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 Lois E. Jackson 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?
Having been mayor of Delta since 1999 and living in North Delta for 50 years, if elected I wish to use my knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and my ability to make tough decisions to mentor and transition a new council into the next phase of our history.
2) What in your opinion are the top issues facing the City of Delta and how do you plan to address them?
Traffic — we need a bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel now. Continue to work with new mayors, Metro Vancouver, TransLink, province and federal government. Safety — we must get simultaneous dispatch for both Delta Fire and ambulance to respond to our Delta resident emergency calls, by continuing to petition BCEHS, Premier Horgan, ECOMM, and Metro Vancouver’s new mayors.
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?
Since the city has no land to contribute, we should be taking advantage of the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation to expand the number of existing units in all parts of the region. The federal and provincial government could grant the funding to the Housing Corp. in order to build such units.
4) What is your stance on cannabis production and retail sales in Delta?
I expressed my concerns to the provincial agriculture minister two years ago. Our agricultural lands should be used for growing food, not cannabis. A warehouse in our industrial area has been used successfully with no odour as required by Delta bylaws. A public hearing is required for retail sales.
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 parks strategic plan has been vetted, however, it should be reassessed by peoples of all areas of Delta to ensure equity to all park and rec users. Budget for upgrades, use of surplus and increase in industrial tax base as more lands now being developed on Tilbury and Pineland Peat lands.
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?
There is much speculation for the use of the revenue, from social service needs to parks expansion and upgrades. Public input should be sought. We are fortunate to have our own Delta police officers who can be assigned to ensure there is no impact from casino operations.
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?
Council members across B.C. should not be making the decision on their own end-of-service benefits, if any. Other cities have a variety of benefits, however, this entire question for all local politicians should be referred to an outside agency, either the UBCM, provincial government or some arms-length body.
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?
A bridge is most cost-effective and results in no loss of farmland, no impact on Fraser River or fish habitat, more efficient transit options (rapid bus lanes, future light rail expansion), a reduction of 13,000 tons of GHG from idling commuter traffic, a 35 per cent reduction of traffic accidents, and safer and quicker for all first responders.
The civic election takes place on Saturday, Oct. 20.