Langford a model for B.C., says de Jong

There’s nothing like inching along in the Colwood Crawl to give a Mainland politician a new perspective on traffic on the West Shore.

B.C Liberal leadership candidate Mike de Jong (right) chats with property developer Frank Gruber last week in Langford.

There’s nothing like inching along in the Colwood Crawl to give a Mainland politician a new perspective on traffic on the West Shore.

Last week while on the campaign trail, B.C. Liberal leadership candidate Mike de Jong had a pit stop in Langford and admitted he has a new appreciation for transportation issues in Greater Victoria.

De Jong gave less overt promises than his colleague, rival and former transportation minister Kevin Falcon on finding solutions to ease traffic congestion between the West Shore and Victoria.

“Growth happens here so quickly. Being stuck in the crawl is the best way to appreciate the problem,” de Jong said after giving a talk to the West Shore Developers Association. “This is a good thing though. A leadership campaign gives individual candidates and government a chance to reengage with communities.”

De Jong admitted that over the past decade, the B.C. Liberal government has become detached and arrogant in its approach to devising policy.

“I think you always have to be on guard of slipping from leadership to arrogance,” he said. “This exercise is about giving people a chance to say what is important to them. When you stop doing that, you are in trouble.”

Despite strong NDP support in the Juan de Fuca riding, de Jong said he holds up Langford as a model for other communities across the province. Encouraging development and private enterprise to help fund public amenities is what is needed in B.C., he said.

“What this community has done is tremendous. When I travel the province I talk about what happens here,” he said. “The community has sound leadership and fiscal management and tax reductions. That’s no accident. The people have the vision to plan ahead and invest.”

On the harmonized sales tax, de Jong said the government “screwed up” how the controversial tax was rolled out to the public and that as a senior member of cabinet, he shares responsibility.

Speaking to B.C. Liberal supporters, de Jong said people also need to focus on positive aspects of government policy, such as low business taxes and a healthy investment climate.

“We’ve got to renew ourselves as a government that believes in a strong private sector and responsible fiscal management.”

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Victoria landmarks to glow red in honour of World Tuberculosis Day

1,600 new cases of active TB reported in Canada every year

Colwood discusses parcel tax to help pay for sewer repair and replacement

Report submitted to committee recommends parcel tax for all residents

UPDATE: Missing 12-year-old girl found

Victora police say missing youth has been found and is safe

The blind lead the blind at the Pacific Training Centre

Centre specializes in teaching visually impaired people everyday skills to live an independent life

Fewer Greater Victoria residents collecting EI benefits

The number of local EI recipients dropped by 5.5 per cent from January 2018 to January 2019

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Most Read