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Year in Review: Liberal Carla Qualtrough re-elected

A look back at some of our top stories in September 2021
Carla election win
Liberal MP Carla Qualtroughwas all smiles when she met with the Optimist in Ladner for a photo following her re-election in the federal election.

Here is a look back at a few of the top stories in the Optimist 2021 Year in Review:

Lions Park playground project put on hold

Planned site preparation work for a new playground project in Ladner’s Lions Park was put on hold.

Following a flood of emails to City of Delta staff, the Mayor’s office and comments on social media, Delta council, during a special meeting of council, passed a motion to stop any work on the project and have staff provide a detailed report on the project.

The report will also be shared with the Parks and Recreation Commission for their comments and recommendations to council.

The motion, made by Mayor George Harvie, was passed with only Coun. Lois Jackson opposed.

Jackson said she was in opposition because she was unclear on the project and was upset that the item was put forward in what she described was an unusual council meeting with no details on the project.

“Everyone seems to be running this organization by things on the Internet and what people are saying. I don’t have that, I don’t follow that. We are here at an unusual meeting of council with no paperwork. This is quite untoward and I’m very surprised that you have brought this forward Mr. Mayor,” she said. “I have difficulty with this process.”

Coun. Jeanie Kanakos said she while she appreciated Jackson’s concerns, it is prudent of council to respond to community concerns quickly and that’s what they were doing.

Harvie said it is important that local government listens to people.

Community invited to experience the new Southlands Drive at Bike-In

Before Southlands became Canada's largest agri-hood, Century Group's president Sean Hodgins decided the best way to introduce the project to the community was to have people ride over to the imagined Market Square on bikes for an up-close and personal show and tell.

In 2013, the first Southlands Bike-In was held when it was just the barn and few pop-up tents.

Eventually, the Bike-Ins had to pause for a few years as servicing work and construction began on the Southlands site. Now, to celebrate the opening of Southlands Drive and its adjacent 4-metre pathway, the Bike-In returned.

This new access road and multi-use path connects Upper Tsawwassen with Boundary Bay, Centennial Beach, and Southlands’ Market Square.

Southlands commemorated the opening of the road with a ribbon cutting by Mayor George Harvie and Hodgins along with South Delta MLA Ian Paton, Coun. Dylan Kruger, and incumbent Liberal MP Carla Qualtrough.

Delta Tigers win first ever B.C. Bantam Prep title

It’s not how you start your season but rather how you finish. Just ask the Delta Tigers.

Nearly 11 weeks after opening the 2021 campaign with an 8-0 loss to the White Rock Tritons, the Tigers returned to South Surrey Athletic Park to defeat the hosts 3-1 on Sunday to win their first-ever B.C. Premier Baseball League Bantam Prep championship.

Since that mid-June defeat, the city’s top team of 13-to-15-year-olds just kept getting better, culminating with the weekend playoff triumph that saw Delta win four of five games, including a 10-3 Sunday morning triumph over the North Shore Twins in the semi-finals.

The title continues an impressive run by the program that included B.C. Minor and Baseball B.C. 15U provincial championships in 2019 before transitioning over to the BCPBL and having the 2020 season wiped out by COVID-19.

“The kids have worked hard. There have been some ups and downs but that is what life is like coaching 13-to-15-year-olds kids,” smiled head coach Cam Frick. “We had a great season. I think our pitching depth showed today and we got some clutch hits.”

Seattle Kraken’s new arena the vision of a DSS grad

It’s the vision and talents of a Delta Secondary graduate that played a leading role in the home of the NHL’s newest franchise.

When the Seattle Kraken played their first-ever regular season home game at the spectacular Climate Pledge Arena against the Vancouver Canucks, Geoff Cheong was quietly be cheering for the visiting team.

The lifelong Canucks fan also happens be lead project designer and principal architect for Populous — a Kansas City based company that specializes in sports facilities and arenas.

