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 – A few Langley Township council members speak to ongoing single-family home demands
Each school trustee was asked the same question: With Christmas fast approaching, what’s the one thing you’d ask Santa for – on behalf of the school district?
Board chair Candy Ashdown
A. The one thing I would ask Santa for, on behalf of the school district, is more provincial funding to build more schools, and hire more teachers, education assistants, counsellors, and school psychologists!
Trustee Holly Dickinson
A. Typically children will ask Santa for presents that provide opportunities to play. While some adults may feel that these wishes are “frivolous” or “extravagant,” by indulging in a child’s request for play based gifts, we are actually providing them with the opportunities necessary for healthy social development.
With this in mind, I decided to deviate from the obvious requests (new schools, more money, more staff, better mental health supports, more afterschool programs, etc.) and ask for a gift that would provide equitable opportunities for all children to participate in outdoor play.
My ask would be for Santa to provide accessible playground equipment at every elementary and middle school in Langley.
Unfortunately in past, PACs have needed to bear many of the financial burdens associated with playgrounds equipment. While classic playground equipment is incredibly expensive, requiring the parent community to fundraise tirelessly to provide the bare minimum, it appears that most PACs are just unable to raise enough additional funds needed to cover the exorbitant cost associated with specialized accessible equipment.
This is where I hope Santa can step in and talk to the Ministry of Education and explain that accessible play equipment is more than a “nice to have,” it is a fundamental necessity and needs to be prioritized.
Over the next four years I look forward to working with our district to create a long-term plan that will see my wish realized. I am hopeful that this wish will be the catalyst for a number of new policies that guarantee equitable opportunities for play.
Trustee Charlie Fox
A. My ask of Santa…
Is for the Ministry of Education and the treasury board to revert back to the funding of new schools based on “growth projections” in a proactive manner, not in a reactive “see the students in seats” manner, so we can have a building in place when students arrive in our fast growing, ever changing community.
Trustee Joel Neufeld
A. If given the opportunity to ask Santa for a special gift on behalf of the school district, I would have to say increased funding, per student, from the province. This would help to ensure we could fund all programs adequately and continue to ensure our students are prepared for their future.
Trustee Sarb Rai
A. This trustee failed to reply to this query, prior to deadline.
Trustee Tony Ward
A. Here’s my list for Santa on behalf of the school district:
2 new elementary schools and 1 new high school for the Willoughby area ready for September 2023 enrolment.
And for me (please Santa): Space Lego ‘Space Command Center’, ‘Tenderheart’ Care Bear, and a ‘Lite Brite’ set.
Trustee Marnie Wilson
A. Answer: More funding!
Next week, Langley MLAS are being asked: With Christmas approaching, what’s the one thing you’d ask Santa for – on behalf of your local constituents in Langley?
Watch for their answers online Sunday.
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
AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley is attractive to school staff, but given rapid growth trustees agree more must be done
AT YOUR SERVICE: Local MLAs agree more must be done to make life affordable in B.C.
AT YOUR SERVICE: Federal parties working on multiple fronts to end hate crimes
AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley City ponders cannabis retail policy
AT YOUR SERVICE – Most on council say parks and rec plans address future growth
AT YOUR SERVICE: School district moves forward on reconciliation efforts with Indigenous partners
AT YOUR SERVICE: MLAs agree diking upgrades needed, divided on if enough is being done
AT YOUR SERVICE: Local MPs disagree on whether 2 billion trees can be planted by 2030
AT YOUR SERVICE: In light of SkyTrain coming, Langley City embarks on parking study
AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley Township should consider schools for future cooling centres
AT YOUR SERVICE: Despite challenges, trustees affirm Langley is ready to accept more refugee students as need arises
AT YOUR SERVICE: Opposition MLAs critical of NDP’s affordable housing record
AT YOUR SERVICE: Federal clean energy efforts lauded by MP
AT YOUR SERVICE: MPs debate how feds chose to halt trucker convoy
AT YOUR SERVICE: New Langley City council look for solutions to rising costs