Business is good, but it could be better.
That’s the gist of the latest platform commitment from Delta mayoral candidate Sylvia Bishop and her Team Delta slate.
On Wednesday, July 11, Bishop’s campaign sent out a press release outlining her pledge to, if elected, create an economic development office at the City of Delta to attract more business to Delta.
“Commercial enterprises that locate to, or expand in, Delta will generate significant new revenues for our municipality, which in turn will allow us to continue delivering much-needed services for local residents without having to increase the cost-burden on businesses, homeowners and others,” Bishop said in the press release.
Bishop noted that Delta is one of the few sizable municipalities in B.C. that does not have its own economic development department, agency or corporation.
Bishop also pointed out that, in looking at the eight largest municipalities in the Lower Mainland, all but Delta have a defined strategy or department to encourage economic development.
“Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam, Langley Township and Maple Ridge have invested much time and effort to understand and promote local investment opportunities,” Bishop said. “We should, too, if we don’t want to be left behind. In the event that my Team Delta colleagues and I are successful in winning election to city council in October, we intend to make responsible economic development a top priority.”
In the past, Delta’s city manager (formerly called the chief administrative officer) has been assigned the responsibility of overseeing business-oriented projects. A body to provide guidance on economic development – the Invest in Delta mayor’s standing committee’ – has met five times in the last three years: three in 2016, two in 2017 and once so far in 2018.
In the press release, Bishop noted that the City of Delta has had some success attracting new investment to the community in recent years, but that “much more ought to be done in the future” to pro-actively encourage new investment and job creation.
“Our city has enormous potential for emerging-economy businesses, including technology and green economy enterprises, plus we have notable resources to accommodate sectors such as manufacturing and assembly, scientific and pharmaceutical research, tourism, film-making, and much more” Bishop said.
“Importantly, the completion in late 2013 of the South Fraser Perimeter Road has opened up incredible opportunities for the development of Tilbury Island and nearby areas, and I believe the time is right for us to now be more energetic in our approach to marketing Delta’s business and commercial prospects.”