Climate Pedge’s opening culminated four years of his work. T-Mobile Arena (Las Vegas) and Marlins Park (Miami) are among Cheong’s other major venues.

He leads a team of 25 architects and designers on projects that total $1.86 billion over the past 14 years. That also includes transforming stadiums for big single day events such as Super Bowls and NHL Heritage Classics.

“It’s been an absolute blessing landing this opportunity. I couldn’t be more grateful,” said Cheong. “Since joining the firm, the opportunities have just presented themselves. It’s far beyond what I ever could imagined.”

Three Delta candidates square off in Chamber debate

Three of the six candidates running in Delta in the upcoming federal election took part in a debate hosted by the Delta Chamber of Commerce.

Held at the Reach Child Development Centre in Ladner, the event included Liberal candidate Carla Qualtrough, Conservative candidate Garry Shearer and Green Party candidate Jeremy Smith.

The Chamber forum, sponsored by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, was just for candidates who are in parties that are represented in the House of Commons by an elected Member of Parliament or received at least four per cent of votes in the last federal election.

Delta New Democrat candidate Monika Dean qualified but did not participate.

The debate focused primarily on business issues, having the candidates answer a variety of question including whether they support balanced budgets and, if so, how would their parties achieve them.

Smith answered there’s no simple fix when it comes to the budget and what needs to be avoided are knee-jerk reactions.

“This is one of the things I told myself, is that I would never make a promise I definitely couldn’t say I couldn’t commit to. I think we have to review the books before we could say what changes would be able to be made in order to balance the budget. I think this is very complicated and will require everybody to work together to find a common solution,” Smith said.

Shearer said his party “absolutely believes in balanced budgets” and that his party is the only one with a plan, adding their recovery plan shows how they can reduce the debt over five years.

Qualtrough noted that they were in a strong fiscal position heading into the pandemic and “we knew we had the fiscal bandwidth to be there for Canadians.”

Qualtrough re-elected in Delta

Liberal Carla Qualtrough is heading back to Ottawa.

With 180 of 181 polls reporting, Qualtrough has 20,553 votes, Conservative Garry Shearer has 16,561 votes, and the NDPs Monika Dean has 9,015 votes.

Political newcomer Paul Tarasenko of the People’s Party of Canada is in fourth place with 1,243 votes, followed by Jeremy Smith of the Green Party with 1,184 votes and Independent candidate Hong Yan Pan (also known as Melody Pan) with 364 votes.

Across the country, the Liberals will form a second consecutive minority government as they are leading or elected in 158 ridings, Conservatives are leading or elected in 119 ridings, the B.Q. leading or elected in 32 ridings, the NDP leading or elected in 25 ridings and the Green Party in two ridings.

According to Elections Canada, voter turnout in Delta was 62.8 per cent, higher than the national turnout which was just a little over 58 per cent.

Qualtrough told the Optimist she was thrilled with the result and is looking forward to once again representing Deltans in Ottawa.

“This is quite an emotional victory for me. It has been a tough 18 months for Delta and for our country. I’m just thrilled, honoured and touched that I can continue to do this,” she said.

Education the focus of National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in Delta

Education, self-study and awareness will be the focus for the City of Delta on Sept. 30 – National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

At the Sept. 20th council meeting, Delta staff presented a report, endorsed by council, on what the city has planned to support and commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools and honour Indigenous communities, families and survivors.

Delta plans to commemorate the important day in several ways.

In partnership with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and Local 454 (CUPE Local 454), orange shirts will be provided to front line staff to show support with partial proceeds from the purchase of the shirts going to the Orange Shirt Society, which is dedicated to providing support for Indian Residential School Reconciliation.

Delta staff and council also will be wearing Orange Shirts throughout the week.

The lights at Delta City Hall in Ladner will be orange for the week starting on Sept. 27 and an orange flag commemorating the day will be flown on the special flag pole at both City Hall and the North Delta Recreation Centre.

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