Bob D’Eith is the incumbent MLA running for office again as a member of the BC NDP. (Special to The News)

Bob D’Eith is the incumbent MLA running for office again as a member of the BC NDP. (Special to The News)

Candidate Q&A: Bob D’Eith

He is a BC NDP incumbent running in the riding of Maple Ridge-Mission

Bob D’Eith, NDP

Entertainment lawyer, incumbent MLA, author, musician, age 56

BIO:

A father of five children, Bob D’Eith is proud to live in – and represent – Maple Ridge-Mission, one of the fastest growing Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities.

Before joining the BC Legislature in 2017, D’Eith worked in the entertainment industry for more than 25 years.

As executive director of Music BC, he was a fierce advocate for the music industry. He is also an entertainment lawyer and two-time JUNO Award nominated recording artist.

As part of John Horgan’s BC NDP government, D’Eith has been working hard every day to make life better for our community. That includes eliminating bridge tolls, improving highways, funding schools, enhancing healthcare, and investing in childcare and housing.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobdeithmrm

Twitter: @bobdeithmrm

Website: bobdeith.bcndp.ca

Phone: 604-479-2118

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CANDIDATE Q&A:

To help voters make their choices on election day, the Maple Ridge News is asking local candidates a series of questions on issues of importance, inviting each candidate to participate.

They were asked to a ‘yes’, a ‘no,’ or a ‘don’t know’ (Y,N,D) response to EACH of the numbered questions for the grid published in the Oct. 15 edition of The News. Candidates were also invited to expand on ANY OR ALL of the questions (to a maximum of 250 words each), with one of their choice to be included in our print edition on Oct. 22. Here’s all their replies.

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1. Has supportive housing made a difference in addressing homelessness in Maple Ridge?

Answer: We have worked extremely hard to get supportive housing built, along with treatment supports and wraparound services, to address homelessness in Maple Ridge.

That is why Anita’s Place no longer exists today and is now beautiful Beckett Park.

The BC Liberals let this housing crisis grow.

In fact, homelessness in Maple Ridge skyrocketed by 50 per cent between 2014 and 2017, and now with our investments, it is dropping.

The two existing supportive housing sites are very much temporary.

We are working with the City to plan a continuum of housing in Maple Ridge that includes a new youth safe house, affordable rental, seniors, and transitional housing – along with permanent supportive housing at a site to be agreed on with the city.

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2. Are you in favour of government providing drug users with a safe supply to address the opioid overdose crisis?

Answer: Too many lives have been lost – our family, friends, coworkers, and neighbours.

Addressing the overdose crisis goes beyond providing safe prescription medication – which Andrew Wilkinson says he also supports.

It means investing in a multi-pronged approach: prevention, harm reduction, enforcement, and treatment.

Prevention is key, especially when it comes to protecting and supporting our kids.

The Liberals cut youth treatment beds just as the crisis was growing, which has compounded the crisis.

We’re doubling youth treatment beds and will build new treatment and detox facilities across the province, including right here in Maple Ridge where there is clearly a need for these services.

We are also working to deliver new supports, like a youth safe house, to ensure everyone has the support they need, when they need it.

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3. Can Pitt Meadows count on highway improvements actually being realized at the Harris Road/Lougheed Highway intersection in the next four years?

Answer: Everyone should be able to get to work, run errands, and get home to their family and loved ones quickly and safely.

The BC Liberals charged unfair tolls that penalized people for where they chose to live and work, and failed to replace and build essential transportation projects.

This left us all stuck in traffic.

We’re investing in projects to tackle congestion and save people time and money, with improvements to key roads, and new services like a Rapid Bus connecting to the SkyTrain line.

We have completed the concept plan for this project, and it is going to public engagement this fall – once that’s complete, we’ll move ahead with these necessary improvements.

We’re making record investments in improving roads, bridges and transit so people can get where they need to go quickly and safely.

Our new recovery investment fund will deliver $9 billion – $3 billion a year over three years, on top for our existing $32 billion in capital spending – to drive new growth and investment in communities across the province.

The funding will be used to build new schools, hospitals, childcare spaces, roads and transit, and more – creating an expected 18,000 new jobs every year.

4. With Golden Ears Provincial Park and others in the area at capacity during peak times, should camping and park expansion be a priority in the riding?

