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 Dan Copeland 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?
As Delta’s fire chief, I understood the importance of being an effective leader and critical thinker. My experience building relationships with municipal, provincial and federal leaders will be an asset on council.
2) What in your opinion are the top issues facing the City of Delta and how do you plan to address them?
Traffic — work closely with TransLink mayor’s task force and TransLink board to literally put Delta on the map. Housing — keep young families and seniors in Delta by providing more housing options. Equal representation — connect North and South Delta by holding every other council and school board meeting in North Delta.
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?
Review/improve building permit process, ensure bylaws meet the needs of the community, streamline process for owning secondary suites. Protect and maintain the character/livability of neighbourhoods, work with community members to determine areas for higher-density development. Provide rental options in new developments for lower-income families/seniors.
4) What is your stance on cannabis production and retail sales in Delta?
I will establish a public safety committee of community leaders, first responder directors and residents to determine the location for production/retail sales. We must be vigilant to ensure retail sales are kept away from children, schools and parks, preserve agricultural land for food crops.
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?
Work off Delta parks and recreation strategic plan: upgrade tracks in North Delta, complete accessibility project at South Delta Rec Centre, Sungod washroom/change room project, Winskill Park synthetic turf or engineered grass project, Winskill Park field house/lawn bowling clubhouse, and use budgeted funds and, whenever possible, seek grants or other funding from government.
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?
Should BCLC proceed with the council-approved casino project, we will invest casino revenues back into Delta to help residents most in need through social service programs, lead efforts to stop money laundering/keep dirty money out, and work with Attorney General and UBCM to implement cashless casinos to keep crime out.
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?
While I support a severance package for elected officials, I do not agree remuneration packages should arbitrarily be set by those who will receive them. There must be a process for a third-party to determine a fair severance package. Current incumbent council members voted unanimously to approve the current package.
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?
We need a bridge. Delta residents deserve a safer, more efficient commute and I am committed to solving this issue. Emphasis must be put on moving people, not only vehicles, include a plan for rapid bus or light rail. Has least impact on ALR.
The civic election takes place on Saturday, Oct. 20.