One of the worst kept secrets in Delta has been made official with Mayor Lois Jackson confirming she’ll be running with George Harvie’s slate in next month’s civic election.
Jackson, who filed her nomination papers Monday along with the rest of the Achieving for Delta slate, will be seeking a Delta council seat in the Oct. 20 election.
Jackson is coming to the end of her sixth term as Delta’s mayor. Prior to serving in that role for the past 19 years, Jackson spent a quarter-century as a councillor.
She told the Optimist she thought long and hard about staying in civic politics, having already decided she won’t run for mayor again for several reasons, including being able to spend more time assisting her daughter who has medical challenges.
“I’ve talked to my kids and family. I’ve talked to a lot of people, trying to visualize what it would be like and I’ve decided to go for council,” she said. “One of the main reasons is there’s still lots of work to do.”
Jackson said issues that require attention include lobbying for improved transit, a new crossing of the Fraser River, protecting farmland and Delta firefighters being dispatched to medical emergencies.
“We have a wonderful community and I’ve worked really hard for over 40 years to get us this way and I wouldn’t want to just walk away without leaving that ability to transition. I thought if I could still be of use, and if people still want me to serve, I’d be very happy and honoured to serve. It goes right back to that adage ‘service before self’ and that’s what I was taught and always tried to follow.”
A long-time North Delta resident, Jackson was the first woman elected to Delta council in 1972 and has served continuously except for one term.
A political survivor, Jackson, who also served for several years as Metro Vancouver chair, has run with a variety of slates as well as an independent over her years on council. She has long been considered a populist and her longevity in civic politics has often been credited to her ability to adapt to a changing landscape.
After a three-year break in the mid-1990s, Jackson returned to Delta council in 1996 and became mayor three years later.
She was most recently part of the Delta Independent Voters Association ticket and was acclaimed in 2014 after nobody put their name forward to run against her.
In a news release this week, Harvie said, “Every team needs a bridge between yesterday and tomorrow, someone who can help the transition from what has already been achieved to what’s possible for the future.”
Harvie was brought in by Jackson to be Delta’s chief administrative officer, a role he filled for 17 years before leaving earlier this year.
In May, Harvie announced he is running for mayor on a slate that includes council hopefuls Dan Copeland, Param Grewal, Alicia Guichon, Dylan Kruger and Cal Traversy. Last week he expanded his slate to include school trustee candidates Erica Beard, Daniel Boisvert, Jessie Dosanjh and Sujay Nazareth.
The addition of Jackson gives the slate its only incumbent.