The annual Q&A for local politicians brought two MLAs and two mayors to the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce meeting on Tuesday, March 21.
As is usually the case, the submitted questions focused on the issues that keep coming up in Langley – growth, development, and transit.
The first question was about how infrastructure can keep up with the pace of growth in the region.
Langley City Mayor Ted Schaffer chose to talk about health care services, and particularly mental health. He noted that 17 per cent of the adult population has some form of mental illness – mostly mild to moderate, but that adds up to 19,400 people in the Langleys. That’s in addition to the thousands of people who need substance abuse help.
A frequent question from the Langley business community was asked – why is there no transit service to the Gloucester industrial park in Aldergrove?
“We wouldn’t have the ridership to make it work,” said Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman.
Langley MLA Mary Polak noted that it puts Lower Mainland mayors in a tough spot. Transit is subsidized, but it needs to pay for itself at a certain rate.
“There has to be a decent balance there,” she said.
Asked about turning 16th Avenue into a provincial highway, Township Mayor Jack Froese noted that the costs of widening that busy road would be about $270 million, and that’s without the cost of land acquisition along the route. There are safety improvements in the works, he added.