Chen Du 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.
I’m running because many fellow Deltans felt that all their complaints to the government were ignored for years and even decades. With the encouragement and support from my old neighbours, I decided that it's time for me to step up and represent real, relatable concerns of Deltans in the city council.
2. Most pressing issue – What issue are you most passionate about and what action will you take on it?
The most pressing issue is Public Transit. We have been contributing to Translink every year through our property taxes, yet the majority of Deltans feel dissatisfied about our transit services. Unfortunately Translink's current plan through 2027 offered almost no improvement to our transit system. I will hold Translink accountable for all the money they took from Deltans and will press them to offer our city adequate transit services.
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?
First of all, we need to curb foreign property investors from making homes in Delta even more unaffordable. I will introduce to the council an annual special levy that will be applied to secondary homes owned by non-Canadian residents in Delta. The revenue collected will be used towards senior care and child care programs in our city. Secondly, many of the new developments in Delta are targeting the upscale and luxury home markets. We need to make sure that real estate developments in Delta are well balanced and each type will have its fair share of approval. Of course, when the municipal government deals with real-estate development across Delta, government consultation with the public and the affected neighbourhood is also extremely important and must be taken seriously.
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?
The municipal government must make sure that Marijuana is not accessible to children. The government should also conduct surveys and host meetings where it can get feedbacks from the public on whether cannabis will be allowed to be grown in Delta, where can it be grown, whether it will be sold in Delta, and where Marijuana to be sold. If the public in the end determines that Marijuana can be sold in Delta, we need to make sure that outlets that sell Marijuana must not be near public recreational facilities or schools.
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 think it's very important that Deltans will have access to a new Fraser River crossing - the sooner or better. It will provide immediate relief to congestion along Hwy 99 and will make our region better prepared for the 1.2 million more residents moving into Metro Vancouver by 2041. Some people also mentioned to me the possibility of twining the current tunnel. If the tunnel is proven to be a better option after consulting with the engineers and it is what the most of Delta residents want, it could work. We need a replacement to Massey Tunnel immediately, and the everything - ready bridge seems to be the quickest solution to that. Meanwhile, I will also bring some valid concerns I heard from those opposed the project to the discussion table should the talk re-opens.
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?
We need to dedicate a portion of the revenue from Delta’s new casino to educating children about the negative effects of gambling on people and their families. We can also use revenue from the casino to provide child and senior programs across Delta.