Nearly three dozen candidates are vying for residents’ votes as the race for Delta mayor, council and school board enters the home stretch.
Next Saturday, residents will head to polls to elect a mayor, six city councillors and seven school board trustees to a four-year term in office. Thirty-one candidates — three for mayor, 13 for councillor and 15 for school trustee — are running in this election, a dozen fewer than the 43 who ran for office in 2018 (six for mayor, 20 four councillor and 17 for trustee).
General voting takes place on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.. For a list of places to vote, visit delta.ca/elections.
Regardless of who wins, both city council and school board will look very different after the election. Four of the six current councillors — Dan Copeland, Lois Jackson, Jeannie Kanakos and Bruce McDonald — are not seeking re-election. Meanwhile, with Trustee Laura Dixon retiring from politics and current trustees Daniel Boisvert and Jessie Dosanjh pursuing seats on council, it’s guaranteed there will be at least three new school trustees.
To help readers get a better sense of candidates’ priorities, the North Delta Reporter asked each of them to tell us what, in their view, are the (three) biggest issues for Delta voters and how they will address those issues if elected. Candidates for mayor were given a limit of 350 words for their responses. Here’s what they had to say…
(Achieving for Delta)
After serving for nearly 20 years as Delta’s city manager, I was honoured to be elected as the mayor of Delta in 2018. We have achieved so much this term, but there is more work to do to achieve my goal of making Delta the best place to live in Canada. I have assembled an incredible team of candidates with diverse perspectives and experience to run with me on the Achieving for Delta team. We are united by a shared understanding of the important issues in our community and a vision for the future.
The Achieving for Delta team has a set of plans to address the critical issues in our community. We are running on a six-point platform focused on investing in our parks and recreation infrastructure, keeping Delta safe, keeping taxes low, working to keep generations together in Delta, building a fair and inclusive community and taking real action on climate change and protecting our farmland. Visit achievingfordelta.ca/platform to learn about our vision for Delta.
The only way we can achieve our goals and deliver significant investments for Delta is with the entire Achieving for Delta team elected to council and school board. On Oct. 15, vote for the Achieving for Delta team to move Delta forward. Thank you.
(Editor’s note: some biographical details included in the following submission were removed to meet the word limit.)
Joginder Randhawa has been a resident of North Delta for the last 30 years. He is a marine engineer with a post-graduate diploma in business management and industrial administration and has worked in the mercantile marine field all over the world.
In Canada, he worked in the Canadian Coast Guard on board CCGS Sir Wilfred Laurier, an icebreaker in the Arctic Ocean. He has also worked with the BC Ferries on board all kinds of vessels and routes, including Grenville channel from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert, as well as to the Queen Charlotte Islands. He has supervised the erection and installation of the scientific vessel at Wallsend dry docks at New Castle, England for one year.
He is married with three children.
• Welfare for seniors will by my top priority
• Affordable housing for youth
• Create jobs in Delta by strengthening the chamber of commerce and trade centre with all tools needed to help small and large businesses
• Make Delta a safe and fast-growing city without disturbing the environment and the way we are living at the present time
• Agricultural Land Reserve properties will be reviewed and bylaws will be set with the feedback from all farmers and other stakeholders
• Daycares and preschools with children with diabetes and autism will be provided with EA teachers and nurses
• Instead of the Massey Tunnel, a bridge will be constructed
• North Delta, South Delta and Tsawwassen residents live in silos. We need to strengthen the bond and unity as well as collective development in art, recreation and culture
• Transportation and connectivity by SkyTrain from Richmond to Ladner, Tsawwassen and North Delta will be planned and discussed with all stakeholders and residents
• Licensing and permits for development and businesses will be made easier
• No more red tape at city hall for more transparency for all residents
• A new medical clinic and ambulance station will be provided in Tsawwassen
• As crime is borderless, Delta Police will be equipped with the latest digital tools
Peter van der Velden
This election is more than just a matter of choosing a new council. We really need to address a lot of issues in the near term that will affect us all. These issues will define our community, its people, its business, its agriculture and our well being.
Affordable housing: We need housing, affordable housing for the people that work in this community, not just market priced housing. Housing should not cost more than 1/3 of household income. Market priced housing doesn’t allow for that. We need to think of our new families and our seniors. A mayor can use the tools available to council (like the board of variance) to be effective at getting the right developments. Our current council wants high density in our town centers. Most people want medium density. High density brings with it traffic problems and crime and lacks quality of life.
Infrastructure: We can’t answer the housing question without looking at infrastructure. The current council wants high density along Scott Road. If we don’t address the traffic along this corridor while dealing with housing issues, we are not looking after Delta, its residents or our quality of life. This applies to our schools and our ability to handle water, sewage and other needs like recreation, community safety and liveability.
An inclusive community: We have distinct communities that feel isolated from the Delta council. I would consider a “ward” system that would provide representation to each part of Delta. Each community would have a voice to respond to particular issues.
Environment: We live in an incredibly rich natural setting. All of its aspects define our quality of life and lifestyle. We need to protect our environment. We cannot support proposals like T2 for the container terminal or the dangerous proposals to increase LNG production for Tilbury Island. The Tilbury proposals endanger our communities and will harm fisheries, agriculture, the environment and the Fraser river. We need to protect the environment. As mayor I will oppose both T2 and the Tilbury proposals.