Langley City Councillor Val van den Broek’s reasons for running for mayor go back to the days when she worked at the local Community Police Office.
Van den Broek was a civilian RCMP employee for 20 years, and issues of crime prevention and public safety remain top of mind.
Crime, homelessness, and transportation are the driving issues van den Broek is hearing about as she campaigns for the votes of City residents, she said.
The City has already made a start on improving sidewalks and lighting, cleaning up parks, and doing other “broken window” efforts, she said.
If she becomes mayor, van den Broek would like to see the community participate more in Safer Cities, seeking out federal grants that could help update parts of the community.
CPTED – crime prevention through environmental design – is one of van den Broek’s goals. It extends to her vision for when a rapid transit line from Surrey eventually reaches the City.
“I support SkyTrain,” van den Broek said. “It brings more people, quicker, and if there’s an accident it doesn’t obstruct the flow of traffic.”
The City needs to partner with TransLink and Surrey before the rapid transit line arrives, van den Broek said.
“To me it’s about planning and planning correctly,” she said.
On homelessness, van den Broek said she “absolutely” supports the plan to create a supportive housing project in the former Quality Inn in Langley Township.
If more opportunities come up to create supportive housing in the City, she would also likely support those.
Getting homeless people into housing is often the first step, she said.
“You need a solid foundation,” van den Broek said. “How do you get a shower? How do you get a job?”
Getting people off the streets makes it much easier to get them counselling for addiction and mental health issues, she said.
There should be a regional board to deal with homelessness, van den Broek said, with participation from municipalities, and the provincial and federal governments.
The region doesn’t just need more housing, it also needs more case workers and nurses.
Van den Broek supports the City’s current efforts to expand the Intensive Case Management team (ICM).
She would also like to see an urgent care centre built in or near the City, to act as a bridge for people who need to see a doctor b