The North Delta Reporter sent candidates for councillor a list of eight questions to gauge their positions on some of the major issues in the 2018 civic election campaign. We gave candidates a limit of 400 words total to answer. Here’s what Achieving for Delta candidate Alicia Guichon had to say:
(Note, all candidates’ answers have been edited for length, clarity and to conform with Canadian Press style, as required.)
1) Why are you running for council?
I have been lucky to call Delta home for my entire life. Running a small business in Delta has allowed me to connect with this community and I see running for council as an extension of that. I want to give back to my community that has given me so much.
2) What in your opinion are the top issues facing the City of Delta and how do you plan to address them?
As a proud fifth-generation farmer, the preservation of agricultural land is something I will fight to protect and maintain. Delta council needs a strong voice from the farming community now more than ever and I am committed to keeping farming viable in Delta for future generations.
3) What is your plan for addressing the need for affordable and rental housing in Delta, especially as it relates to medium- and high-density developments/highrises in North Delta?
I agree that Delta needs more housing options that make sense for those looking to rent, downsize or enter the market for the first time. There are areas in the town centres and along the Scott Road corridor that may be suitable, yet traffic and congestion need to be addressed before moving forward with any new developments.
4) What is your stance on cannabis production and retail sales in Delta?
4) As a farmer, I do not believe that ALR land should be converted from food production to cannabis. I am more in favour of warehouses in industrial areas that have proper air filtration systems and security measures. As for retail locations, I believe taking this step will be a slow and monitored process in Delta.
5) A number of Delta’s recreation facilities are in need of upgrading or replacement. Which projects do you think are important to tackle first, and where will you find the money to pay for them?
I think it is important to upgrade our existing fields and tracks at our schools. We need to work with the school board to lease these lands from them and maintain them with our city resources, and let the school board use their limited funds inside the schools.
6) A new Casino will soon be built at the site of the Delta Town & Country Inn, bringing the city an estimated $1.5 million and $3 million in revenue. How do you think that money should best be spent, and how do you plan to mitigate the casino’s impact on the community?
I have full confidence that our Delta police and fire departments will continue to keep our community’s safety as the top priority with the new casino. We plan to invest all revenues from the casino back into our community through local programs and addictions services.
7) Last year mayor and council voted to give outgoing elected officials a “Council Service Benefit” (commonly referred to as a “golden handshake”) to compensate them for not being eligible to join the city’s pension plan. Do you support this end-of-service benefit and do you agree with the decision to backdate it 12 years?
No, I do not agree with this end-of-service benefit and I do not agree with the decision to backdate it 12 years.
8) The previous mayor and council advocated for a 10-lane bridge to replace the aging tunnel George Massey Tunnel. That is your preferred replacement option (or do you think it even needs replacing), and why?
Previous mayor and council fought relentlessly for a new crossing, with a bridge preference, and I will continue that fight. Delta residents deserve a safer and more efficient commute. I would also strongly advocate for additional public transit options such as rapid transit or light rail. A bridge also has the least invasive footprint on our surrounding farmland and that is very important to me.
The civic election takes place on Saturday, Oct. 20.