Megan Dykeman has declared as the NDP candidate for Langley East in the Oct. 24 provincial election. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Megan Dykeman has declared as the NDP candidate for Langley East in the Oct. 24 provincial election. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Candidate Q&A: Megan Dykeman

Dykeman is running for the NDP in Langley East

Megan Dykeman, NDP

Farmer and school trustee, 42 years old

BIO:

Megan Dykeman, a Langley farmer, Managing Director of a small business, 10 year Trustee and current Chair of the Langley Board of Education, is running to represent Langley East.

Dykeman has lived in Langley for over a decade with her two children, who attend public school in Langley. She holds degrees in governance, law and management and in International Relations; is President of the Langley Farmers Institute and The Parliamentarian’s Association of British Columbia; has served on Langley’s Agriculture and Economic Advisory Committee for 6 years and was chair of the Blueberry Cannon Taskforce.

If elected, Dykeman’s priorities will be to fight hard inside a John Horgan BC NDP government for Langley schools, roads, farmers, small business and economic recovery.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TrusteeMeganDykeman

Twitter: @megandykeman

Website: www.megandykeman.com

Phone: 604-763-5019

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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.

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

Answer: Yes. We have worked really hard to build over 3800 supportive housing units with treatment supports and wraparound services to address homelessness in Langley and across the region.This is obviously an area that requires additional attention as homelessness continues to be one of the largest social issues we face in British Columbia.The NDP government has committed to $25 million for more frontline mental health and social service workers, freeing up police to focus on serious crime and criminals.

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

People are the economy.Our plan focuses on the social, health, childcare, and the financial needs of people, on the small and medium sized businesses that provide employment, , and on the transportation infrastructure required in the communities in which they live and operate.

For many people housing has become unaffordable.Our Homes for BC plan is the largest investment in affordable housing in our province’s history. We will continue to deliver a steady supply of new affordable homes, including supportive housing.

People shouldn’t have to choose between caring for their children and working to support them. We will expand convenient and secure childcare options at local schools and provide access for working parents to childcare at their places of work and make sure that Early Childhood Educators are well supported.

We will partner with school districts to help make sure all students are properly fed for learning. We will integrate FeedBC into this plan so that districts can include locally grown food.

We will create 18,000 real jobs for real people in their communities by investing an additional $3 Billion dollars annually, on top of our $23 Billion in capital funding. We will build schools, extend Skytrain to Langley and widen Highway 1 from Langley to Abbotsford. This, together with the prior removal of bridge tolls and the planned 20% decrease in ICBC Insurance costs, will get people to work and goods to flow more easily while keeping more money in their pockets.

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

Answer: We will also provide education and training opportunities to make sure our people have the skills they need for the jobs ahead. In addition to opening a second medical school and expanding the healthcare workforce, we will also create 2,000 new tech related spaces and invest in apprenticeships to deliver good paying jobs and keep the public safe.

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

Answer: The Agricultural Land Reserves are an important aspect of our farming community and food security. It is important to have reasonable restrictions to ensure land in the ALR is used to produce a locally grown food supply and support independent farmers, as opposed to promoting large scale commercial cannabis operations that will essentially compromise our food security.

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

Answer: British Columbians should be able to get to work, run errands and go home to loved ones safely and quickly. We also need to ensure an efficient means of transport of goods to promote our economy as it recovers and grows.

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

Answer: School districts themselves cannot and should not go into debt during the pandemic or at any other time.It is vital for the school districts to work with the municipal government to meet their community’s needs.The pandemic has changed a lot and we are in unprecedented times. A BC NDP government will do whatever it takes to support communities during this difficult time.

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

Answer: This is a complex issue.Dr. Henry and our senior law enforcement officials are working together for a solution that allows the police to focus on serious criminal activity and provide support to those who need it most.That’s why we’re doubling youth treatment beds, and we’re going to build new treatment, recovery and detox facilities in communities across B.C.

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

Answer: We need to focus on funding for both areas.These issues are not synonymous.We need to have a strong government that will support prosecuting criminal activities but we also need comprehensive mental and social health services so people can get the help they need.Prevention is key, that’s why we are doubling youth treatment beds, from 104 to 247.

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

Answer: Racism is never acceptable. We as community members have a responsibility to do everything we can to eradicate racism. The BC NDP has established the first independent Human Rights Commissioner to strengthen human rights and we brought back the Human Rights Commission that the BC Liberals cut.The BC’s Multiculturalism Act is now 25 years old and the NDP government has committed to launching consultation to establish a new Anti-Racism Act.

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

Answer: As a school board trustee for the past 10 years it is my goal to see our kids get the best start possible. The BC liberals increased class sizes and refused to build more schools in the communities that need them most.The BC NDP is investing a record $2 billion over three years to build new schools, expand the ones that require it, and ensure the structural safety of all buildings.Year-round education and other models should be a matter for Boards of Education as it is not a ‘one size fits all’ issue and local consultation is essential to meet the needs of all children and their families.

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