Langley East Libertarian candidate Alex Joehl provided these answers to our 10 Questions survey.
1. Do you support the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline? D
Extended Answer: Yes, but under two conditions.
One, simply, that the private company be held financially and criminally responsible for any damage they cause either during construction of the pipeline or by accidental spill.
Two, that the company does not acquire any land through expropriation. In the past this has happened, and it may even be happening still. If the private company can’t negotiate land purchase or easement rights with landowners, then the government should not have the ability to force landowners to do so, no matter what the compensation. The B.C. Libertarian Party takes property rights very seriously.
2. Should the province intervene further to cool real estate prices? N
Extended Answer: Yes, but not in the way most parties will suggest. Real estate in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley are fueled by demand. We live in a wonderful part of the world, but there is a lack of housing. If elected to power, the B.C. Libertarian Party would work with municipalities to cut red tape and encourage housing growth, increasing the housing supply, and in doing so would ease demand. While this is a mostly a municipal issue, the Province has a large amount of influence on the cities. It is horrific that the Township of Langley takes 18 months on average to get approval to build a home. (As reported by Global News)
3. Should schools be built before anticipated population growth? N
Extended Answer: No, but there needs to be a plan in place by city planners. Building schools before housing developments are complete is irresponsible. In doing so, planners and administrators are predicting demand. What if not enough children move to the area to fill the new school? What if the school opens and on Day 1 it is already overflowing into portables. The best course of action is to have a municipal plan in place for location, but no shovel should hit the dirt until actual demographic numbers are in place.
If elected to power, the B.C. Libertarian Party would institute a voucher system, allowing parents to choose where the dollars ear-marked for their child’s education is spent. Just as easy as taking those vouchers to an existing school, enough demand could also fund a brand new school in newly-developed areas.
4. Should modest tolls be placed on all bridges and major highways to fund TransLink? Y
Extended Answer: Yes, but instead of funding TransLink, bridges and major highways should be tolled to fund themselves. While we are still decades away from tolling all road use, it would be very simple to put a user-fee system in place for bridges and tunnels immediately. Besides acting as funding for the infrastructure, tolls can also be used to relieve traffic congestion, which is a major issue in the Lower Mainland.
5. Should fast-growing Langley have its own courthouse again? Y
6. Should political donations be capped for MLAs and parties? N
Extended Answer: No, but full transparency is important. If you can follow the money, it shouldn’t matter how much it is.
7. Would you support a moratorium on removing land from the ALR? N
Extended Answer: The ALR is artificially keeping some land in the Fraser Valley undervalued and forcing other parts to be overpriced. Reducing the ALR and more residential housing would be a step in the right direction to make housing more affordable.
8. Should B.C. allow 18 year olds to smoke legal marijuana? Y
Extended Answer: Yes, 18 is a good minimum age. I wouldn’t disagree with 19 as a minimum age either.
9. Would you support raising provincial taxes to help house the homeless? N
Extended Answer: Homelessness is almost always tied to one of two things: housing affordability or drug addiction. I’ve already touched on two ways to improve housing affordability – reduce the scope of the ALR and help municipalities cut red tape – and drug addiction can be best battled by finally ending prohibition. Drug addiction is a health issue, not a crime. Many people are on the streets only because they can’t get serious help from various resources because of their drug use. The only crime is turning their mental illness into a crime.
10. Should addicts be prescribed heroin/opioids to help control the overdose crisis? Y
Extended Answer: Yes. The B.C. Libertarian Party favours an end to prohibition. Imagine a world where you can purchase heroin from your neighbourhood pharmacist, whom you trust, instead of a black market dealer in a dark alley, who is unpredictable.