Only two candidates running to represent Cloverdale-Langley City made it out to an election forum organized by Langley seniors groups on Thursday.
Liberal candidate John Aldag and PPC candidate Ian Kennedy fielded questions from moderator Frank Bucholtz to a crowd of a couple dozen local residents at the Langley Seniors Resource Centre starting at 2 p.m.
Conservative Tamara Jansen and NDP candidate Rajesh Jayaprakash did not attend, and there is no Green candidate in the riding.
Aldag said he wants to hear from locals about “What keeps you awake at night?”
Housing affordability, for both young people and seniors, was among the issues he mentioned in his opening remarks.
“We need to continue fighting on affordability issues,” said Aldag, who served as the Cloverdale-Langley City MP from 2015 to 2019 before being defeated at the polls by Jansen.
Aldag mentioned climate change and the Liberal commitment to fund SkyTrain from Surrey to Langley City as well.
Kennedy said the PPC, led by Maxime Bernier, are the only party that will stand up for the people.
However, he opened his remarks with a bit of praise for his opponent.
“You truly served the people, and that’s the way it should be,” Kennedy said of Aldag’s time in office.
He was not so positive about Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, however, saying he didn’t like the direction Trudeau was taking Canada.
One of the first questions asked about how the parties would protect the retirement savings of Canadians, including things like defined benefit pensions.
Kennedy said the party would open up the economy to aid workers in the gig and part time economy.
Part of that, he said was ending COVID restrictions.
“We need to end this COVID madness,” said Kennedy. “Lockdowns and closures are clearly not helping with the pandemic.”
He called for a “free and open economy now.”
Kennedy said the corporate tax rate should be cut from 15 to 10 per cent so businesses could invest more in their employees.
Aldag said seniors are still facing pressures, and said the Liberals are planning an increase to the Old Age Security, an increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and other boosts would help seniors.
Gig workers didn’t have sufficient programs during the pandemic, but the EI program has been adapted so gig workers can pay into it, Aldag said.
“I’ve talked to people who have worked all their lives for private companies, and then they’ve folded,” Aldag said of private pensions. “So I would say there is still more work that needs to be done on this.”
Another debate, for Langley-Aldergrove candidates, was to be held on Friday, Sept. 10 at the Aldergrove Legion.
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