Langley Advance Times runs this weekly feature, call it “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 each Sunday.
MOST RECENT – AT YOUR SERVICE: MLAs agree much to be done to safeguard against climate-related disasters
Both Langley MPs were asked: How much assistance should the federal government provide for provinces and communities to build more affordable rental accommodations?
MP John Aldag
A. All levels of government share responsibility for housing. Therefore, I would like to see the federal government continue to work with provinces and municipalities to build more affordable rental accommodations.
Thanks to an investment of $1.5 billion through budget 2022, the Rapid Housing Initiative will build 4,500 more affordable housing units for those who need it the most. This will complement the over 10,000 new affordable housing units already under construction in Canada.
We currently work well with the B.C. government to fund these affordable housing units.
We are also working with communities by investing $4 billion in the Housing Accelerator Fund to help municipalities speed up the construction of housing and create 100,000 new homes over the next five years.
Through the Canada Housing Strategy, we have already invested over $30 billion to build and repair over 440,000 homes.
We are making historic investments to help double housing construction over the next 10 years.
The approval speed for housing projects and zoning is still an issue at some local levels in B.C., alongside the current skilled trades shortage slowing down construction times.
As we continue to ramp up efforts to increase the housing supply, encouraging municipalities to approve rental developments is important.
Addressing the skilled trades shortage is getting the attention of both the provincial and federal governments, to help build units faster.
In summary, all three levels of government need to continue working together to construct more affordable housing units.
MP Tako van Popta
A. Since the Liberals formed government in 2015, the average price of a home has nearly doubled.
Until the Bank of Canada started increasing interest rates on mortgages, home prices jumped by nearly 20 per cent in the preceding year, making the dream of home ownership unattainable for many.
And families renewing their mortgages will see big increases in mortgage payments.
The Liberal narrative that their funding programs will address the housing crisis by 2030 was contradicted this past spring, when the CMHC reported that this government will fall short of their housing goal by over 2 million units.
Clearly their plans are failing Canadians.
So, what can the federal government do?
A Conservative government will tie federal infrastructure investment commitments to reciprocal commitments from provinces and municipalities to open more land for residential development and to speed up approval processes.
SkyTrain coming to Langley is a good example of how transit-oriented urban development can benefit our community, but development must be managed cooperatively by the three orders of government.
The federal government’s CMHC can be an important tool to promote construction of affordable rental housing, but in today’s environment of increasing interest rates, its ability to help is limited.
The only long-term solution for our housing crisis is for government to get back to basic economic principles: bringing inflation under control, balancing supply and demand, accelerating approvals, encouraging job training, and generally getting out of the way of industrious Canadians who are up to the challenge of building our nation.
Next week, Langley City councillors are being asked: Will the City be switching to the same residential waste bin system used by neighbouring municipalities such as the Langley Township and Surrey?
Watch for their answers online Sunday.
AT YOUR SERVICE: City council weighs in on supervised consumption sites
AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley trustees applaud positives found amid pandemic
AT YOUR SERVICE: Township council weighs in on lack of industrial land
AT YOUR SERVICE: MLAs see feds as partners in SkyTrain to Langley
AT YOUR SERVICE: Creating more housing, on all fronts, critical to stabilization: MPs
AT YOUR SERVICE: Heat wave another call to action – City council
AT YOUR SERVICE: Pools need to be part of Township-wide recreation planning
AT YOUR SERVICE: No current need for year-round schooling in Langley, trustees agree
AT YOUR SERVICE: MLAs suggest staying the course on battling of B.C. wildfire
AT YOUR SERVICE: MPs call for borders to be safely re-opened
AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley City council wants to keep higher density development north of Nicomekl
AT YOUR SERVICE: Passports key to keeping B.C. businesses open, people safe during pandemic
AT YOUR SERVICE: Trustees ponder what kids are missing out on during pandemic
AT YOUR SERVICE: Education should trump rules for vaccination of health-care workers, suggest MLAs
AT YOUR SERVICE: How to handle rising housing prices
AT YOUR SERVICE: City council divided on call for indoor pool
AT YOUR SERVICE: Council ponders vaccine requirements for workers
AT YOUR SERVICE: Skyrocketing enrolment prompts intensified lobby by trustees
AT YOUR SERVICE: Political stripes aside, MLAs agree heat dome was tragic and action required
AT YOUR SERVICE: MPs agree much must be done to right wrongs for Indigenous
AT YOUR SERVICE: Is pay parking in the City a viable consideration?
