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Economist running for City council says housing, SkyTrain among key issues

Mike Solyom is making his second run for City council
Mike Solyom is running for council in Langley City. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

An economics teacher at Douglas College is running for a council seat in Langley City, his second run for the position.

Mike Solyom said he wants to ensure Langley City is a safe, thriving community for his children, aged six and three, to grow up in.

“A place where they can ride their bikes around as kids without worry, easily find work when they’re teenagers, and find something affordable to live in when they become adults,” Solyom said in a press release announcing his candidacy.

He identified the housing affordability crisis as a key issue, and noted that a recent survey showed 71 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds were considering leaving Metro Vancouver due to the issue.

“I want to do what I can to bring that number down,” he said.

Getting the City ready for the arrival of SkyTrain and the changes it will bring is another priority, said Solyom.

“There are massive benefits to this, but also some costs,” he said.

Problems could be a risk of “demovictions” as new development continues, with tenants facing much higher rents as they are displaced from older, cheaper apartments.

He said he’s looking at policies in other cities, such as Burnaby’s Tenant Assistance Policy.

“Mike’s background in economics will bring a fresh perspective to the council table as we prepare for SkyTrain and infrastructure renewal,” said mayoral candidate and current councillor Nathan Pachal.

If elected, Solyom also wanted to improve communication between council and the public.

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