Mike Smith 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 have lived in North Delta since 1991. I have along with my wife raised our two children and now raise our two grandchildren. I have coached in Delta and now enjoy being a spectator to my grandchildren’s many sporting activities.
I am currently the President of the maintenance and Seabus workers at Coast Mountain Bus Company.
I decided to run for council because this council has lost the trust of the citizens of Delta. We need to engage our communities to drive the city's agenda.
2. Most pressing issue – What issue are you most passionate about and what action will you take on it?
Traffic and buses. We need a plan. We need to ensure every corner of Delta have access to transit. We need to attempt to improve our gridlock issue. We cannot just ignore it. Removing commercial vehicles in peak times will help. Also we need to create more bus only lanes. Not take over traffic lanes but build bus only lanes.
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?
Make it a requirement before handing out permits to developers.
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 believe in engaging the community and also the provincial and federal governments. We need safe and secure communities.
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 would rely on the reports and public to guide my decisions. I believe the tunnel is the preferred option.
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 can use the funds to directly offset the costs of infrastructure improvements.