NAME: Simon Gibson
PARTY: BC Liberal party
ABOUT: Gibson has worked hard to provide strong representation as the MLA for the last two terms. He has served on Treasury Board and as an Assistant Deputy Speaker, among other responsibilities. Gibson has secured $37 million in funding for the riding. He is married with two daughters and three grandsons.
1. What are the biggest issues currently facing the District of Mission?
Homelessness and addictions. A comprehensive plan is needed to really focus on the issue. I am very conscious of the growing problem because the constituency office is located downtown on 1st Avenue. Mobilizing various agencies in our company will require “big picture thinking.”
The second Fraser River sewer pipe crossing connecting to the James treatment plant is a top priority and all three levels of government must do everything to expedite the construction. Funding and some approvals, I understand, are still required.
Highway infrastructure is top of mind for many constituents. “Gridlock” is being experienced on local Mission roads – such as the intersection of Hwy #7 and #11. Of course, the congestion of Hwy #1 through Langley and Abbotsford is becoming increasingly problematic, especially for truckers.
2. Why does your party have the best solutions on these issues, and what are the biggest gaps in your opponents’ platforms?
We have developed a policy which includes prevention – determining the source of addictions. An approach to a more systematic program of “wrap around” care is required. Homelessness and addictive lifestyles are connected and need to be addressed with compassion and optimism.
We are the best party to ensure priority attention for the sewer crossing. I will commit to working on this to the best of my ability.
3. What should government do to help people recover from the economic effects of COVID-19?
This in an area which the polls show that the public in general would be more comfortable with BC Liberals ability to get our struggling economy back on track.
Our caucus has many MLAs with strong business backgrounds which will guide the decision-making. Eliminating the two per cent small business tax and removing the seven per cent PST for a year will be helpful.
The tourism and hospitality sector will also benefit from a loan guarantee program
4. The provincial government provides vital services to thousands of vulnerable people. What personal experiences give you insight into how government services affect the lives of voters?
Since being elected as an MLA, I and my constituency staff have assisted at least 3,000 individuals and families with a wide variety of needs.
It has been rewarding to receive their positive comments and I do give the credit to my caring and helpful constituency staff. I should add that my wife, Joy, and I have a special needs daughter.