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 Independents Working for You candidate Jeannie Kanakos 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 seeking re-election and it would be an honour to serve the residents of Delta for another term. I seek to improve recreation, sports and cultural services, keep our community affordable, protect the vulnerable and overall preserve and enhance our quality of life.
2) What in your opinion are the top issues facing the City of Delta and how do you plan to address them?
Highrise development — need for a pause and review of the North Delta Area Plan. Affordable housing options — immediately develop housing action plan taking up provincial delegated authority to zone for affordable rental housing. Keeping taxes low and our community affordable — review of spending and opportunities for more funding partnerships with the province and federal governments.
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?
To address affordable rental housing, develop rental-only zoning, require affordable rental units in new medium- and high-density developments.
4) What is your stance on cannabis production and retail sales in Delta?
I support cannabis production in industrial zones, fully enclosed to manage odour. I support the sale of cannabis through a government controlled retail outlet. (Like LCB.)
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 support a new racket facility in Delta for tennis and pickleball, further upgrades to North Delta soccer and baseball fields, and an upgraded track at North Delta Secondary. Innovative approaches to funding like partnering with the private sector or considering a “referendum on funding” like the one done for the upgrades to the Sungod Recreation Centre. I have heard from the community that we need to invest in facilities for our youth, seniors and families to contribute to a healthy, safe community.
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?
The casino has not been approved yet. I continue to hope it won’t be and voted against it. The revenues obtained will hardly cover the costs of policing it and dealing with addiction issues in Delta. I urge residents to write to the Attorney General requesting a hold on the casino until the recommendations of the Peter German report Dirty Money are implemented.
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?
I do not support the golden handshake and I do not support it being ‘backdated’ 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?
The provincial government has recently completed an analysis and report regarding the replacement of the George Massey Tunnel, which will be released after the municipal election. I will advocate on behalf of Delta for a solution — whether tunnel or bridge — which does not impact further on farmland, includes effective transit and cycling, and which can be built quickly and without tolls.
The civic election takes place on Saturday, Oct. 20.