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 Team Delta candidate Robert Campbell 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 passionate about Delta. I have lived in Delta for 27 years with my family and I want Delta to continue to be a great place for people of all ages.
2) What in your opinion are the top issues facing the City of Delta and how do you plan to address them?
Transportation and housing. People deserve better transit options and housing choices. As your councillor I will make my voice heard to improve the transit service in Delta. Housing choices are a council prerogative and I will be a voice for more housing choices at the council table.
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?
Housing affordability is a product of land and construction costs. Delta can create density in certain areas to allow for smaller and denser housing to create a larger housing stock. Delta can create more rental through secondary suites and coach houses, however we need to collaborate with developers to build more intensive rental projects.
4) What is your stance on cannabis production and retail sales in Delta?
4) Cannabis will be legal and can be legally grown on agricultural land. This is a provincial decision. Retail sale of cannabis should be treated like liquor stores and have the same restrictions on location.
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?
Delta’s recreation facilities are in good shape. North Delta Recreation Centre has undergone major expansion and renovation. The arena at Ladner Leisure Centre has been renovated. Sungod is in great shape with three expansions. There are always things to do and the most important infrastructure project not yet funded is the change rooms at Sungod.
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?
It will be several years before there is any casino or casino money. Council should prioritize community needs with some of the money and a large percentage should be held in reserves for the future.
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?
In January 2017, Delta council unanimously voted to provide a retiring allowance to councillors leaving their position. Many cities provide a similar benefit. Local government is the only elected position without a standard plan to compensate elected officials who are leaving their position.
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 tunnel absolutely needs replacing, it is a traffic bottleneck and a safety hazard. A bridge in the same location is needed to help move people, goods and services. Only a new bridge can provide the option for rapid transit in the future.
The civic election takes place on Saturday, Oct. 20.