Hopefuls from the ridings of both Cloverdale-Langley City and South Surrey-White Rock campaigned for votes Sept. 14.
Cloverdale’s all-candidates meeting, hosted by the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, was a virtual event after Chamber director Scott Wheatley cancelled the in-person get-together.
Rebecca Smith moderated the one-hour affair. Smith gave the candidates exactly one-minute to respond to each question.
Rajesh Jayaprakash (NDP), John Aldag (Liberal), and Ian Kennedy (People’s Party of Canada) took part for the riding of Cloverdale-Langley City. Gordie Hogg (Liberal), Kerry-Lynne Findlay (Conservative), and June Liu (NDP) took part for the riding of South Surrey-White Rock.
Kenndy (PPC) said his party would stand for the freedoms of Canadian citizens.
“Politicians should be servants to the people,” Kennedy said. “Instead they are servants to big-money politics.”
Kennedy said, if elected, he’d work the change that influence. He said he’d listen to his constituents and take their concerns to Ottawa.
He also said a PPC government would balance the budget within two years by making some big decisions. “We want to cut corporate welfare, which is somewhere in between $5 billion and $10 billion per year,” he said.
Kennedy also said the PPC would cut funding to the CBC. “We want to be a responsible government … that will cut taxes, as we can, and make things cheaper for all Canadians.”
Aldag (Liberal) said he’s advocating for $10-a-day childcare.
“This will be absolutely so important for our economy and for women, in particular, to help grow the economy.”
Aldag said he was committed to continue working on SkyTrain to Langley. “That would be absolutely transformative down the Fraser Highway, right through to Langley City.”
He said he also wants to work on improving transit to the westside of Cloverdale.
“A transition to a green economy, a net-zero economy, is going to hold huge opportunities for businesses,” he said. “I’d like to see some investments made in that area in our community.”
Aldag said the Liberals climate plan will grow the economy.
Jayaprakash (NDP) said climate change is his number one priority.
He said, “shifting into a green economy” needed to be undertaken immediately. He added the NDP plans to create 1 million green jobs to “kickstart” the economy, if they are elected.
He added the NDP would do this while not raising taxes for the average Canadian.
“Canada is the only G7 country where the emissions are still rising, the housing crisis has increased by $300,000 on an average from 2015, and the prices of groceries are rising every day.”
Jayaprakash said the situation in Canada has been getting worse and cannot get better without change.
Jayaprakash urged voters to stand up for themselves by voting NDP. “It is time to do the right thing, not the right now thing,” he said.
South Surrey-White Rock
Liu (NDP) said her party also has a plan to balance the budget while still providing the services people need.
“We want to make sure that we’re not changing the tax structure towards your everyday Canadians, but making sure that we’re going after big businesses that profited off us—especially during the pandemic—who were paying next to nothing in taxes.”
Liu said an NDP government would tackle the “climate crisis and the climate emergency,” if elected.
“We are going to be transitioning money out of the oil and gas industry subsidies into a green new deal.”
Liu said the money taken out of oil and gas will be used to build up a new green industry so Canada can “transition to a greener future.”
She said workers in the oil and gas industry will be able to transition their skills over to the new green economy. For workers that can’t transition, an NDP government will make education opportunities available.
Hogg (Liberal) said affordability, climate change, and health care are key issues for him.
“Our climate change plan that has been put forward, has been reviewed, and it’s not just a goal, but there are two specific goals for 2030 and 2050, but it’s broken down each year.”
Hogg said two local issues he’s working toward is finishing up fixing the White Rock pier and he wants to end the transportation of U.S. coal through White Rock as it gets sent for export in Delta.
“We’ve also fully costed a strategy for … managing the rising cost of living. We’ve created the Canada child benefit, which has lifted about a half a million kids out of poverty with a $6,800 per annum grant.”
Hogg also said the Liberals cut taxes for the middle class and that they are making people that earn more pay more in income tax rates. And he said the Liberals “have recovered about 92 per cent of the jobs that were lost prior to the pandemic.”
Findlay (Conservative) promised to continue to work on Skytrain to Langley, replacement of the George Massey Tunnel, and on fortifying foundations of the White Rock pier.
“We have a fully-costed economic recovery plan,” she said. “We want to see people south of the Fraser able to move, to get around.”
Findlay urged voters to cast their ballots for her.
“If re-elected, the people of South Surrey-White Rock will have someone who’s well-experienced, who cares, who leads with compassion, who listens.”
Findlay said over the last 18 months South Surrey-White Rock has lost more people the opioid crisis then to COVID-19.
“We have to get real with each other. We have to help each other. We have to stay together and unite.”
She told voters that people need to be put before politics and that we shouldn’t have had a pandemic election.
“This is your opportunity,” she urged voters, “to see change in Ottawa—to see a government that will put you first … and will be ethical next and accountable.”
Cloverdale-Langley City Conservative candidate Tamara Jansen did not attend the ACM, as she said she was double-booked that night, but she did send the Cloverdale Reporter her remarks.
“Under the Trudeau government, hard-working Canadians are facing an affordability crisis,” she wrote. “Canada’s Conservatives have a comprehensive and well-thought recovery plan that addresses major issues impacting Canadians. From a housing first plan to tackle homelessness, to building a million new homes over the next 3 years, and creating paths for first-time home buyers, it is truly a holistic plan to help people across the spectrum.”
Jansen said the Conservatives “are committed to effectively addressing the Mental health and addictions crisis. This is why a key pillar of our campaign is to secure mental health through our Canadian Mental Health Action. This plan includes creating a pilot program to provide $150 million over three years in grants to non-profits and charities delivering mental health and wellness programming as well as working closely with provinces to ensure that an additional million Canadians can receive mental health treatment every year. We will also be investing $325 million over the next three years to create 1,000 residential drug treatment beds and build 50 recovery community centres across the country.”