B.C. Election: Three-way race underway for Delta North

With nominations for the provincial election now closed, Liberal, NDP and Green candidates are set to vie for the seat in Delta North.

(from left) Incumbent BC Liberal candidate for Delta North Scott Hamilton is being challenged by BC NDP candidate Ravi Kahlon and B.C. Green Party candidate Jacquie Miller in the upcoming provincial election. B.C. voters go to the polls May 9.

(from left) Incumbent BC Liberal candidate for Delta North Scott Hamilton is being challenged by BC NDP candidate Ravi Kahlon and B.C. Green Party candidate Jacquie Miller in the upcoming provincial election. B.C. voters go to the polls May 9.

Candidate nominations for the 2017 provincial election have closed, and the race in Delta North has come down to three contenders: incumbent Scott Hamilton (BC Liberal Party), and challengers Ravi Kahlon (BC NDP) and Jacquie Miller (B.C. Green Party).

The candidates have diverse backgrounds (see page 3 for profiles of each candidate) and all three have different ideas of what North Delta residents want to see out of their new government.

“The number one issue hands-down is affordability,” Kahlon said. “People are struggling.”

He pointed specifically to the increases in MSP premiums, BC Hydro and housing costs. The BC NDP platform outlines steps to increase affordable housing by building 114,000 new rental, non-profit and co-op housing units. It also states the NDP will eliminate MSP fees and freeze BC Hydro rates.

Hamilton’s understanding of the biggest issue facing North Deltans was similar, if much more broad.

North Deltans are most concerned about their “quality of life,” Hamilton said, which includes things like transportation and the cost of living.

“I can’t pick just one,” he said. “Housing affordability, traffic, cost of living — those issues are all very, very prevalent. So to pick one above another doesn’t really do service to the ones you leave out.”

The BC Liberal platform states the party will freeze all personal income taxes for four years, introduce a $500 annual cap for commuters who use tolled bridges and raise the threshold for the First Time Home Buyers’ Program.

For Miller, Hamilton and Kahlon are missing what is most important to North Delta.

“The biggest issue is trust in government, and specifically…can they trust the political party,” she said. “I’m very concerned about how much big money the other parties take.”

The B.C. Green Party’s platform outlines ways a Green government could regain voters’ trust, including introducing a proportional voting system by 2021 and banning cabinet members from engaging in partisan funding activities.

Kahlon, Hamilton and Miller are all planning to attend North Delta’s two all-candidates meetings: the first hosted by the Delta Residents’ Association on April 22, and the second hosted by the Delta Chamber of Commerce on April 26. North Delta residents will be able to listen to the candidates speak on a variety of election topics.

Because the April 22 debate coincides with the Vaisakhi parade (see page 20), Hamilton said he may only be at the meeting for part of the time. Miller hasn’t officially confirmed whether the timing will work for her to attend the April 26 meeting, although she said she hopes to be there.

The Delta Residents’ Association all-candidates meeting takes place at the North Delta Evangelical Free Church (11300 84th Ave.) on April 22 at 10:30 a.m. The Delta Chamber of Commerce all-candidates meeting takes place at North Delta Secondary School (11447 82nd Ave.) on April 26 at 7 p.m.

MEET THE CANDIDATES…

Scott Hamilton is the BC Liberal candidate for Delta North in the 2017 provincial election. Hamilton was the MLA for Delta North in the last provincial election, serving on several legislative committees including the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.

Before his move into provincial politics, Hamilton was a Delta councillor for 12 years.

During his time on council, Hamilton served on a number of committees including the downtown Ladner waterfront redevelopment advisory committee; the agricultural advisory committee; the parks, recreation and culture commission and the Metro Vancouver board of directors. Hamilton also served as a Delta parks and recreation commissioner prior to his election to Delta council.

Previous to his career in municipal politics, Hamilton worked in the information technology sector for more than 30 years. He is actively involved in a number of other volunteer organizations, and is an ambassador for BC Guide Dogs and the Autism Support Dogs Society.

Hamilton has lived in North Delta for over 30 years. He and his wife Kristen have two grown daughters.

Ravi Kahlon is the B.C. NDP candidate for Delta North in the 2017 provincial election. This is Kahlon’s first time running as a candidate in provincial politics.

For the last six years, he has worked for elected MLAs in the NDP caucus as director of stakeholder relations, building relationships with business, environment, labour and First Nation leaders. Before that he spent six years working in the banking industry.

Kahlon is a two-time Olympic field hockey player, having represented Canada in the Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. He was also a member of the Canadian field hockey team that won silver and gold medals in the 2003 and 2007 Pan American Games, respectively.

In 2013, Kahlon was inducted into the Delta Sports Hall of Fame. He continues to support youth athletics as a coach, as well as serving on the Delta parks and recreation committee and being a director of high performance for Field Hockey BC.

Kahlon was born and raised in Victoria, B.C. and moved to North Delta 10 years ago to raise his family.

His son is also active in Delta sports, including soccer, field hockey and track and field.

Jacquie Miller is the B.C. Green Party candidate for Delta North in the 2017 provincial election. This is Miller’s first time running as a candidate in provincial politics.

Miller grew up in North Delta, attending Sunshine Hills Elementary, Gray Elementary, Sands Junior Secondary and North Delta Senior Secondary, and has recently moved back to B.C. from the Northwest Territories.

In the Northwest Territories, she worked first as analyst and then as a manager for its resource and environmental management regime.

In that role, she has conducted environmental impact reviews, and has specifically worked with major non-renewable resources, such as mining, oil and gas, as well as infrastructure projects.

Since moving back, Miller has worked as a researcher, policy analyst, grant writer and project manager for First Nations clients. She has also been an active B.C. Green Party organizer.

Miller has a bachelors degree from Simon Fraser University, and a master of arts in poltical science and cultural, social and political thought from the University of Victoria.

Miller is committed to the B.C. Green Party’s desire to get big money out of politics.