George Harvie during his inaugural council meeting on Nov. 5, 2018. (Grace Kennedy photo)

George Harvie during his inaugural council meeting on Nov. 5, 2018. (Grace Kennedy photo)

George Massey Bridge a top priority for new Delta mayor

George Harvie shared some of his priorities for the new council during his inaugural speech

A bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel is high on the new city council’s to-do list, now that mayor George Harvie and Delta’s six councillors have been officially sworn in.

During his inaugural address Monday night (Nov. 5), Harvie spoke about some of his priorities for his upcoming term — leading with the replacement of the George Massey Tunnel.

“I know we are united as a council on the need for a new bridge to replace the aging George Massey Tunnel,” he said. “I will take bold steps to move this forward, bring enhanced transit to Delta, improve safety, protect our agricultural land and plan for future rapid transit.”

Harvie said he has already reached out to Premier John Horgan, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena and Delta MP Carla Qualtrough about the replacement, as well as recently-elected Metro Vancouver mayors. Harvie said he has requested that Delta have conversations with the federal government about the importance of the crossing in early 2019.

The previous mayor and council were staunch supporters of a planned 10-lane replacement bridge. The project was put on hold in September of last year, as the new provincial government sent it for an independent technical review. However, that didn’t stop the council from continuing to advocate for a bridge, and they discussed the possibility of using federal and third-party funding to build a bridge this past July.

RELATED: Delta could replace Massey Tunnel using federal and third-party funding

Harvie and his Achieving for Delta slate of candidates advocated heavily for a new bridge during the election, and that focus isn’t going away now that he and four of his running-mates have been sworn in.

In his speech, Harvie also reaffirmed other campaign promises, including keeping taxes low and Delta debt-free, developing a housing strategy, transferring school district-owned fields to the city and creating a public safety committee.

At council Monday, all members of the new council were officially sworn in. Jeannie Kanakos and Bruce McDonald, who campaigned with former police chief Jim Cessford’s Independents Working For You slate, are the only two incumbent councillors to be re-elected.

Former Delta Fire chief Dan Copeland, political staffer Dylan Kruger and fifth-generation farmer Alicia Guichon — who all ran with Achieving for Delta — sat in their council seats for the first time on Monday, while Lois Jackson, who also ran with Achieving for Delta, returned to council chamber as a councillor rather than mayor for the first time in 19 years.

The meeting was largely focused on the council members taking their oaths of office, as well as Harvie’s speech. However, there was one other item of business on the agenda.

Harvie, as mayor, was appointed to the Metro Vancouver board of directors, taking over Jackson’s former seat at the table. His alternate will be Copeland.

Jackson will remain on the board, taking Delta’s second Metro Vancouver seat. Her alternate will be Kruger. McDonald had formerly sat on the board, with ex-councillor Robert Campbell as the alternate for both.

Jackson has been a controversial member of the Metro Vancouver board in the past, often disagreeing with other board members on topics such as the George Massey Tunnel replacement project.

RELATED: Metro Vancouver opposes 10-lane Massey Bridge

The inaugural meeting for the Metro Vancouver board of directors will be held on Friday, Nov. 16. The next Delta council meeting will be on Monday, Nov. 19 at the Kennedy Seniors Recreation Centre, 11760 88th Ave., North Delta).

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. Ontario is reporting three new cases of the novel coronavirus today, bringing the total in the province to 18. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP
Seven Surrey schools added to COVID-19 exposure list, bringing total to 40

Letter to parents: ‘Case(s) have been isolated, and there is no direct exposure risk at the time’

Surrey singer Glisha, band Sylvia Platters win Fraser Valley Music Awards

Nov. 19 event saw awards for artists in 16 categories, including former Surreyite Ashley Pater

(Delta Police Department photo)
Police issue warning after young girl followed, approached in North Delta

DPD looking for video shot in the area of 82nd Avenue from 112th to 114th at 3-3:30 p.m. on Nov. 19

The Right Reverend Peter Klenner, pastor of All Saints Community Church (and Bishop of the Anglican Mission in Canada). Contributed photo
Purchase aims to restore historic Crescent Beach landmark

All Saints Church fundraising to buy Holy Cross, retain it as ‘sacred space’

Elise Castle stands with food items she collected from friends and family on her 11th birthday, Nov. 21. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey girl, 11, celebrates birthday by hosting food drive

Elise Castle, 11, said she wanted to help people in need

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

BCHL pushes back season start due to provincial health orders

The delay is minimal, just six days, for now. But the league is open to starting up after Christmas

Fraser the Sandhill Crane getting some care for his broken leg. (Special to The News)
Sandhill crane hit by golf ball released back into the wild in Pitt Meadows

The ‘threatened’ bird was captured and operated on after his leg was fractured by an errant ball

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Most Read