Ahead of this October’s provincial election, Black Press Media asked your candidates what they believe the biggest issues are facing the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding and the province. Here are their responses.
Gord Baird – Green: The biggest issue is the ability of our children and grandchildren to survive the repeated shocks of the climate crisis. Climate change is here, but people are not responding to it as an emergency. The present pandemic is providing an emergency to test our communities. Are we prepared? No. Can we adapt? Yes.
Langford-Juan de Fuca stretches from Port Renfrew to the Highlands and captures two rapidly changing and growing municipalities of Sooke and Langford.
We have many families who’ve moved to Langford for affordable housing, but we see them stressed financially due to the pandemic. We need to ensure they don’t fall through the cracks.
We’re seeing the results of archaic laws steamrolling over communities and natural ecosystems from Fairy Creek with the last of the province’s old-growth forests at one end, to the Highlands pit mine sitting on top of its drinking water supply at the other.
Democracy seems in short supply, especially when Premier Horgan took advantage of the goodwill in the legislature during the pandemic and called a snap election. There was no time for those who wanted to participate in the electoral process. Even the government was not prepared and sent out blank ballots.
Kelly Darwin – Liberal: The biggest issue facing our riding is transportation. At times we are held captive by the Malahat to the north, and at other times we spend far too long trying to travel around the West Shore and to downtown to the south. As the past 30 years have taught us, there is no single improvement that will solve these issues. What we need is a multi-solution approach that will most certainly include land, sea, and rail. It is time to look to the future and how we want to shape the West Shore.
As a province, the economy is key to getting people back to work, helping put food on the table and creating a stable and healthy environment for British Columbians. It is my belief that the government should support small businesses in the reopening of the province. It is the government’s job to create the environment to stimulate the economy.
A government that hires people to create jobs only creates future liabilities. Providing PPE, tax incentives and other support will help businesses hire back staff, ensure everyone is safe so people can have access to products and services they need as we adapt to life in the pandemic.
John Horgan – NDP: The COVID-19 pandemic has upended all our lives in so many ways. But I am inspired by the way British Columbians have come together – by staying apart – to flatten the curve.
Government’s first priority should be people’s health and well-being. And that’s why I want to continue to serve the people of B.C. as premier, and the people of Langford-Juan de Fuca as MLA.
I know people are concerned about their future. They are worried about their health and the health of their families. They are worried about the financial impacts this pandemic has had on households and businesses. The BC NDP has a plan to lead us through the pandemic and build an economic recovery that works for everyone.
We’ll continue to invest in health care and seniors care. We support the conditions to create good-paying jobs, invest in skills training and provide relief for small businesses.
We’ll make life more affordable by expanding $10/day childcare and continue with our historic investments in affordable housing. And we’ll continue our CleanBC plan, the most ambitious climate strategy on the continent – because we all want to protect this beautiful place where we live, work and play.
|Tyson Riel Strandlund|
Tyson Riel Strandlund – Communist: There are a number of serious issues working people are faced with both in my riding and in the province, and to isolate any one of them would represent a failure to recognize these crises as reflective of the capitalist system as a whole.
Whether we are discussing the housing shortage, the devastating environmental costs associated with for-profit resource and energy megaprojects, the violent incursions on unceded Indigenous territories by the RCMP and “man camps,” the low wages, the high tuition, the dangers posed by the pandemic and the economic crisis it has worsened (though not caused), or the failure to reform our undemocratic first-past-the-post system, we are dealing with a class struggle between workers and Indigenous nations on one hand, and the mega-rich and their political lapdogs on the other, whether they come decked in orange, green, or any other colours.
The only way out of this is the implementation of a socialist system which puts people and nature before profit, and prioritizes decolonization and indigenous sovereignty – a real democracy in which the working class controls the economy, not just “democracy” on paper and a corporate dictatorship in practice.
Election day is Oct. 24 with advance polls open Oct. 15 to 21 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Find more election coverage online at goldstreamgazette.com/tag/bc-votes-2020.
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