Mayoral candidate George Harvie is pledging to build on Delta’s reputation as a safe community if elected on Oct. 20.
“In the face of marijuana legalization, a growing regional gang problem and a national opioid crisis, keeping Delta safe will require steady leadership and bold, innovative thinking,” Harvie said in an Achieving for Delta press release.
“That’s why I’ve worked so hard to recruit a diverse team of community leaders and first responders to our Achieving for Delta team: because building out an action plan for a safer Delta is not a one-person job.”
Harvie hearkened back to his 17 years as city manager, the same time period during which Delta’s crime severity index rate was reduced by nearly half.
To help keep Delta safe, Harvie has said he would implement a “Safety Action Plan,” which includes his previously-announced public safety committee. This committee would be chaired by Achieving for Delta council candidates Dan Copeland (who retired as Delta Fire chief in March) and Cal Traversy (a retired Delta Police Department officer).
The committee, which would work closely with Delta Fire and Police, department directors and other community representatives to provide feedback on city initiatives, is not the only part of Harvie’s safety plan. He also said he would make sure the fire and police departments continued to receive adequate funding.
“During the 2016 Burns Bog fire, it was because of [our funding and staff] that we were able to fight not only this 55-hectare emergency – but another barn blaze happening simultaneously in West Ladner, while stopping the bog fire from hitting Tilbury Industrial Park,” Copeland said in the press release.
“In this moment, I realized how truly important it is to have a well-resourced emergency first response team – and I’m running under the Achieving for Delta banner to build on that.”
Harvie also said his team would expand funding for organizations that support people struggling with mental health and addiction issues. As he noted at the Little House Society all-candidates meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2, he would use revenue from the incoming Gateway Casino in Ladner to achieve this.
The final part of the Safety Action Plan includes working closely with the Delta school board to help educate at-risk youth on the dangers of drugs, gangs and violence.
“Keeping Delta safe is about more than just law enforcement, it’s about working together with police, fire, educators and the city to not only close the gaps that exist in public safety, but work to ensure those gaps don’t emerge for our most vulnerable residents in the first place,” Traversy said in the release.
The municipal election takes place Oct. 20, with advance voting opportunities on Oct. 6, 10 and 11.