and positive steps forward, as well as challenging moments dealing with the critical issues facing our province.
We continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and its many impacts.
We’ve faced a worsening health-care crisis, rising inflation, and the cost-of-living crisis, and the issue of violent crime on our streets.
We have not had it easy this year, but I am proud of the way that our community has come together and shown resilience in the midst of these challenges.
However, I also believe that people should not have to face these crises on their own. Government has a responsibility to support people — particularly in the most challenging of times.
That is why the one thing I’d ask Santa for this Christmas is real results from our government.
Just like his predecessor, new Premier David Eby has made lots of promises to British Columbians and attended lots of announcements during the last few months, but we have yet to see those words translate into results on the ground.
I think that the government means well, but they simply have not been able to deliver on its promises to people.
Whether at Christmastime, or year-round, people just want to know that government has their back — that they will have access to the supports they need, when they need them. I sincerely hope that 2023 sees more progress being made on behalf of all British Columbians.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
Langley-East MLA Megan Dykeman
A. One thing I would wish for on behalf of everyone in Langley East would be that the holiday spirit of goodwill towards all remains with each and every one of us.
This has been a challenging year, and while pressures from the pandemic have lessened in many ways, people here in Langley and across the world are facing other challenges, like a rising cost of living.
Yet, people in Langley continue to show resilience, humanity, and community spirit with people reaching out and helping those around them.
I see the positive effects of this every day, and it makes me so proud to be the MLA for the riding of Langley East.
I wish you all a happy and safe holiday season and all the best in the new year.
Langley MLA Andrew Mercier
A. This holiday season, I’m wishing for everyone in Langley and across the province to have a warm place to sleep, food on their tables, and family or friends around it.
We are experiencing some particularly challenging weather right now and I encourage people to regularly check weather updates and EmergencyInfoBC—as well as the Langley City website for information on emergency weather shelters—and to stay off the roads when conditions are bad.
I hope folks are able to stay safe and as warm as possible this holiday and spend time with their loved ones.
Wishing everyone a very happy holiday this year.
Next week, Langley’s MPs are being asked: What is one thing you resolve to do in 2023 to make life better for your Langley constituents?
Watch for the politicians’ answers online Sundays.