COLUMN: Surrey and Delta will be heard

Areas well-represented in the legislature following the provincial election.

Surrey is well-represented in the new provincial cabinet, and the voice of this community will be clearly heard in Victoria.

Three Liberal MLAs have been named to cabinet. Peter Fassbender in Surrey-Fleetwood will be the new education minister, and will be trying to reach a long-term agreement with B.C. teachers. This is a priority of Premier Christy Clark’s.

Many observers thought Fassbender would be placed in transportation or another portfolio involving Lower Mainland mayors, all of whom he knows well. His last experience with education as a politician was as a Langley school trustee in the 1970s.

However, he is a hard worker and diligent in tasks that he takes on.

Amrik Virk, MLA for Surrey-Tynehead, will be the new minister of advanced education. This is a natural for the longtime police officer, who was a member of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University board of governors and has an interest in ensuring young people get good educations. He too is a hard worker and will certainly be diligent.

Stephanie Cadieux, who is now MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale, is continuing in her role as minister of children and family development. This has been a challenging ministry for many of the people who have held it, as it involves children who need the most attention from government. The representative for children and youth also highlights deficiencies within the system, which occur far too often.

Cadieux has thus far held her own in this difficult job.

Two Liberal MLAs from Surrey and one from Delta are not in cabinet. All have a great deal of experience at the municipal level, and Gordon Hogg, veteran MLA for Surrey-White Rock, has also sat in cabinet.

Marvin Hunt, MLA for Surrey-Panorama, has a lengthy record of service on Surrey council and school board, and Scott Hamilton, MLA for Delta-North, has plenty of experience as a Delta councillor. All three will likely receive regular communications from organizations, businesses and individuals in Surrey and Delta, as this fast-growing area needs plenty of provincial attention.

If the new Liberal government is not doing its job in meeting the needs of people in this area, from transit and transportation to education and health care, there are four experienced MLAs who will hold the government to account.

Delta-South independent  MLA Vicki Huntington has already done so, over the issue of charging seniors in care facilities a wheelchair rental fee. This plan will be a challenge for Terry Lake, the new health minister.

The three NDP MLAs will also do all they can to highlight in adequacies in service. Bains in Surrey-Newton has been a solid transportation critic and there are no shortage of issues on that front.

Sue Hammell in Surrey-Green Timbers is a former cabinet minister and longtime MLA who has frequently brought up Surrey issues in the House, and Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston is one of the most knowledgeable MLAs on the Opposition benches.

The 10 MLAs from Surrey and Delta will ensure the issues that are important to people living south of the Fraser are brought up regularly, at the cabinet table, in public disclosure and in the legislature itself.

Frank Bucholtz is the editor of The Langley Times. He writes weekly for The Leader.

Just Posted

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

Surrey-raised Merkules raps his way around the world

Cole Stevenson opens up about his ‘Scars,’ a hit remix of ‘Old Town Road’ and how he’s pals with Shaq

MINTY: Surrey group’s retreat offers a sort of beach party/camp with dancing

Also, FVGSS theatre company’s costume and fabric sale planned at warehouse in Newton

‘Person of interest’ identified after suspicious meat left in North Delta park

Piles of meat have been dumped near the 63rd Avenue trail entrance four times in the last 30 days

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Mouse infestation hit Langley hospital’s kitchens

Droppings and urine were found by Fraser Health inspectors in the spring

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

B.C. mom mourns 14-year-old son whose fatal overdose was posted online

Chantell Griffiths misses the son she hadn’t seen much in recent years

Oppenheimer Park residents told to leave, clear out tents by Aug. 21

Police say park has seen influx of residents, violence in recent months

Most Read