New councillor and former fire chief Dan Copeland cheering for trustee candidate Sujay Nazareth during the Achieving for Delta post-election celebration. Nazareth was not voted in as a trustee this election. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Achieving for Delta could implement big changes after council majority, school board votes

George Harvie gained strong support from North Delta voters on Oct. 20

Many people were predicting a change election in Delta this year, and in some respects, that’s exactly what happened Saturday night (Oct. 20).

“I couldn’t call this one,” former mayor Lois Jackson said about the election. “Usually, after all these years you have a pretty good feeling, but this was a real contest.”

This year more than 43.3 per cent of registered voters in Delta went to the polls — a number only beaten in the last 25 years by the 2002 election, which saw a 44.6 per cent turnout.

The race was tight for the beginning between former city manager George Harvie and former police chief Jim Cessford, with Cessford only trailing by three percentage points at times. But ultimately it was Harvie’s Achieving for Delta slate swept the council elections, and took three out of the seven trustee seats.

RELATED: George Harvie wins race for Delta mayor

Harvie can give credit to his North Delta voters, who gave him above 40 per cent of the vote in all North Delta polling stations. Brooke Elementary voters favoured Harvie the most, giving him 52.5 per cent of the vote. Even Jarvis Elementary, which saw the lowest percentage of votes for Harvie, still gave him 40.8 per cent.

Harvie had been courting North Delta voters during the campaign period, making several election promises with a specifically North Delta focus.

RELATED: Harvie announces campaign plans for North Delta

But it’s possible Harvie could also give thanks to Jackson, who ran with his slate as a councillor this year. Historically, Jackson has had strong support from North Delta residents — 56 per cent of her vote for mayor came from North Delta in 2011 — and that did not change in this election.

Jackson is stepping back into the role of councillor, after nearly 20 years in the mayor’s chair. She saw continued support from North Delta voters in this election, getting an average of 10.5 per cent of the vote in all North Delta polling stations.

RELATED: COLUMN: This election, North Delta, you can get what you want

“I’m excited, I really am,” Jackson said about returning to her role as councillor. “It really is a different role, and working with some new people that are coming on is going to be a real pleasure. And of course George, having been a city manager, it’s a new role for him, so I’m very happy to work along with George.”

Of the five remaining council seats, three were taken by other Achieving for Delta slate-mates: entrepreneur and farmer Alicia Guichon, former fire chief Dan Copeland and millennial representative Dylan Kruger.

“Learning the ropes will be huge, getting acquainted with the files. It’s going to be a fun couple of weeks as we do that,” Kruger said during Harvie’s post-election celebration at Tsawwassen Springs Saturday.

“As George said earlier tonight, we’re celebrating tonight, but we’re going to get to work on Monday.”

The other two remaining seats were taken by incumbents Jeannie Kanakos and Bruce McDonald. They had run under former police chief Jim Cessford with the Independents Working for You slate.

“We would have liked to have won,” Cessford said about his entire team of eight. “We had a really, really good team. But the people have spoken and they have picked the people that they would like to lead them for the next four years.”

Incumbent councillor Robert Campbell, running with fellow councillor Sylvia Bishop’s Team Delta, didn’t make it back to the council table, with 5.3 per cent of the vote.

The new council reflects Delta’s largely white, English-speaking community — however, several council candidates came from different ethnic backgrounds. They just didn’t get elected.

RELATED: Delta’s bigger, more dense and more diverse according to latest from Statistics Canada

North Delta was the only place in Delta that saw South Asian candidates in their top six council choices. Achieving for Delta’s Param Grewal was in the top six for eight of the 13 polling stations in North Delta (including the advanced poll), while Team Delta’s Simran Walia made the top six three times. Independents Working for You candidate Sandeep Pandher made the top six only once.

Although Achieving for Delta’s sweep of the council chambers is notable, perhaps the most change can be expected from the incoming Delta school board, which includes three of the slate’s four candidates: Erica Beard, Daniel Boisvert and Jessie Dosanjh.

“I think, with the slate that got on here [Achieving for Delta] that they’ll be able to maybe provide a more traditional bent to Delta that maybe hasn’t been there for a few years,” incumbent trustee Dale Saip said. Saip did not get re-elected to the Delta school board, after serving on it since 1987.

“School districts have gotten into the habit of being embroiled in provincial issues,” he explained. “Local decisions make for us to have better schools.”

Saip also noted that this election saw more slates than usual during the campaign period, as well as well-organized campaigns “that obviously carried a lot of weight in North Delta.” (Saip was decidedly low on North Delta’s list of preferred trustees.)

Many incumbent trustee candidates did make their way back onto school board, including one independent candidate. Those people were Laura Dixon, Nick Kanakos, Val Windsor and Bruce Reid returning to the board table. Rhiannon Bennett, like Saip, did not make it back on the board.

“Typically, the incumbents, if there isn’t a big issue in the election — like there hasn’t been a major job action recently, or bargaining issues,” Dixon said Saturday (Oct. 20). “So it is interesting to see that there is more change through this election than perhaps would have been anticipated.”

However, Dixon added, “it was a good campaign. I was impressed overall with the calibre of trustees, so I think we will have to incorporate their good ideas as we move forward and do some good work together as a board.”

RELATED: Harvie putting ‘Delta families first’ with school board platform

The official results will be declared by Oct. 24.

The first meeting of Delta’s new council will be on Nov. 5, according to the city’s council calendar. The past council is expected to meet one more time on Oct. 29. The first meeting of Delta’s new school board will be on Nov. 6.



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey councillor says proposed police force ‘fails’ abused children

Locke says transition plan would mean fewer officers for Sophie’s Place

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

‘Chest Air’ show in Surrey for storyteller/author Ivan Coyote, prior to city’s Pride festival

‘I want to stop the gerbil wheel a little bit,’ says award-winning artist, who has moved back to Yukon

South Asian Mental Health Alliance receives $112K to train 100 ‘youth ambassadors’

The first batch of 25 youth will begin training in Surrey next week

Delta police donate recovered bikes back to the community

18 bikes were donated to R.E.C. for Kids, a non-profit that provides sports equipment to kids in need

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Dinosaur statues from defunct Dinotown theme park stolen in Chilliwack

The dinosaur figures once graced the theme park but were destined for Chilliwack fundraiser

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Update: Two shot, two arrested at Toronto Raptors victory rally

The team and several dignitaries, including Justin Trudeau, remained on stage

Most Read

l -->