It’s probably unfair to paint an entire year with a single brush, but 2019 was a bit of a yawner from a news perspective. Oh sure, it had its moments, but in many respects the past 12 months primarily served to set the table for what’s to come, which means we could be in store for quite the ride in 2020.
Many of the major issues that have dominated the landscape in Delta seem like they’ve been around forever, which is because, well, they have, but this year we might actually see movement in tangible ways on several fronts. That’s not to say these old chestnuts will all be wrapped in a bow by the time the year is out, but after much waiting and wondering, we’ll finally see some headway.
On that front, we’re to get a decision on a replacement for the George Massey Tunnel this fall, although you could argue that effectively returns us to where we were in 2013 when a 10-lane bridge was on the table. The crossing decision will, mercifully, end two-plus years of more study, although we might not be jazzed about the outcome.
Speaking of unwelcome decisions, a recommendation on the controversial Terminal 2 proposal at Roberts Bank, which has been in the works for the past decade, is to be handed down by an independent review panel, likely this spring. These types of environmental assessments rarely, if ever, derail a project so the news might not be good there either.
Hopefully there’s better news in East Ladner where an eight-figure enclosed composting facility must be in place by March 1 that is intended to finally stop the stench that’s plagued nearby residents for more than a decade. The Southlands, which rivals the tunnel for longest-running issue in these parts, is expected to see its first residents put down roots later this year, which should finally turn it from never-ending saga to honest-to-goodness neighbourhood.
A new cultural centre in the civic precinct and an expansion at Delta Hospital are expected to open in the early part of the year, while a casino could possibly do likewise late in 2020, putting to bed three projects long in the making.
Much will happen over the next 12 months, but we’ll likely need some of that 20/20 hindsight before we can determine whether 2020 was indeed a good year.