At the doorsteps of Langley City homes, Peter Fassbender is hearing the same issues over and over again – homelessness, transportation, and housing affordability, he said.
The former mayor and Liberal MLA for a Surrey riding said encouraging lower-cost housing is a challenge. Working with the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation to get low-cost loans for housing is one way, Fassbender said.
“We need to lobby hard for our fair share of that,” he said.
Getting local developers to build projects that mix low-cost and market value housing together is another way, said Fassbender.
His stint as an MLA and provincial cabinet minister has taught him a lot and given him contacts with the provincial and federal government to help the City, Fassbender said.
He also supports the Township’s plans for supportive housing at the former Quality Inn site on 200th Street.
The City and Township will need to work together on homelessness issues.
On local transportation, Fassbender said he supports bike lanes but has concerns about the way some of them on 203rd Street were designed.
He has a definite preference when it comes to the rapid transit line planned to reach Langley City.
“I happen to believe SkyTrain is the right approach,” Fassbender said.
When the rapid transit line arrives in the City, the community needs to be ready for the new transit hubs, he said.
Fassbender likens it to a system of veins and arteries, with the rapid transit line as the artery and frequent, reliable bus service to the hub as the veins. Plans will have to include reverse commuters, Fassbender noted.
On taxes, Fassbender noted that the City’s casino revenues have allowed it to remain debt free in recent years.
He said he couldn’t completely rule out borrowing money or raising taxes if necesary for community needs or to meet the City’s vision of the future.
Fassbender said some voters have been asking him about why he left the mayor’s chair back in 2013 with more than a year left in his term, to run for a provincial seat in Surrey.
He said he lived in Langley City the whole time and has no plans to cut his term short if he’s elected.
“I’m here for the entire term,” Fassbender said. “I have no aspirations to go back to provincial politics, or federally.”