Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag spoke to the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, July 11 about federal initiatives and what they could mean for the community. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Cloverdale, Langley City to receive continued, new federal funding

MP John Aldag spoke to Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce about innovation, housing, transit and youth.

The Cloverdale-Langley City riding is seeing continued funding from federal programs, as well as some new money, MP John Aldag told the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, July 11.

In his speech to the chamber, Aldag mentioned several initiatives that had an impact on the Cloverdale-Langley City area.

The Canada Summer Jobs program funding has doubled this year, Aldag said, bringing in 77,000 jobs across the country.

Cloverdale and Langley City will see 125 of those positions in the community, with federal funding of $400,000 for those positions.

That amount is actually less than other areas around the province, Aldag said, because the Canada Summer Jobs program allocates funding based on the student unemployment rate.

“We got one of the smaller pots of money in Surrey, because youth for some reason in our riding tend to have better employment opportunities,” he said.

In the business world, innovation is the focus for the federal government.

“We realized we are really challenged in things like manufacturing in a lot of areas,” Aldag said. “They’re still be support for manufacturing in Canada, but we feel we’re really well position to move into a globally-leading, innovative agenda.”

According to Surrey’s Economic Diversification strategy, manufacturing makes up 30 per cent of Surrey’s business base. Surrey is also home to 10 per cent of B.C. clean technology sector, which could receive a boost based on two new federal programs.

The federal government is planning to roll out Innovation Solutions Canada, a funding program for Canadian research and development operations, by fall 2017. Federal departments will have to set aside a portion of their budget to procure Canadian innovations.

This program can also be scalable, to allow other levels of government to participate as well.

There is also a program called Superclusters, which partners universities with companies to bring student research and development to market. The federal government has committed $1 billion to the Superclusters program, which is being offered through a national competition.

Aldag said Kwantlen Polytechnic University is in negotiations for this program, as well as SFU and UBC. There should be results coming out of the Superclusters program by early fall.

Transit and housing improvements were, naturally, on the agenda for the Cloverdale-Langley MP.

The federal government has money on the table for light rail connecting Surrey, Newton and Guilford, and the Fraser Highway line.

Related: Early LTR work begins in Surrey

“The part that we’re waiting on right now is for the province and Translink and the mayors’ council to come up with the missing pieces of funding,” he said. “But the federal funding is there, it’s locked into the budget.”

In housing, Aldag said the federal government is looking to take a step back in — something it hasn’t done since the 1970s.

“We find that this is the right time to get reengaged with the provinces and the municipalities,” he said.

The government is rolling out their National Housing Strategy after months of consultation, and is investing $11 billion over 11 years to work with the provinces and municipalities on housing issues. The housing strategy is now moving into discussions on housing programs, with a comprehensive strategy release planned for the fall.

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