Peter has lived in Tsawwassen for 12 years and been very active politically.
He spent one term on council when he lived in the Kootenays.
Asked why he is running his response was, I don’t think the position for mayor should be unopposed. With all the issues at the forefront of our communities there is a lot of concern, and some of these issues need to be discussed. It is logical that this be a part of an election debate.
Mr. van der Velden spent his life in the construction industry with roles in design, development, inspection and management. While working for the BC Building Corporation he was responsible for the remediation of contaminated government properties for the East Kootenay region. He is retired and has spent a lot of time on issues like the Fraser River crossing, transit, growth in the community, and lately the expansion proposals for Tilbury Island.
He is concerned about the proposed increase in production and handling of LNG at the Fortis facility on Tilbury Island. The proposals in place also cover loading large LNG vessels for export. The facility is directly across the Fraser River from 85,000 liters of jet fuel and presents a grave danger to both Delta and Richmond. The environmental concerns are also a major issue that he feels is being downplayed by both industry and the provincial government.
Mr. van der Velden is also concerned with the consistent property tax increases and is offering to freeze property taxes for two years and to put a quarter of the mayor’s income back into the community. People have been hurting thru the pandemic and now from the supply chain problems. By doing this he hopes to restore some faith in our civic government and place some help where people need help.
What are your election issues?
This election is more than just a matter of choosing a new council. We really need to address a lot of issues in the near term that will affect us all. These issues will define our community, its people, its business, its agriculture and our well being.
We are in need of housing. Not just market priced housing. We need affordable housing for the people that work in this community. Housing should not require more than 1/3 of household income. Market priced housing doesn’t allow for that. We need to think of this in terms of our new families and our seniors. I think a council can use the tools available to them to help bring this about.
We can’t answer the housing question without looking at infrastructure. We really only have 1 road in and out of Ladner and Tsawwassen and an arterial two-lane road for each, to the mall. If we don’t address the traffic and transit issues while planning densification, we will need to do it later at great costs to Delta and its residents.
This applies to our schools and our ability to handle water, sewage and other needs like recreation, community safety and liveability.
An inclusive community
We have distinct communities that feel isolated from the Delta council. I would suggest we consider a ‘Ward’ system that would provide representation to each distinct part of Delta.
We live in an incredibly rich natural setting. All of its aspects define/allow our quality of life and lifestyle. We will need to be more effective at protecting our environment. We cannot support proposals like the T2 proposal for the container terminal or the dangerous proposals to increase LNG production for Tilbury Island. We need to protect the environment. As mayor I will oppose both T2 and the Tilbury proposals.