Dylan Kruger 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 am a lifelong Delta resident with extensive governing experience at both the federal and provincial level. I am passionate about keeping young families in Delta and making sure the next generation of Deltans are set up for success. Born and raised in Ladner, I currently live in Tsawwassen with my wife Katie.
2. Most pressing issue – What issue are you most passionate about and what action will you take on it?
I’m running for Delta Council to fight for young families and seniors who love Delta but are being forced to leave our community because there are no housing options for them here. We need councillors at the table who understand this housing crisis. We don’t have to choose between keeping families and seniors in Delta and protecting our open agricultural land – we can do both, and we should do both.
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?
Young families and seniors are leaving Delta. So many friends that I went to school with are, like me, getting married and having children. And though they love Delta, they are being forced to move out to Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack or even further because of a lack of housing options for them here.
I also know many empty nesters and seniors who are looking to downsize and free up their family homes for new families, but are unable to do so because of a lack of mid-level housing options for them here. If elected, I would fight to create those options while still preserving the integrity of our existing neighbourhoods.
We need to do this for the sake of the long-term sustainability of our community.
We also don’t have to choose between keeping families and seniors in Delta and protecting our open agricultural land – we can do both, and we should do both.
By building up our town centres and keeping our historic neighbourhoods intact, we can help keep our families and seniors in Delta, while also revitalizing our city and helping small businesses to thrive.
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 support the Agricultural Land Commission’s decision to allow marijuana growth on ALR land. I believe that marijuana should be grown only in our industrial areas, with proper ventilation, employee parking, and security measures in place. Agricultural land and greenhouses are not the appropriate locations for marijuana to be grown. Delta farmland should be preserved for its intended use – growing food.
I support Council’s decision to zone out marijuana for retail use across the City of Delta. This way, council can control the growth of retail stores through variance permits. We must take every step to ensure marijuana stays out of the hands of our youth. As a councillor, I would not support retail marijuana locations anywhere in close proximity to schools or other locations frequented by children.
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 proud to be a part of the only team that has been clear on this issue since day one – if elected, George Harvie and our Achieving for Delta team will fight to build the bridge to replace the aging Massey Tunnel. Based on our strong record of support for this project, we are the only team that can be trusted to deliver on this promise.
Since the bridge construction project was cancelled, over 600,000 tons of sand have been left to grow weeds on the side of Highway 99 while commuters have sat idle in the worst traffic bottleneck in all of British Columbia. Worse, the Massey Tunnel is seismically unsafe, and provides a major problem for our first responders, who are forced to bring their equipment in on foot whenever there is an accident.
The bridge replacement project, which was shovel ready before it was cancelled, remains the best option to relieve the traffic bottleneck while also protecting Delta’s Agricultural Land Reserve and improving emergency response times.
If elected, I will work with Mayor and Council to keep up the fight to get this bridge built.
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 elected, I would support reinvesting revenues from the Gaming Host Community Grant back into Delta in the form of vital local programs and addiction services.
Over the last year I have met with countless families suffering with substance use and mental health challenges in our community. Though sometimes invisible, these challenges are tragically rampant in our community. We need to do more as a society and as a municipal government to help those who need it the most. We can step up to the plate as a City by dedicating a portion of casino revenues to helping community service organizations to support those in desperate need.
I also believe the city can do more to fund community projects like the Ladner Business Association’s “Light up Ladner” project. This project beautifies our community and aids the many local businesses that operate in the village throughout the winter months. Programs like this can be inexpensively funded with casino revenues through a grant application process.
I am also proud to be a part of the only team that has proposed a real solution to combat money laundering in our community and across the province. If elected, George Harvie and the Achieving for Delta team will move a motion at the Union of BC Municipalities to work with the Attorney General to implement a system for cashless casinos. Delta should be at the forefront of this issue, taking a leading role in fighting for change that would virtually end money laundering in BC casinos.