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Delta throwback: Visible minorities have yet to be on council

Will things finally change in this year's municipal election?
delta council 1964
A photo of a 1964 Delta municipal council meeting. Left to right: John Kirkland, Ed Vidulich, Harold Savage, Clarence Taylor (Reeve), Murray Davie, Hugh Hunt and William Clipperton.

The City of Delta has yet to have a person of colour elected to municipal council.

It wasn’t until 1973 that Delta council had its first female alderman in Lois Jackson. Delta had its first female mayor in 1990 with Beth Johnson, followed by Jackson in 1999.

However, there still hasn’t been a visible minority on council in the over 140 years since Delta’s incorporation.

The last election in 2018 saw Param Grewal miss out on the final seat by just over 600 votes. He finished seventh in the race for one of six seats.

As far as Delta’s school board, it’s been a different story as visible minorities and those who are Indigenous have had representation on the board of education.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2020 the city had an estimated population of 108,455 people.

In 2016, there were 36,300 Delta residents who identified as a visible minority, which represented 36 per cent of total population.

From 2011 to 2016, the visible minority population in Delta had grown by 22 per cent.

The city has also had a large influx of immigrants over the past decade, most residing in North Delta, according to the latest figures.