Meet the candidate: Langley — Gail Chaddock-Costello (NDP)

Meet the candidate: Langley — Gail Chaddock-Costello (NDP)

  • May. 2, 2017 2:30 p.m.

Gail Chaddock-Costello, NDP

Current occupation: Elected Table Officer – Vice-President Langley Teachers’ Association

What are the three most pressing issues facing Langley residents, and how will you address them?

They are covered under the topic of Urban Planning to address growth: schools/childcare, seniors/healhcare, transit/tolls

Schools/Childcare: Every student accesses their education in a different way. Some need more in-class support, and some need more activity. Christy Clark introduced legislation to illegally strip government contracts with teachers that took away classroom supports, closed down schools, and increased financial pressure on schools and families. Parents shouldn’t have to hold fundraisers to fund school supplies and playgrounds, but Christy Clark’s choices made this a reality in Langley. A John Horgan BC NDP government will revitalize our public-school system to ensure kids have the supplies they need, and create an ongoing capital fund for school playgrounds.

All students deserve to feel supported in their schools and a BC NDP will work with districts and teachers to ensure that every student gets the support they need. This includes quality childcare, as many students require child care prior to kindergarten and later before and after school care. Our $10 a day child care plan will help families financially while also ensuring a level of professional care by fully trained Early Childhood Educators.

Seniors/Health Care: Families are struggling to take care of senior family members, and are struggling to find home care support that they can count on. I am proud to stand with John Horgan and the BC NDP’s commitment to increase the length of home support visits and expand the scope of services provided so that seniors can stay in their home, and families can rely on dedicated care.

Families are also waiting too long in emergency rooms and our healthcare providers aren’t getting the support they need to provide the care they know patients require.

The BC NDP will reduce pressure on emergency rooms by establishing Urgent Family Care Centres to ensure that visits to the emergency room are decreased, and everyone gets the care they need, faster and more economically.

Transit/Tolls: We know we need improved transit and the BC NDP will work with mayors to develop lasting, effective and fair solutions to Langley’s transportation needs that increase the use of public transit, and reduce vehicle trips overall.

Tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges unfairly target the people who rely on those bridges for their daily commute. The tolls increase the cost of going to work which leads to many find alternate, time consuming routes.

Eliminating tolls on those bridges will make the commute more affordable while the money lost from the tolls will be recovered from Christy Clark’s $500 million LNG Fantasy Fund and other budgeted savings. BC NDP sees bridges as part of our provincial highway system.

A few more things …

Current occupation: Elected Table Officer – Vice-President Langley Teachers’ Association

Notable past achievements/titles/jobs:

• long time Special Education teacher;

• President, Langley Teachers’ Association;

• Assistant Superintendent, Special Services;

• Spokesperson, Langley Special Education Inquiry;

• graduated with my B.A. winning an award for Leadership/Kindness in Brotherhood;

• graduated Summa Cum Laude – B.Ed. Degree, St. Mary’s University;

• Masters’ Degree, Mount Saint Vincent University;

• June 2016 – CLA Advancement in Intellectual Freedom in Canada Award.

Where were you born/raised? Where do you live now?

I was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I currently live in Langley.

If you have run for/served in office before, what have you learned? If not, why are you running now?

I ran for and was successful in winning positions on the BCTF Provincial Executive, Langley Teachers’ Association Executive and in 2009 I ran as the Candidate for the BC NDP in Fort Langley/Aldergrove. At that time, I won the highest percentage of NDP votes that riding has ever received.

I have learned the importance of listening to people, hearing their concerns and working hard on their behalf to improve their situations.

I am running now as I believe the BC NDP has the very best platform that will truly improve the lives of all people in Langley. Our platform includes removing tolls on the Port Mann Bridge and the Golden Ears Bridge; introducing the $10.00 a day Child Care Plan which is free for families earning less than $40,000.00 per year; creating Acute Care Centres across BC that will offer service seven days a week and are staffed by an array of health care professionals. We will work with the Federal government and establish a new of Ministry Mental Health and Addiction; we will establish a Select Standing, all party committee on Seniors’ issues and revitalize the Ministry of Child and Family Services. These are just a few of the reasons the BC NDP have a plan that takes care of the average citizen, not only the wealthy.

Why would you make a good representative for your constituents in the legislature?

I established myself as a teacher/administrator/union representative who listens to individuals and works very hard to address their concerns. I am comfortable meeting with and speaking to people wherever that occurs. While campaigning, I have received and accepted impromptu invitations to come in for tea and cookies. I have invited individuals into my home to meet and talk with me about the BC NDP platform.

I have a positive reputation as a skilled public speaker and debater. I always do my homework and come to the table prepared. I know that Langley residents would be heard and well served with me as their representative in the BC Legislature.

Tell us a surprising or interesting fact or story about yourself.

I have stood up and spoken out in multiple venues for public education. As the President of the Langley Teachers’ Association, I held a Christmas Vigil at the Board office where we had Santa, caroling and a popcorn machine. We presented all Board members with huge, oversized ‘presents’ labeled with the things teachers’ needed to provide quality education for their students. Then, dressed as a Christmas Angel, I made a presentation to the Board with press from several papers and news outlets in attendance.