AT YOUR SERVICE: Some suggest more needed to protect floodplains from development
AT YOUR SERVICE: Monitoring student transport not good use of school district resources – trustees
AT YOUR SERVICE: Liberal caucus floats all-party committee in reaction to emergencies
AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley MPs address issue of rising food costs
AT YOUR SERVICE: Inflation inevitably hits City taxpayers in the pocketbook
AT YOUR SERVICE: Future of Aldergrove core up for debate
AT YOUR SERVICE: Trees and more greenspace at root of climate change solutions
AT YOUR SERVICE: Inflation inevitably hits City taxpayers in the pocketbook
AT YOUR SERVICE: Councillors differ on future of SkyTrain beyond Langley City
AT YOUR SERVICE: Bigger schools not necessarily solution to rising land costs
AT YOUR SERVICE: High gas prices of concern for MLAs of both stripes
AT YOUR SERVICE: Military readiness for climate disasters must be ensured – says one MP; other says army only one piece of bigger puzzle
AT YOUR SERVICE: Empty homes can be safety concern, but not huge concern in City
AT YOUR SERVICE: Most of council content with current pothole repairs
AT YOUR SERVICE: Survey gives school district tools for staff recruitment, retention
AT YOUR SERVICE: Liberal MLAs call for overhaul to B.C.’s student funding model
AT YOUR SERVICE: Canada must continue its support of Ukraine, MPs
AT YOUR SERVICE: Best use of industrial land paramount to Langley City councillors
AT YOUR SERVICE: More ALR land needs to be used for farming: Most of council
AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley is attractive to school staff, but given rapid growth trustees agree more must be done
AT YOUR SERVICE: Local MLAs agree more must be done to make life affordable in B.C.
AT YOUR SERVICE: Federal parties working on multiple fronts to end hate crimes
AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley City ponders cannabis retail policy
AT YOUR SERVICE – Most on council say parks and rec plans address future growth
AT YOUR SERVICE: School district moves forward on reconciliation efforts with Indigenous partners
AT YOUR SERVICE: MLAs agree diking upgrades needed, divided on if enough is being done
AT YOUR SERVICE: Local MPs disagree on whether 2 billion trees can be planted by 2030
AT YOUR SERVICE: In light of SkyTrain coming, Langley City embarks on parking study
AT YOUR SERVICE: Langley Township should consider schools for future cooling centres
AT YOUR SERVICE: Despite challenges, trustees affirm Langley is ready to accept more refugee students as need arises
AT YOUR SERVICE: Opposition MLAs critical of NDP’s affordable housing record
AT YOUR SERVICE: Federal clean energy efforts lauded by MP
AT YOUR SERVICE: MPs debate how feds chose to halt trucker convoy
AT YOUR SERVICE: New Langley City council look for solutions to rising costs
AT YOUR SERVICE – A few Langley Township council members speak to ongoing single-family home demands
MOST RECENT – AT YOUR SERVICE: Trustees hope Santa can deliver more provincial funding this holiday season
AT YOUR SERVICE: Political views aside, MLAs wish residents health and safety this holiday
AT YOUR SERVICE: MPs agree new year’s resolution must focus on inflation
AT YOUR SERVICE: New floodplain report coming to council this spring
AT YOUR SERVICE – Protected bike lanes on key Township roads is encouraged by council
AT YOUR SERVICE: Trustees divided on question of socializing kids