ADVANCE TIMES EXCLUSIVE

AT YOUR SERVICE: Trustees hope Santa can deliver more provincial funding this holiday season

Question-and-answer feature calls on those elected to office in Langley

Do you have a question you’d like to see put to the Langley school trustees? Email your idea to editor@langleyadvancetimes.com.

Do you have a question you’d like to see put to the Langley school trustees? Email your idea to editor@langleyadvancetimes.com.

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

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QUESTION

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?

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ANSWERS

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Trustee Sarb Rai

A. This trustee failed to reply to this query, prior to deadline.

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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.

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Trustee Marnie Wilson

A. Answer: More funding!

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UP NEXT

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?

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Watch for their answers online Sunday.

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EducationLangleyLangley School District

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