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Surrey could learn about democracy from Delta

Congratulations, Delta council - you get it.

Democracy and all, that is.

While other civic governments are chucking bags of taxpayers' hard-earned money into telling their residents they need to vote "Yes" to a tax increase in the upcoming referendum on regional transit plans - Surrey is spending $200,000 to $300,000, for instance - Delta Mayor Lois Jackson and her council have embraced the novel approach of first asking their fellow Deltans for their opinions on the matter.

In a 180-degree switcho-reverso to Surrey, which is charging ahead like a locomotive in championing the "Yes" side, Delta's council wants to know what the municipality's residents and business owners think about the plebiscite before forming its own official position on whether the provincial sales tax should be increased by 0.5 per cent to fund new transit projects.

"We want to hear from our community first and see what they have to say," Jackson said. "Council is seeking a better understanding of the community's perspective on the referendum, transit services and finding real solutions to address growth and congestion in a sustainable way."

Metro Vancouver's Transportation and Transit Referendum is to take place from March 16 to May 29.

Delta council is asking the public to submit their views via email, to or by writing to Delta municipal hall, from now until March 16. Municipal staff will then compile all this information into a report to be presented to council on March 30, at its regular meeting.

So, in Surrey, the politicians want the electorate to do as they say.

In Delta, the politicians want to do as the people who elected them say. And you can bet Delta's not routing up to $300,000 out of its taxpayers' pockets to accomplish that.

The Now