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 independent candidate Chen Du 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’m running because many fellow Deltans felt that all their complaints to the government were ignored for years and even decades. With the encouragement and support from my old neighbours, I decided that it’s time for me to step up and represent real, relatable concerns of Deltans in the city council.
2) What in your opinion are the top issues facing the City of Delta and how do you plan to address them?
The top issue is public transit. Unfortunately, TransLink’s current plan through 2027 offered almost no improvement to our transit system. Yet we contribute a portion of property tax to TransLink every year and our transit system is in urgent need of expansion. I will hold TransLink accountable for all the money they took from Deltans and will press them to offer our city adequate transit services.
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?
We need to first curb foreign speculation by charging foreign investor owned secondary homes an annual levy. Furthermore, we need to balance the types of developments: limit the number of luxury home developments and encourage economic and mid-range developments (for rent and for sale). For densification, we need to consult with the impacted neighbourhoods and hear their opinions regarding any future medium- and high-density developments.
4) What is your stance on cannabis production and retail sales in Delta?
Many Deltans want cannabis retail to be as far away as possible from children. However, all of our commercial areas are very close to our city’s schools, libraries and recreational facilities. Based on this reason, personally I am not in favor of allowing cannabis retail in Delta. This issue, along with the production of cannabis, needs to be reviewed and consulted with the public.
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?
The ones that are will benefit our community the most should be upgraded immediately, like the track at North Delta Secondary. The track is used both to train athletes and also used by residents to exercise. Delta is home to world class athletes like Jeff Francis and Troy Brouwer. We need to ensure Delta has more in the future. We can use casino and possible cannabis revenues to fund these facilities.
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?
A portion of the revenue must be dedicated to education of children in our schools regarding the negative impacts gambling will bring to themselves and their families.
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. It should be abolished immediately. My stance would be the same, backdate it 12 years and will remain the same in the future.
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?
Bridge will be a better option as it is ready to build. Twinning the tunnel is also possible if it deems to be an even better option after consulting the public.
The civic election takes place on Saturday, Oct. 20.