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 Craig DeCraene 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 am running for council because I believe a change is needed in the municipal government level. There seems to be a disconnect between council and citizens. I would like to bridge that gap.
2) What in your opinion are the top issues facing the City of Delta and how do you plan to address them?
One of the top issues facing Delta is the George Massey Tunnel. I believe the current tunnel has met its capacity and is in need of expansion. I would support an expansion and retrofit of the existing tunnel.
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 would have to read up on this, but one idea is to give tax incentives to developers so more rental suites are included in dense developments in North Delta. I am not an expert in this field so I’d also seek consultation to see if this is a viable and feasible way to help ease the burden.
4) What is your stance on cannabis production and retail sales in Delta?
I am for cannabis production in Delta, not on ALR though. Maybe in a warehouse somewhere would be more useful to farm land. I would also support retail sales of cannabis in the City of Delta. Better to know where you getting it from rather than having to drive to other municipalities, or go to the grey market and risk the chance of contaminated product.
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 would like to see some diversity of sports in Delta. I read recently that a cricket league would like to have a place to play. I’d support the building of a cricket field in North Delta. I would support the upgrade of tracks as opposed to demolish and rebuild. The existing facilities would only need upgrading in my opinion. Money from projected marijuana sales could possibly go into upgrading these parks and recreational 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?
I would support the notion of portions of the money going towards upgrading crosswalks and bike lanes. Public safety is a high priority of mine. Also portions going to a fund to help with effects from climate change from raising the dykes or possible raising River Road. I heard that being an option earlier. All levels of government should be pitching in with this issue surrounding climate changes related issues. Also portions should go to awareness related to addictions, being either gambling or other addictions affecting the general public.
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?
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?
I would support the twinning and retrofit of the existing George Massey Tunnel. Tunnel is only 59 years old. I believe it needs twinning as congestion keeps getting worse on Highway 99. Something needs to be done.
The civic election takes place on Saturday, Oct. 20.