Answer: Golden Ears Provincial Park is a jewel in our community.

During the pandemic, provincial parks provided much-needed outdoor space for residents who needed an escape from the confines of their homes.

Last year, 65 campsites were added to Golden Ears park.

We are committed to expanding B.C.’s provincial parks by creating new campgrounds, trails, and protected areas, and increasing funding to improve infrastructure and protect park ecosystems.

5. Do you support the expansion of $10 per day daycare?

Answer: Affordable childcare means not asking parents to make impossible choices – like going to work or staying home.

The BC Liberals would cancel our fee reduction program and let childcare costs skyrocket again.

That doesn’t help young families.

We’re creating childcare spaces at the fastest pace in the province’s history.

We’ve funded 20,000 new childcare spaces in just two years and we want to keep expanding $10 per day childcare.

In my riding alone, we have invested more than $17 million in childcare, with more than $9 million going back to parents.

We have created 253 new spaces and improved wages for early childhood educators.

The BCNDP is committed to investing in more childcare programs that will help families all across the province, including Maple Ridge.

6. During a second wave of COVID-19 would you support closing schools?

Answer: We would take Dr. [Bonnie] Henry’s advice. She’s led us through this pandemic and we’re going to continue to follow her advice to keep British Columbians safe.

7. During a second wave of COVID-19 would you support closing businesses?

Answer: Again, just like the question on school closures, we would take Dr. Henry’s advice.

She’s led us through this pandemic and we’re going to continue to follow her advice to keep British Columbians safe. We know that the best economic plan is a strong public health response and following Dr. Henry’s advice so we can keep businesses open to support people.

8. Is government spending the best way to stimulate the economy as it recovers from the global pandemic?

Answer: Governing is about choices.

The BC Liberals just announced a $3-billion tax break that will only benefit the richest British Columbians – the same people who benefited throughout the 16 years they were in government.

I believe that people are the economy.

I would rather invest in people and help them succeed, so we can grow our economy and build a recovery for everyone.

That’s why the BCNDP will support people and businesses.

We will provide direct support to British Columbians through the pandemic with a one-time $1,000 recovery benefit for families, $500 for individuals.

We’re creating jobs and rebuilding BC with a new recovery investment fund, to provide an additional $3 billion a year over three years to build new schools, hospitals and more – creating 18,000 new jobs a year.

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9. Should government divert funding away from policing, and toward social and mental health services?

Answer: It’s not either or, it’s both.

We need to continue to prosecute those who commit crimes, and crack down on things like money laundering that is helping fuel crime and the overdose crisis.

We also need mental and social health services so people can get the care they need and be treated as patients.

Prevention is key, that’s why we are doubling youth treatment beds, from 104 to 247.

We are supporting police to focus on serious crime and safer neighbourhoods.

For too long, we have relied on local police forces to respond to calls they are not always well-equipped to address.

That’s why we will invest more in community-based mental health and social services, so there are more trained front-line workers to help people in crisis.

And that’s why we are investing in teams like the new assertive community treatment (ACT) team coming to Maple Ridge, to make sure that those with complex challenges have the support they need.

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10. Should the province provide B.C. residents with a universal basic income?

Answer: Affordability is key to making sure our economy works for everyone.

B.C. is an expensive place to live and it’s tough to balance a household budget here.

The BC Liberals gave tax breaks to the top two per cent and made everyone else pay for it.

MSP doubled, ICBC rates were up 36 per cent, Hydro bills were up 87 per cent, and we all paid bridge tolls.

John Horgan and the BC NDP cancelled the BC Liberal tax cuts for the wealthy and gave it back to people.

We eliminated MSP and bridge tolls.

We will be freezing rents.

We are starting a child opportunity benefit that provides up to $2,600/year for a family with two kids.

We will provide direct support to British Columbians through the pandemic with a one-time $1,000 recovery benefit for families, $500 for individuals.

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OTHER LOCAL CANDIDATE Q&As:

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Maple Ridge-Mission riding

Candidate Q&A: Matt Trenholm

Candidate Q&A: Chelsa Meadus

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Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows riding

Candidate Q&A: Cheryl Ashlie

Candidate Q&A: Lisa Beare

________________________________

• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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