Mary Polak, Langley Liberal candidate. (Photography by John Lehmann/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Mary Polak, Langley Liberal candidate. (Photography by John Lehmann/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Candidate Q&A: Mary Polak

Mary Polak is the Liberal candidate in the Langley riding

Mary Polak, Liberal

Polak has been MLA for Langley riding for 15 years and is 52

BIO:

Mary was first elected as the MLA for Langley in 2005. She has held many Ministerial portfolios including Environment, Transportation and Health.

Locally, Mary has delivered significant Provincial investments to Langley such as the New LMH Emergency Department, New Langley Hospice Building, Langley Lodge expansion, Langley Youth Hub, Gateway of Hope & Rapid Bus at Carvolth.

In 2016, Mary organized a well attended Townhall resulting in the establishment of an Intensive Case Management Team to work with individuals struggling with homelessness, mental health and addiction.

Mary grew up in Cloverdale and attended Langley Community Music School. She lives with her daughter (and some felines) in Langley City and can regularly be found on outings around Langley with her 91-year-old father.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maryforbc

Twitter: @MaryforBC

Website: www.bclib.ca/MaryPolak

Phone: 236-996-9040

.

CANDIDATE Q&A:

To help voters make their choices on election day, the Langley Advance Times is asking local candidates a series of questions on issues of importance, asking each candidate to participate.

They were asked to a ‘yes’, a ‘no,’ or a ‘don’t know’ (Y,N,D) response to EACH of the numbered questions for the grid published in the Oct. 15 edition of The News. Candidates were also invited to expand on ANY OR ALL of the questions (to a maximum of 200 words each), with one of their choice to be included in our print edition on Oct. 22. Here’s all their replies.

.

1. Would you vote to fund additional supportive housing units in Langley to reduce homelessness?

Answer: YES. I am proud to have been a part of the development of the Gateway of Hope and Creek Stone from the beginning as well as bringing to Langley an Intensive Case Management Team that works with individuals at the street level. But these facilities need to be able to provide the necessary supports. Housing First should not mean Housing Only. The NDP have not provided the level of on-site support needed to ensure residents of surrounding neighbourhoods feel safe. We will ensure the wrap-around supports that provide a pathway to recovery – not just warehousing of those struggling with mental health and addiction.

2. Is lowering taxes the best route to economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession?

Anwser: YES. Tax reductions like the elimination of PST for one year and a reduction to 3% the following year will have a wide impact. Not only will households see an immediate reduction in their everyday cost of living, small businesses will see a reduction in many overhead costs. Of course, tax reductions must be part of a comprehensive economic recovery plan. Just as Dr. Henry laid out a specific plan to fight the Caronavirus, the BC Liberals will lay out a specific plan to get our economy back on track.

3. Should the province provide B.C. residents with a universal basic income?

Anwser: NO. Our social safety net works best when targeted to address specific needs. A great example of this is the Single Parent Employment Initiative. This program, created by the BC Liberals, provided tuition fees, childcare, transportation and other supports to help single parents on social assistance get back into the workforce. As a result, thousands of individuals along with their families are now on a path to independence.

4. Should the B.C. government restrict large, industrial cannabis greenhouses from operating in the ALR?

Anwser: YES. Issues such as light pollution and odour should be the subject of rigorous enforcement. The Province needs to forcefully urge the Federal Government to enforce their regulations.

5. Should the B.C. government speed up the widening of Highway One into the eastern Fraser Valley?

Anwser: YES. This project was a priority for the BC Liberals when we were in government and it needs to be made a priority once again. The NDP have a long history of promising things for the valley (e.g. Abbotsford Hospital) that never came to pass while they were in government.

6. Should cities and school districts be allowed to go into debt during the pandemic?

Anwser: NO. School Districts: The Province should cover any increase in costs as a result of COVID-19. Any Enrolment drop as a result of COVID-19 should not result in a loss of funding.

Cities/Municipalities: The Province & the Federal Governments should offset additional costs/revenue shortfalls

7. Should the province stop prosecuting drug possession to help fight the overdose epidemic?

Anwser: NO. Those struggling with addiction should be treated not prosecuted.

Large scale possession for the purpose of trafficking should be fully prosecuted.

Treat the root causes and reduce the harm.

8. Should the province divert funding away from policing and towards social and mental health services?

Anwser: NO. Instead, additional funding supports for social and mental health services should be provided and integrated into local policing. The BC Liberal party has committed to investing in integrated police & mental health teams. Existing Integrated Mobile Crisis Response Teams will also be expanded.

9. In the era of Black Lives Matter, should B.C. increase the penalties for hate speech?

Answer: YES. The disturbing rise in hateful, racist rhetoric and actions needs to be addressed by instituting more meaningful penalties.

10. Would you support more public schools moving to a year-round education model?

Anwser: YES. The BC Liberals have always supported choice within our public education system. Year-round schooling is an option that should be available based on the needs/wishes of the individual school district, school and community.

.

OTHER LOCAL CANDIDATE Q&As:

Langley Riding:

Candidate Q&A: Andrew Mercier

Candidate Q&A: Bill Masse

Candidate Q&A: Shelly Jan

Langley East Riding:

Candidate Q&A: Megan Dykeman

Candidate Q&A: Alex Joehl

Candidate Q&A: Margaret Kunst, BC Liberals

Candidate Q&A: Tara Reeve

Candidate Q&A: Ryan Warawa

Candidate Q&A: Cheryl Wiens

________________________________

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NEWS FILE PHOTO
Voters in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission and Langley may head back to polls in 2021

Election of local politicians in BC vote would trigger by-elections in several Fraser Valley cities

Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society volunteers clean up Aldergrove streams. (Aldergrove Star files)
Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society looking for new members to help protect Aldergrove waterway

The society hopes to hold stream clean-ups and blackberry bush removal events this fall

Coast Spas in Langley was ordered closed by the Fraser Health Authority after 12 staff came down with COVID-19 (undated Google Street View image)
COVID-19 outbreak closes Langley spa manufacturer

Fraser Health reports 12 employees have tested positive

Ferdinand Bredenholler played the last post at the Fort Langley Remembrance Day service in 2019, when a crowd of 6,500 attended. This year, due to the pandemic, organizers are asking the public to follow the ceremonies online rather than attending. (Langley Advance Times file)
A stay-at-home Remembrance Day planned for Fort Langley

Organizers take the annual ceremony online

Pastor Brad Sumner is inviting Halloween trick-or-treaters to visit the Jericho Ridge Community Church for a COVID-compliant celebration. (Courtesy Jericho Ridge Community Church)
VIDEO: A drive-in Halloween at the Jericho Ridge Community Church

A COVID-compliant event for kids on the Langley-Surrey border

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read