Sunbury Neighbourhood Association
Candidate: Bruce McDonald, Candidate for Mayor, Delta First
1. The most important issues facing the Sunbury and Annieville areas are the current traffic congestion and the proposed South Fraser Perimeter Road. If properly done the second will correct the first. If improperly done it could destroy the neighbourhood. Issues of air pollution and noise are extremely important as is the visual effect of any proposal.
What we need to do is quit being spectators to the process. The Gateway people are moving toward a decision on routes and we need to be more involved with them. We have had only one public meeting this year to discuss what will be the most significant project North Delta has seen since the Alex Fraser Bridge. Thatís not good enough. Your Mayor and Council are elected to represent the interests of their constituents. Council should be conducting regular public meetings with Gateway and we need them to provide us with up to date engineering and fiscal studies in a timely manner. We also need to establish a relationship with the Highways Ministry to ensure they know what impacts our neighborhoods are facing.
2. The focus for my Delta First colleagues and me this campaign has been: consultation and relationships. I have been a tireless advocate for community input for all the years I have spent on Council. The upcoming Area Plans can only be successful if they reflect the desires of the community. Our planners can explain options and possibilities but it is the citizens who must make the determination of what we will be.
3. Heritage and Environment issues are a very important part of our community. Many of us have only recently become aware of the rich heritage we have on the river dating back, in some cases, thousands of years. I believe the solution to these issues is to engage the community and subject matter professionals in a proper planning process to determine what real effects a project will have on an area. Then we can determine what possible mitigation can be done.
4. The fact that Delta is separated into three geographic areas can be a benefit in consultation. The communities can have specific input to those areas that affect them directly. Those opinions are garnered through regular open meetings and through direct involvement with the communities and a revitalized Municipal Committee structure that has a real role in advising Council. I believe the televised question period should be reinstated so that citizens can hold council publicly accountable.
How the opinions are weighted depends on the impact of any issue on the area involved. All of our neighborhoods and citizens need to be treated with equal respect and understanding in an open and transparent manner following a process clearly understood by and accessible to all.