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
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
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.