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 Kay Khilvinder Hale 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?
It is not about the title or wage for me. It is about what I see as taking the next step in community building, leveraging the professional and volunteer experience I have and bringing a new perspective to the table.
2) What in your opinion are the top issues facing the City of Delta and how do you plan to address them?
Housing, global warming, health, traffic, composting odour.
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?
Changing Official Community Plan without public consultation, i.e. the six-storey structure on 75A Avenue in North Delta propose changed to a 35-storey highrise, the public need to be consulted prior to approval. A 35-storey highrise does not conform to the immediate neighbourhood. Contribute public land for new affordable homes. Protect existing affordable housing through retention and replacement policies. Zone existing and new developments as rental only. Streamline permitting and rezoning processes to fast-track development of affordable rental housing. Pursue partnerships with local non-profits, co-operatives and other stakeholders in the community housing sector to create new affordable housing developments.
4) What is your stance on cannabis production and retail sales in Delta?
Cannabis shops must be a stand-alone business, away from schools, parks and malls. Strictly prohibit minors on the premises. Must adhere to BCLC licensing and regulation. Local government must be given the authority to revoke licences for any violation.
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?
South Delta Rec Centre accessibility project elevator, Sungod update the washrooms, senior facilities in North Delta. We can use the budget from the golden handshake. This money could have been used on our recreation 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?
Housing, health and medical; parks, rec centre; senior facilities and playground. Negative impact: will be prone to criminal activities around the casino perimeter. Need more dispensaries/clinics to help people with drug or gambling addictions. Need to resolve the Fraser crossing (traffic) issue before the completion of the casino.
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?
This is a prime example of the current mayor and city council attitude towards the community. I do not condone such mentality coming from our elected officials. A quote comes to mind: “Power doesn’t corrupt people; people corrupt power.” Maybe we should put this behind us and start off with a brand new council.
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 advocate for dual Massey Tunnel at half the cost because less intrusion on agricultural land, less impact on critical migratory bird habitat, no dredging or scouring that would negatively impact the greatest salmon habitat in the world. Let us put our political partisan aside and work with the federal/provincial governmental bodies involved.
The civic election takes place on Saturday, Oct. 20.