Deltans who were strongly opposed to the casino application won’t be able to choose a mayoralty candidate from the current list of candidates who were also openly opposed.
Last week council voted in favour of giving the Delta Cascades Casino project final approval with only Jeannie Janakos and Heather King voting against the application by Gateway, both saying it doesn’t fit with the Delta brand or community.
Noting she knows there are people who are passionate in their opposition, Sylvia Bishop said she carefully considered the pros and cons before voting in favour. She also pointed out the project has many supporters in Delta. She’s running for mayor on the Team Delta ticket, having been the first to declare her candidacy earlier this year.
Meanwhile, mayoralty candidate George Harvie also indicated support from the start while still CAO for the city, spearheading the initial keenly-worded expression of interest for the B.C. Lottery Corporation. Now heading his Achieving for Delta slate as a candidate for mayor, Harvie during his time as the city’s top bureaucrat made it clear to BCLC, though, that the “expression of interest in no way binds Delta to hosting a gaming facility” and the Town & Country site in Ladner was “the only suitable site upon which a gaming facility entertainment complex could be considered.” The lottery corporation eventually agreed with Delta’s preferred location.
Former Delta police Chief Jim Cessford, who is the mayoralty candidate for the Independents Working For You ticket, has not stated outright support for the project. However, when council member and running mate Bruce McDonald voted in favour of sending the application to a public hearing, McDonald said, “There's been a lot a talk about money laundering, most of it focused on one very large facility (River Rock Casino Resort), but I talked with our former police Chief (Jim Cessford) at some length about this and he said he did not feel casinos generate violence or theft...”
For his part, Cessford following council’s decision last week, made a campaign promise to “do everything possible to ensure that money laundering and organized crime will not be an issue.” He said he’d work closely with Delta police, the attorney general and others.
The civic election takes place Oct. 20.