Lois Jackson is one of the Delta council candidates running in this month's civic election. Here are her responses to a questionnaire from the Optimist:
1. Bio – Tell readers a bit about yourself and why you are running for office.
As the first woman elected to Delta Council in 1972, and elected as Mayor in 1999, we have accomplished much; No borrowing and Delta is debt free; purchase of Burns bog; $55 million in Government Grants. With your support, and as an elder, I will continue to serve our community, by guiding and mentoring a new Council into the future.
2. Most pressing issue – What issue are you most passionate about and what action will you take on it?
Good fiscal management. I have experience, background and determination to ensure the best bang for the buck. Ensuring that Delta Fire is called when you have an emergency and ambulance cannot get there quickly enough. Continue our 8th year of lobbying Provincial Government, BCEHS to achieve simultaneous dispatch with ambulance. Get the George Massey Tunnel replacement bridge, built!
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?
Metro Vancouver Housing Corp. run by Metro, presently has 3,600 units of housing; partially market housing and partially subsidized units. This should be expanded to all parts of the region. Access Federal and Provincial grants to construct continue to ensure oversite of buildings by Metro Vancouver. This is good safe housing for all. In conjunction with the community, renew Delta's Housing Committee and outdated Housing Strategy.
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 have had major concerns about the legalizing of marijuana since it was announced without any of the checks and balances needed. Taking our concerns to Ottawa 3 years ago it was clear that the legislation at the Federal, Provincial and Local levels is not ready to properly roll out. Delta has proven that Marijuana can be grown in our Industrial buildings, ie. Tilbury, with no odour, safely and oversite. Delta does not allow retail outlets at this time; should one wish to sell retail in Delta, you must go to a public hearing to ensure the support of the neighbourhood.
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?
If you study the 14,000 pages of engineering and financial reports, you will deduce that building a bridge saves farm land; is built on more firm footings than a tunnel; is the same height at the Alex Fraser; can accommodate 2 lanes for transit; 2 lanes for heavy trucks; 2 lanes for HOV; 4 lanes for other traffic; That's 10 lanes, the very same as Port Mann Bridge. Presently there is a concern about safety in a tunnel, with respect to earthquakes and of course the major difficulty when there is an emergency when Police, Fire and Ambulance have to walk in with a major delay on reaching the victims. We need a bridge...
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 the Casino is approved by BCLC, I am looking forward to having additional hotel rooms in our community to help accommodate tourists and relatives from out of town along with several eating establishments. Regarding the safety and Policing of a Casino facility, the major advantage we have in Delta is our Delta Police Force, who, under the experienced hand of Chief Dubord, can be very closely involved with the establishment, unlike the River Rock in Richmond where a different system is used. Any funds which we receive are a bonus for our community with so many worthy recipients; seniors, youth workers, parks, transportation. The future councils will decide in conjunction with the community.