Sunbury Neighbourhood Association

Candidate: Jeannie Kanakos

Answers:

1)     There are two key areas of concern for Sunbury / Annieville Residents – and the residents of North Delta: one is truck traffic and the proposed South Fraser Perimeter Road and the second is the challenge posed to our safe neighbourhoods as a result in the rise of drug related crime.

Truck Traffic and the South Fraser Perimeter Road:

Over the past at least 15 years there have been numerous public meetings where I have learned that the residents of the Sunbury and Annieville neigbourhoods have real and grave concerns about the loss of quality of life in their neighbourhoods due to current unacceptable levels of truck traffic.  This truck traffic brings with it unacceptable levels of noise (Jake brakes), pollution (diesel fumes) and safety issues (the crossings and the need for a red light and speeding trucks).  In the meetings with Gateway and the residents (Town and Country last spring) I also learned of the deep and tragic impact that the lack of certainty has on the community.  Residents have been left hanging for years and this has had a very negative impact on the real estate and more important on the fabric of the lives of many of the residents along River Road.  At this meeting, we witnessed a woman in tears, at her wits end, due to a provincial bureaucracy’s lack of information and transparency on the proposed South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR). 

What I have done and what I am committed to doing:

1)     Attended meetings with the community to learn about the issues; met with Gateway staff to learn about the issue and to lobby for a comprehensive and satisfactory approach for Delta.  I have met with and raised the issue with the Premier and Provincial Cabinet members including Hon. Kevin Falcon Minister of Transportation as well as with Federal Ministers such as Minister Emerson, and our local MP’s to press for Delta’s concerns and to relay the unacceptable state of this project on the lives of the Annieville and Sunbury neighbourhoods. 

2)     In the short term, the Delta First Team will work with the Delta Police, add more resources to the Force so that there is the person power to deal with the current enforcement requirements related to noise and safety, I will also lobby for an additional overhead stop light as requested by the neighbourhood - this also would include looking at ways of enhancing safe walking, biking routes and crossings.

3)     The neighbourhoods need more information on the SFPR including all of its possible routing options (including the tunnel), timeline and costing.  I will work to develop a protocol with Gateway regarding the key issues such as property purchases, timelines and information sharing.

4)     The SFPR process needs to be opened up – we need more transparency, and accessibility on the studies being done. I would insist on Gateway resource office set up in the Sunbury/ Annieville area where all the key documents are available; as well as resources provided to the community to do some of the leg work or to obtain assistance in assessing the technical information – we need more of that as soon as possible. 

5)     My contacts in the provincial government – with the provincial Cabinet including the Minister of Transportation will be helpful in moving this project forward on Delta’s terms – with the aim of preserving and protecting the quality of life in the Sunbury / Annieville neighbourhoods.

Neigbourhood Safety:

I will champion a holistic approach to the rise of drug related crime in our neighbourhoods – especially North Delta.    We have seen a rise of grow-ops and meth houses in North Delta.  In addition, Surrey is cracking down on crime in Whalley – this is pushing some of this crime into North Delta.  Once again, we need to work with the Delta Police – and obtain more resources for them.  We need to reinvigorate our Neighbourhood watch programs.  I learned from some students in North Delta that Crystal Meth is a concern for our teens.  I will draw on the facilitation skills I have developed through the Justice Institute, to bring key community groups – health, police, schools + recreation -  together to develop a crystal meth strategy for Delta.  

2)     What importance do you place on community input and how do you propose to use the input of these neighbourhoods in upcoming issues?

Community input is the basis of community solutions to challenges we face in our neighbourhoods.  It is a vehicle for developing creative and innovative approaches.  Residents, who live in the community, have a much better knowledge of the community and of the likely consequences of any proposal.  The residents are the true ‘experts’ and must be given this respect.  Community input is the fundamental building block of democracy.  The Delta First Team has as the basis of our platform that we will – Listen, Consult and Act.  It is fundamental to our commitment as your new Council.  We will hold community forums and will reinstate the question period as part of the council proceedings.   We will also bring back the ‘Delta Page’ in the Leader and the Now – as North Delta does not get enough information about what is happening in the rest of Delta.  We need to look at more effective use of the internet to keep us linked together as a community and as a vehicle for ongoing community input on issues.

3)     I have a deep appreciation for the history of BC and Canada and obtained a Masters degree in this discipline from SFU.  Also, having served on the Heritage Advisory Commission, I have come to truly appreciate the historical significance of many locations in Delta especially the area of Annieville / Sunbury - there are sites along the River which date back thousands of years.  In addition, this area is particularly sensitive environmentally with red listed species and a very special river ecosystem.  The route and the footprint of the proposed SFPR must take into account the historical and environmental factors and ultimately facilitate access to the Fraser River, not deny it.  The project must undergo a rigorous environmental assessment (federal and provincial) process which addresses in the fullest the impacts and mitigations.  There are best practices which we can draw on and insist that innovative approaches to deal with the environment and historical values are used.  For example, when a construction project unearthed a Haida cemetery, a special, very beautiful Haida Mortuary was constructed nearby.  This was done in consultation and with respect.  Are there historical buildings that can be saved and relocated? Are there bike paths, walking paths by the River that can be constructed as part of the SPFR project?  I will be looking for creative and innovative solutions to protect the heritage and environmental values of our community and along with the Delta First Team – on Council - will use the zoning designations as a vehicle for protecting these values. 

4. Our Official Community Plan is completed and now we will embark on meeting with the communities of Delta to develop Area specific Area Plans.  This is a formal process required under the Municipal Act.  The Area Plan for North Delta will ultimately reflect the values and direction decided on by our community.  This process has the potential for reinvigorating our community and for developing a consensus on the values, approaches and land uses in our community.

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.  

Thank you for the opportunity of providing some of my views.  I look forward to working with you as your Councillor.

Sincerely,

Jeannie Kanakos