Election 2014: Steve Ferguson answers questions

Township of Langley: Ferguson, Steve - council candidate: He answers The Times' questions.

  • Nov. 7, 2014 5:00 p.m.

Steve Ferguson

1- What is the most important issue facing the Township, and how would you propose to deal with it?

Taxes and the finances for the future of Langley Township. We are a large community of some 300-plus square kilometres, with a population of approximately 120,000 residents, and we have growing demands for services. We have over 500 km of roads that need to be constantly maintained, community centres and pools, fire halls, and many other facilities. The costs to maintain this infrastructure keeps rising and hence we have only one source of income (besides recreation fees) — the taxpayer. We also are responsible for the RCMP and fire service and as our community grows we must make sure that community safety is of our highest priority. My priority is to work with council and staff to focus on initiatives that require “Thinking Outside The Box.” This involves finding new ways of generating sustainable income through partnerships with the federal and provincial governments, the private sector, Not-For-Profit organizations, and other initiatives. We cannot consistently go to the taxpayers for more money without exhausting as many cost savings measures as possible.

2 – Should there be restrictions on development in Willoughby until the situation regarding funding for new schools has been resolved?

Willoughby is not finished. We need to work with our planning staff to manage growth in an orderly manner. Minister Rich Coleman and Minister Peter Fassbender have asked for a business plan from the Langley School District. Once that is in place, my understanding is that the planning of new schools will commence. The formula for school construction is set in stone by the provincial government…no students…no new schools. If development is stopped, roads will not be finished, bridges and overpasses likewise, and Langley gets left behind and the municipalities who are growing like Surrey and Coquitlam will get our schools. At one time Walnut Grove was under construction, now that it is finished it is one of the nicest places to live in the region.

3 – Do you support a pool and recreation centre complex in Aldergrove, and if so, when should construction begin? If not, why not?

Yes, as co-chair of the Recreation, Culture and Parks committee, I have consistently been committed to the Aldergrove Pool/Recreation Centre. I also am the council representative for our RCP Master plan that will determine the Township of Langley’s recreational and cultural needs for the next 10 years. During all of these discussions, the Pool/Recreation centre for Aldergrove was a priority item. We must work hard this term to find the money and the correct plan for the Pool/Rec Centre. We have purchased the property, much of the engineering has been done for the site regarding sewer, water, and other related services. We are working on securing the necessary funding to start the project this next term. Downtown Aldergrove needs a kickstart and this will be a big benefit to the core area of Aldergrove.

4- What type of development, if any, should be encouraged in a new community plan for Brookswood and Fernridge?

As a Resident of Brookswood/Fernridge, and an active member of the community, I think that the community needs a rest before discussions of a new plan takes place. We have more than enough development activity to do in Willoughby. When the time does come, it should be resident-driven and should take into consideration the natural flavour of the Brookswood/Fernridge area. An area surrounded by large evergreen trees, lakes, and watercourses — future development and densities should focus on this theme. Consequently community focus groups, alongside planners and Township council, working towards a direction that best serves the Brookswood/Fernridge area should be considered in the future.

Just Posted

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

ELECTION: Langley Township council candidate Michael Pratt

A Voter’s Guide to key election questions.

VIDEO: Fire crew mopping up workshop fire near Golden Ears Bridge

Structure fire at 208 and 102B sending plumes of black smoke into air above Walnut Grove

Two Giants picked to play against Russia

Two of Langley’s junior hockey players will be part of the six-game Canada Russia Series next month.

Police want to talk to two pedestrians who might have witnessed shooting

Nobody injured in Sept. 18 shooting on Flagman Street in Abbotsford

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

MCFD, FPSSS restricts caregivers from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care

Ministry restricts cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

‘A little odd’ B.C.’s biggest city celebrates cannabis without a legal store

On the streets of downtown Vancouver, notably the Wild West of illegal marijuana, not a single legal store opened Wednesday, making for a rather anticlimatic kick-off

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Most Read