Bruce McDonald is one of the Delta council candidates running in this month's civic election. Here are his responses to a questionnaire from the Optimist:
1. Bio – Tell readers a bit about yourself and why you are running for office.
Bruce and wife Barbara raised their family in Delta and he has been committed to helping build the community for over 30 years. He is an effective and responsive Councillor with incisive analytical skills and a deep knowledge of Delta's local history and issues.
He is committed to continue to serve and advocate for our community.
2. Most pressing issue – What issue are you most passionate about and what action will you take on it?
Of all the issues we face, I believe our most pressing need is to establish an ethical, transparent, trustworthy governance in Delta. Issues like transportation, density, jobs can only be addressed if our community and our neighbors trust us and are willing to work with us. Delta has so much more potential than we have tapped to date. We can be better and we will.
3. Housing – Delta’s housing stock, developed largely in the 1960s and 1970s, is under pressure. What are your plans to ensure there are affordable housing options and what will you do to protect the integrity of existing neighbourhoods?
We need to be willing to consider innovative and diverse housing types. One such pilot project is nearing completion in North Delta and will house four families in individually owned homes on what was a single home property. This done with full consultation in the neighborhood.
We have area plans in place, but several are out of date and need to be updated. Density on the Scott Road corridor, Infill areas and Town Centres all require new evaluations.
Delta needs, through consultation, to create a Strategic Plan to showcase a real vision of who we are and what we can be.
4. Marijuana – The legalization of marijuana in Canada has created a number of issues for local government. Do you have concerns over where cannabis could be grown and where it could be sold in Delta?
I do not believe that Marijuana should be grown on agricultural land. Properly built facilities on industrial land can better control odours, maintain security and will pay appropriate property taxes.
I believe distribution should be tightly controlled. We have a Liqueur Control Board and I think that agency should establish the distribution process.
5. Lobby for bridge/crossing – The City of Delta has been an outspoken advocate for a new Fraser River crossing, specifically the 10-lane bridge approved by the former Liberal government. Would your administration continue to advocate for the bridge or do you support a different approach?
I am fully in favor of a new bridge crossing at the tunnel site. The proposal was the product of several years of analysis and consultation. It will minimize the loss of farm land, it will provide a facility for public transport, it is the most cost effective proposal available.
Delta needs to work with our neighboring communities on this. We cannot "go it alone" on such an important enormous project.
6. Casino – Delta council’s approval of Gateway’s casino proposal was not without controversy. With construction poised to begin soon, what do you plan to do with casino revenues and what measures do you plan to take to ensure a casino isn’t a negative impact on the community?
If money is generated for the community I believe it should not go into general revenue. It should be directed to Senior and Youth initiatives. This would include active and passive facilities.