The dredging issue has been a major frustration for the City of Delta for years, but it’s an issue that dates back farther than most people realize.
In a Sept. 26, 1903 opinion piece in the Delta Times, for example, the lack of dredging work and how a government-owned dredge was being used was lamented.
“We hear complaints from up and down the river about the way the dredge is being occupied. She was originally built for the Fraser River, to dredge a channel for ships of all kinds. Now, instead of attending to her missions, she is to be found making boulevards, etc. at Victoria, which does not affect the farmers of the Fraser Valley.
Our government dredge on the Fraser River is little enough. From Chilliwack to Ladner, aye, and farther out than that, is badly in need of the dredge’s work. With the Dominion’s election so near at hand it would be to the interest of our member of to see that she returns to the Fraser Valley without delay.
Ladner, in particular, the shipping point for the Delta, where hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of farm produce are shipped yearly is sorely in need of a channel sufficiently large to enable shipping of good size to enter, lead and be able to get away again without having to back out for a mile or more before she is able to turn.
It seems to us that very little interest is taken in Fraser River matters. If Victoria needs a dredge, why does the government at Ottawa not build her one and leave ours free to attend to her work in the Fraser?
If our member has any intention of seeking the suffrages of the farmers at the next election, he had better look at the interest of the farmers in this matter.”
The Delta Times lasted until 1914.
Delta then lacked its own newspaper for a few years until the Optimist was established in 1922.