EDITORIAL: What’s the big deal about Delta’s name?

If council gets the go-ahead, the Corporation of Delta will become the City of Delta. That’s it. Nothing else happens.

As some of you know (and perhaps many of you don’t), Delta council is currently seeking approval from residents to change its classification from a district municipality to a city.

In plain English, what that means is that if council gets the go-ahead, the Corporation of Delta will become the City of Delta.

That’s it. That’s the whole thing.

Judging by the outrage and anger from some of those campaigning against the proposed moniker on social media, you’d think there were some radical, catastrophic reforms tied to the whole deal that would irrevocably change life in Delta for the worse.

When news of the proposed change hit a particular North Delta-centric Facebook page, many people were quick to voice concern about the change, speculating about increased fees for municipal services, higher property taxes and widespread zoning changes.

Others offered their support for the plan, citing benefits like increased transit and more money from the provincial and federal governments.

Both camps got it wrong.

Many people are upset at the loss of individuality they believe Delta will suffer by officially becoming a city.

Along the same lines, several prominent residents have decried the callous disregard the name change demonstrates for Delta’s heritage and its history as a farming community.

First, be honest, does the word “corporation” really make your heart swell with civic pride?

Besides, how many Deltans actually refer to Delta when talking about where they are from? You’re more likely to hear (for example) that someone lives in North Delta, played hockey in Ladner or went to school in Tsawwassen.

Furthermore, over half of Delta’s population lives in North Delta’s suburban splendour, and it’s hard to imagine many of them feel a strong kinship with those who toil to grow the food we consume every day.

I’d even venture to guess most of the folks living in the main population centres in Ladner and Tsawwassen feel more urban than agrarian. Farming was and still is a big part of Delta’s identity, but it’s not a part of most Deltans’ lives.

Now, there are those who take issue with how the pro- posed change has come about, arguing that there should have been some public notice and discussion before the issue was put to a vote.

That’s a valid criticism. The whole issue did seem to come out of left field, and many people don’t have even the foggiest notion that this is happening, let alone why.

Similarly, folks are unhappy with the alternative approval process council is using to get the public’s consent. Only those opposed to the plan need to cast a ballot, and ten per cent of Delta’s population, or 6,993 people, would have to do so before the end of March to stop the name change.

One could certainly argue that this passive method of seeking voters’ OK on an issue might not result in an ac- curate reflect the actual feelings of Deltans.

Still, you have to ask yourself…Do you really care one way or the other?

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