Sunbury Neighbourhood Association

Candidate: Lois Jackson

Answers:

1. .  I believe that retaining and continuing to enhance the quality of life for our families best describes my holistic approach to the care of our neighbourhoods and families.   Under that umbrella we find many issues that are important to each of us.  Not surprisingly, a recent telephone survey conducted in conjunction with our Official Community Plan, confirmed that the most important issue on everyone’s mind is traffic, not only in Delta but within the entire Region.  

30 years ago the South Fraser Perimeter Road was envisioned to connect the industrial areas of Tilbury, Annacis, Surrey Fraser Docks, through Bridgeview, Big Bend and east.  Those of us who have been meeting with the community over these many years, will remember that we have, in response to public concerns,   supported a road location at the foot of the hill. 

When I became mayor, 6 years ago, the SFPR was not on the regional or Translink plan.  It took a lot of work and debate to convince the GVRD board to include SFPR in the transportation plan for the Region.  There was never any money set aside for this road by Translink, despite the fact that the North Perimeter road and many others were being funded. 

The first Provincial plan indicated the SFPR terminating at the Alex Fraser Bridge.  Through must effort, working with many agencies on our Delta Truck Study, we were successful in convincing Translink and the Province to extend the SFPR on the plan, from Alex Fraser Bridge to Delta Port. 

I presented the plan to Mr. Paul Martin, and his transportation Ministers; in Victoria to Minister Judith Ried and finally to Minister Kevin Falcon with whom I have consulted on many occasions.  The Gateway staff has been to council work sessions on several occasions,  most recently including members from the Sunbury Association.

Council has sponsored 2 public meetings in North Delta discussing truck traffic, safety on River Road and also the SFPR.  Council and I have relentlessly pressured senior government agencies, Ministers and any others who could help us to convince Victoria and Ottawa to complete the planning, public input, engineering, funding and construction of the SFPR  … so that River Road will revert back to the neighbourhood road it is intended to be. 

We, on Council, responded to the residents wishes and spent approx. five million dollars upgrading River Road from Centre Street to Elevator Road.  Only through continued pressure on Victoria and Ottawa can we expect to see SFPR constructed.

Other quality of life issues include:  safety in our neighbourhoods, good recreations facilities, good roads, sidewalks,  low taxes increases, no borrowing, reduction of debt, continue holding council meetings in North Delta, to name a few.

Safety in our community has been council’s top priority for 6 years.  In 1999 the police operating budget was $16,490,000. with 168 personnel.  Each year we have increased our police budget to the degree that in 2005 our operating budget was $22,370,000. with 200 personnel.  We have one of the lowest crime rates in the Province, being the 7th safest city in all of British Columbia.  Our officers carry an average of 51 cases each as compared to Surrey with 117 cases each or 127 in Langley.  We have created 2 more COP shops in North Delta; now a total of 4.  School liason officers provide leadership and guidance for our students.

In 2000 we adopted a zero tolerance for drugs and grow ops. Setting up a special police division to help eradicate and prosecute the growers.  Please read Vancouver Sun November 9th issue page B2 to see that “Delta police may have the best and simplest way to deal with illegal drug growers, investigate, arrest and make sure criminal charges stick.”  I am proud of all our Delta Police members, they are one of the best police forces in Canada.  We pay $182.00 per person for our police services and our motto is “No call is too small”.  If you call the police…  they will come…

#2.  We rely on community input to make decisions on important issues.  The democratic system must ensure that all are heard in an equitable manner.  Elected people at all levels must respond to the community’s issues.  Only through listening and hearing from our people can we know your concerns, suggested solutions and plan to finance and take action.   

As we know, those of us who live in North Delta, we are not well served through the news media.  It has been so very difficult to get messages to people and from people.  We do hold Council meetings in North Delta; we have upgraded and expanded our web site; we send out the Delta Report on a quarterly basis.  We are thankful that the Sunbury and Annieville Association holds meetings in our neighbourhoods, I would be most happy to attend if invited, to update members on a timely basis regarding issues important to you.  We have lost many organizations who used to hold public meetings …  so I encourage your membership to continue attending the meetings as it solidifies our determinations. 

I would intend to continue the Mayors Task Force on North Delta.  We took our police, fire, and other municipal department staff to every elementary school in Delta.  This was a wonderful method to keep in touch with you.  We found out what you liked about your neighbourhood, what could be improved and how we could help you  --  help you. 

We will continue holding as many meetings as are needed to serve our community.  This year, thus far, we have held over 300 public meetings.  This does not include staff meetings or individuals meeting on or off Municipal property.  I will continue with our open door policy and inviting groups and individuals to meet with Council when requested.

#3.  North Delta History is very rich.  I would welcome your participation on our Delta Heritage/Historic Commission.  We need people who are willing to help us save the stories of how we were settled, who helped with our beginnings.  Mr. Kennedy was one of the first settlers who was granted land in North Delta.  What an interesting time that must have been when they tied tiny bells on the children so they could tell where they were in the thick forests.  Annieville was the first fish plant on the west coast, we do have some plaques commemorating these areas but we have but scratched the surface.

I love the Ladner museum, but I would wish that we could have a similar facility in North Delta to help us remember our roots.

Environmental protection is, and has been a top priority with not only me but our entire community.  I am so proud that we were able to bring together four levels of government, amass 78 million dollars, stick handle through the maze to finally conclude a unique purchase of Burns Bog an Environmental Conservation area of over 5,000 acres with more to come.

At the top of our list is the preservation of the best agricultural land in B.C. for soil based farming.  I continue to work with the GVRD Planning and Environment committee to reduce the pollution in our air, raise the standards where possible and eliminate particulate from our airshed.  We have planted over 3,000 trees and now have an approved program to plant 2010 x 10   (20,100) trees by 2010, an Olympic legacy.

#4.  Our three separate urban areas are unique, especially when you include our farm lands, our river and ocean shores and our Burns Bog.  At budget time, we have ensured that there is fairness and equity in providing services and capital projects for all areas of Delta. 

Here in Delta, there is something for everyone, varieties of housing, recreation facilities, commercial and industrial areas.   Aren’t we fortunate to live in the best part of the world!  I want to keep it that way.  

 Respectfully submitted, 

Lois E. Jackson

Mayor of Delta