George Gidora – Communist Party of BC

1. Why do you think you would be the best choice to represent the voters in Surrey-Whalley?

My roots are in Surrey, my family moved here from Alberta in the 1940’s and we have been
active participants in the community whenever possible. Whether it was school PTAs, residents
and ratepayers’ associations, sports associations or arts and cultural groups, my family always
believed it was a social responsibility to participate. I do not live in Surrey any more but my heart
and my soul is still here.

2. What do you think are the strengths and challenges of Surrey City Centre? What
would your role be in building on the strengths? How would you address the
challenges?

Surrey City Centre is a commercial centre with strong transportation links to the cities to the
west. There is a major education centre and strong recreation and cultural facilities. There is an
urgent need for more affordable social housing and substance use disorder treatment facilities. I
would be a strong advocate for affordable social housing and an advocate for harm reduction
treatment, safe injection facilities and for increasing the number of substance use disorder
treatment professionals and facilities.

3. A variety of housing is needed: affordable housing for youth, families and seniors,
supportive housing for those requiring help with addition and mental illness and
transitional housing for those moving from the streets into permanent housing. What
do you see as the role of the provincial government in housing and what would you
advocate for if elected to office?

The Provincial Government has a responsibility to provide resources for affordable social housing
in partnership with local government and commercial developers. No new housing projects
should be approved without at least 10% of units allocated for low-cost affordable housing.
These units should cost no less than 30% of income and be subsidized by a government program
based on need.

4. What do you see as the priority for health investment funding in Surrey and why?

Surrey is a major city in British Columbia and as such needs to have a major health centre to
serve the needs of the community and the region. Surrey Memorial Hospital is already operating
at over-capacity and needs to hire the staff needed to provide care, build the facilities needed to
fulfill these needs.

I am a strong proponent of the Provincial government to massively increase the amount of
funding provided for all aspects of health care. BC and Surrey’s population is growing rapidly and
the amount of money budgeted for health is not increasing at a comparable rate to maintain
services.

5. Multiple levels of Government have recently committed funds to address emerging
health issues like the recent rise in opioid deaths. However, drug, alcohol and mental
health issues have been plaguing our community for years with limited relief for the
businesses and residents who deal daily with the behaviour of these vulnerable
people. What solutions would you try to introduce that would address the needs of
the whole community?

We need safe injection facilities as a first step to address the current emergency. We need to
increase the number of beds pin treatment facilities and licensed recovery facilities especially
addressing the specific need s of youth. Surrey has a huge shadow recovery industry with many
disreputable so-called recovery houses that do nothing to assist those in recovery. The
government needs to license and monitor these facilities by developing and implementing
guidelines for secondary and tertiary recovery care.

6. Given that Surrey is the largest school district in BC and continues to experience strong
growth, what is your commitment to seeing that Surrey’s students get their fair share?
Does your party commit to an increased capital budget for K-12 schools to address the
overcrowding in Surrey Schools?

Funding for schools in Surrey has fallen far behind the actual needs. Just like healthcare, the
current government’s record of funding has continually slipped further and further behind the
needs as a result of increasing population growth. Returning the right to local school boards to
levy school taxes would have a marked improvement on resources available for K to 12
education.

7. Currently, funding for portables at local elementary and secondary schools comes out
of operations budgets thus cutting into day-to-day needs of the students. Will you and
your party address this inequity?

Yes, this is clearly a capital expense related to facilities. It is absurd that this expense should be
attached to operations.

8. While there has been additional funding for SFU to build their new building, the
demand for post-secondary seats South of the Fraser greatly exceeds the supply. How
will you address this?

There has to be better long range planning for post-secondary educational facilities. Whatever
blocks are in place that obstructs needed expansion of educational facilities in favour of
commercial development must be re-assessed. Development of education centres must not be
dependent on parallel commercial development.

9. Transportation is a big problem in Surrey. Please identify what you think are the three
biggest transportation issues in Surrey and how do you (and your party) plan to
address these issues?

Mass rapid transit designed to move people around Surrey must be a priority. Transit costs must
be affordable and accessible. The immediate increase in bus service and routes is the easiest and
most affordable solution in the short term followed up my rapid transit development whether
LRT or SkyTrain expansion in the long term. All sectors of our community benefit from efficient
and affordable public transit. Funding of transit must be shared more by many of these sectors
such as business and industry.

10. Creating jobs close to home is key to Surrey’s success. What initiatives do you think
will help create jobs and prepare workers (not just youth but the current workforce)
for jobs of the future?

There is currently opportunities to attract high tech jobs to BC and Canada. Surrey needs to be in
on this opportunity. Consultation with experts in the field to see what facilities are here and what
can be reasonably provided with the assistance of whatever government programs are available.
The expansion of technical education facilities and opportunities can be planned to work in
partnership with this development.

11. Surrey is a diverse community in age and ethnic make-up. If elected, what do you plan
to do to engage and remain connected to your constituency?

Every elected representative regardless of political affiliation has an obligation to represent the
diversity of our modern community. Open and accessible channels of communication should be
developed and maintained. The test of our society should be how we treat the worst off and
least privileged.

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