MP Tamara Jansen is under fire for calling Langley City a “ghost town. (Langley Advance Times file)

MP Tamara Jansen is under fire for calling Langley City a “ghost town. (Langley Advance Times file)

VIDEO: Langley council presses MP to explain ‘ghost town’ comment

Response by Cloverdale-Langley City Conservative MP Tamara Jansen failed to answer question: Martin

A majority of Langley City council has decided to press Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen for a more detailed explanation of her comment saying the City is becoming a “ghost town.”

On Monday, by a 5-2 majority, council voted to have ”staff write a letter to MP Tamara Jansen requesting she provide a letter addressed to mayor and council clarifying what she meant by her comment that Langley City is becoming a ghost town.”

Coun. Rudy Storteboom, who voted no, doubted there will be a response to the letter concerning what he described as the “very offensive” statement by Jansen during a House of Commons debate.

“I think the damage has been done, and the conversation should be put behind us,” Storteboom remarked.

“Quite honestly, I think we’ve got about as much as were going to get,” Storteboom added.

Coun. Gayle Martin, who proposed sending a follow-up letter, said the problem was the MP’s initial response to a question about the comment, never mentioned the comment.

“We asked our MP a specific question,” Martin commented. “She did not answer the question.”

READ ALSO: Langley MP commends Aldergrove Return-It Depot’s environmental efforts

Martin pointed to recently published comments by Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako Van Popta, who she felt took a more positive approach about the challenges faced by small businesses during the pandemic.

“Seeing these small businesses not only adapt during difficult times, but thrive, is what makes so Canada great,” Van Popta remarked, encouraging shoppers to buy and support local.

“Its the total opposite of what our MP said,” Marttin commented.

Mayor Val van den Broek, who also voted against sending another letter, called it a “political ploy, and I’m kind of done with it.”

“We’re supposed to be making friends and kind of get along,” the mayor added.

Coun. Rosemary Wallace who voted yes, said there should be a “face-to-face” public meeting with Jansen, and Coun. Nathan Pachal backed the letter while making it clear he didn’t want to revisit the issue again.

“If something happens [in response to the letter], something happens,” Pachal said.

“If something doesn’t, it doesn’t. But after this, I don’t think it’s worth our council’s time, going any further.”

A vote on the letter had been scheduled for the Monday, Jan. 11 virtual session of council, but when Martin lost her connection to the video meeting, council decided to postpone the vote until the Jan. 25 meeting of council.

READ MORE: VIDEO: MP warns Langley City is becoming a ‘ghost town’

Jansen had warned “Langley City is becoming a ghost town” during a Dec. 7 debate on a Conservative proposal calling for the federal government to halt scheduled tax increases for small businesses.

“Small business owners are drowning in despair right now,” Jansen said.

A Dec. 14 letter from council to Jansen had asked for a “written explanation as to why she made the comment that Langley City is becoming a ghost town.”

READ MORE: LETTER: MP defends expressing concerns about Langley City becoming ‘ghost town’

Jansen released a copy of her Dec. 17 reply to the mayor that did not mention the “ghost town” comment in so many words, but defended her decision to speak out, saying businesses are struggling and Langley City council should “reach out” to them.

“Our small businesses are at high risk right now and badly need support,” Jansen said.

“I hope the council will consider reaching out to these entrepreneurs, as well, to see how they can support them through these tough times,” the MP added.

“While a few have seen increases in their sales or have successfully pivoted their business models, most have been severely impacted and face losing their establishments. Without those small businesses in our neighbourhoods we will lose a tremendous amount of diverse talent. The time to act is now.”

www.facebook.com

CoronavirusLangley CityPolitics

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

 

Langley City Coun. Gayle Martin was ‘appalled’ by Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen’s Commons comment calling the city a ‘ghost town’ (file)

Langley City Coun. Gayle Martin was ‘appalled’ by Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen’s Commons comment calling the city a ‘ghost town’ (file)

Just Posted

Cyclists checked out the 216th interchange crossing the night before it opened to motor vehicles in early September, 2020. The overpass has separated bike lanes for riders. (Mitchell Nurse/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley overpass wins cycling infrastructure award

HUB Cycling handed out the award to the Township and province recently

A retail cannabis outlet in Aldergrove got its final rezoning approval on Feb. 22. (Black Press Media File)
Aldergrove cannabis shop gets rezoning approval – barely

Council voted twice after narrowly defeating the project the first time

Aldergrove Regional Park will be home to a child-friendly nature gnome tour in March. (Special to The Star)
Aldergrove Regional Park home to gnome-guided tours for children

Families can sign up for nature-themed events happening throughout spring break in March

Kwantlen Polytechnic University announced this week that 64 more health care assistant spaces will be opened at the school. (KPU/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
KPU to train more health workers for seniors care homes

Provincial funding means 64 more spaces for students

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Bryan Adams with his mom, Jane Adams Clark, at Lions Gate Hospital. (Bryan Adams)
Bryan Adams gives shout out to North Shore hospital

The singer’s mom was in Lions Gate Hospital for care

Shoppers will be able to get their hands on signed bottles of Ryan Reynolds’ new gin at B.C. liquor stores this summer. (Twitter/Ryan Reynolds)
Ryan Reynold’s new Aviation Gin autographed and coming to B.C. stores

This summer 100 bottles will be available to the public for purchase across five B.C. liquor stores

An official investigation will be launched after VPD officers were recorded posing near a dead body at Third Beach on Wednesday morning, Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
VIDEO: Vancouver officers under review for allegedly laughing, taking pictures next to dead body

Two officers were caught on video by a local beachgoer Wednesday morning in Stanley Park

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
‘Stay local’: Dr. Henry shoots down spring break travel for British Columbians

B.C. is reportedly working with other provincial governments to determine March break policies

“Our biggest challenge has been the amount of vaccine,” said FNHA acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald. (First Nations Health Authority Facebook photo)
All First Nations on reserve to be vaccinated by end of March: First Nations Health Authority

Vaccinations continuing for B.C. First Nations amid shortages

(Delta Police Department photo)
B.C. youth calls 911 after accruing $7K in online gaming charges

‘Police spoke with the student about appropriate times to call 911’

Site C will go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)
B.C. NDP announces Site C will go ahead with new $16B budget

Reviews recommend more oversight, beefed up foundation stability work

Most Read