Wednesday, October 8, 2008

NDP Candidate Andrew Claxton QA

So this is the last part in a five part series. We’re heard from federal candidates the CHP’s Ron Gray, Green’s Patrick Meyer, and Liberal’s Jake Gray. We won’t be hearing from MP and Conservative candidate Mark Warawa.

Today we present the response from NDP candidate Andrew Claxton. Now you have all you need to vote for light rail in Langley and the South Fraser. Thanks to all the candidate who took the time out of their busy schedules to answer these questions.

1. What will your party do to improve public transportation in the South of Fraser Region?
Jack Layton and the New Democrats will dedicate one percent of the gas tax to fund public transit infrastructure and upgrades. This would be around $400 million every year. Now the South of the Fraser region is a large and growing area so a good portion of that money would probably come here. That being said, the province controls how the money is allocated. As an MP for Langley I would work closely with all levels of government to ensure that that money would benefit the people of Langley and of the entire South of the Fraser region. Part of the New Democrats' strategy for improving public transit also involves making sure that it is accessible by the people who are supposed to be using it. That means a smarter development strategy. That means housing. The New Democrats support increased funding to develop higher density hosing across Canada. As with the gas tax shift, some of those new higher density homes would come to Langley.

2. Does your party support the restoration of the Interurban Rail Line?
When thinking about public transit that works, especially in an area as large as the Fraser Valley, one must think of something other than buses. That means rail. The most expensive part of any commuter rail project is the investment to build the rail line initially. With the BC Electric rail, we already have that. I think that a government that is both serious about public transit and serious about fiscal responsibility would have to look at the right of way in a very serious way. I would like to see a study on the feasibility of using the existing rail line for an inter-urban rail like we had over fifty years ago. I think it should be the first place a government should look when making decisions about public transit expansion in the Fraser Valley. Of course, as above we would have to work with the provincial government and other stake holders to make sure that we had a plan that would work.

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