Langley-Aldergrove candidates (top) Tako van Popta (Conservative), Kim Richter (Liberal) and Michael Chang (NDP). Cloverdale - Langley City candidates (bottom) Tamara Jansen (Conservative), John Aldag (Liberal) and Rajesh Jayaprakash (NDP). (files)

Langley-Aldergrove candidates (top) Tako van Popta (Conservative), Kim Richter (Liberal) and Michael Chang (NDP). Cloverdale - Langley City candidates (bottom) Tamara Jansen (Conservative), John Aldag (Liberal) and Rajesh Jayaprakash (NDP). (files)

SkyTrain, housing and cost of living among top issues listed by Langley candidates

Federal election candidates respond to Langley Advance Times query

Candidates for the three main political parties running in the two Langley ridings agree on what many of the local issues in the federal election are, but not, predictably, on who has the best solutions.

In response to a query from the Langley Advance Times, the federal hopefuls in the Langley – Aldergrove and Cloverdale – Langley City ridings listed SkyTrain, housing and cost of living issues among their top concerns.

READ ALSO: Election timing an issue in Langley contest

In Langley – Aldergrove, incumbent Conservative MP Tako van Popta cited SkyTrain and the widening of Hwy. 1 past the 264th St. exchange, saying rapid transit should be a nonpartisan issue, and that he was “very pleased” that both Conservative leader Erin O’Toole and a Liberal leader Justin Trudeau made commitments to the project.

Affordable housing was an issue that van Popta and most other candidates listed as important, with the Conservative citing his party’s plan to increase the supply of purpose-built rental housing and to ban foreign buyers from driving up housing costs.

Protecting the environment, public safety and the pandemic were also cited by van Popta.

Liberal challenger Kim Richter told the Langley Advance Times that “in terms of the major issues, from my perspective, it’s climate action, $10 per day child care, affordable housing, and a responsible fiscal plan.”

NDP candidate Michael Chang questioned the expense of holding an election during a pandemic.

“Some said it costs more than $610 million for the election because of extra cost for ensuring safety,” Chang remarked.

“I think we need [to] spend this money to support our seniors, students and vulnerable people who have so many challenges. I think every party shows similar campaign platforms,” Chang continued, “but voters always have keen eyes [as to] which one is actually standing [on] their sides.”

READ ALSO: Tories surge to upset majority win in N.S. election with a campaign focused on health

In the Cloverdale – Langley City race, Conservative incumbent Tamara Jansen listed the state of the economy and environment as top issues, to ensure the “economy is healthy so that people have jobs and can keep up with the cost of living” and that “we have a credible plan to make our environment even healthier.”

“Our riding is one where people have always paved their own way by working hard to achieve the dreams they have for themselves and their families,” Jansen remarked.

“Under the Liberals, reaching those dreams has gotten harder and harder as the cost of living goes up.”

Describing herself as “a farmer and a woman of faith” Jansen went on say that “we have a responsibility to care for our environment, our natural resources, and our planet. Protecting the earth and all its bounty is a top priority. We owe it to future generations.”

READ ALSO: Liberals maintained healthy lead on eve of federal campaign, new survey suggests

Liberal candidate John Aldag, who was the MP for the riding before he lost to Jansen declared that for “two years the values of our community haven’t been represented by a socially conservative MP, and the choice couldn’t be more clear.”

Aldag said key issues include “investing in infrastructure, including the Skytrain to Langley City, $10 a day childcare to make life affordable for families, and fighting climate change so that forest fires don’t continue to get worse. More fundamentally though, this vote is about who represents our values, so we can move forward, not backwards.”

NDP candidate Rajesh Jayaprakash listed environment and cost of living, that “together, we are going to ensure we take leadership and address the climate crisis, make sure the wealthy are paying their fair share while making life more affordable for Canadians, and make sure that people will no longer have to pay out-of-pocket for health care.”

The 36-day campaign, the shortest allowed under the election law, concludes Sept. 20.


Is there more to the story? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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