Transportation, heritage focus of Delta mayor’s ‘state of the community’ speech

Mayor Lois Jackson made the speech at the Delta Chamber of Commerce's annual general meeting on March 15.

Mayor Lois Jackson delivered her 'state of the community' address at the Delta Chamber of Commerce on March 15.

Mayor Lois Jackson delivered her 'state of the community' address at the Delta Chamber of Commerce on March 15.

It’s time for Delta to step into the future, without forgetting its 138-year heritage.

That was the message Mayor Lois Jackson brought to the Delta Chamber of Commerce on March 15 during her annual State of the Community address.

“Delta is ours to preserve by hand and heart, [is] that old saying that we have here,” she told the crowd. “At the same time, we need to understand the benefit for progress and development. And you know, this balancing act may be one of the most difficult tasks which face elected officials.”

The first part of the mayor’s address focused on the Corporation of Delta’s use of federal and provincial funding to promote heritage, including restoring the historic municipal hall in Ladner and relocating the Delta museum and archives, as well as creating the Boundary Bay Cenotaph and Cadet Commemorative Pathway.

Heritage, however, wasn’t the main focus of Jackson’s speech. Transportation and traffic received the greatest audience response, with the Chamber members clapping after Jackson mentioned the construction of the new interchange on Highway 91 at 72nd Avenue.

Jackson also outlined streets that would see improvement under the municipality’s neighbourhood road improvement plan.

In North Delta, 118 Street between 92nd and 96 Avenues, Dawson Crescent, Nordel Way from Brook Road to 112 Street, and 72nd Avenue are all on the list.

Meanwhile, 47 Avenue from Garry Street to 51 Street, Crescent Drive from 57 Street to 59A Street, Arthur Drive from Augustine House to Deltaport Way, and 10A Avenue from 51 Street to Bayview Drive in South Delta will all see improvements.

Jackson also focused on “improvement and additions [that] will allow everyone in the community to enjoy what will truly be Delta’s social heart.”

These include the synthetic turf replacement at Mackie Park, the master plan for Tsawwassen’s Winskill Park, additional work at the North Delta Recreation Centre, accessibility improvements at the George Mackie library and the construction of a new firehall, emergency operations centre and training facility at Boundary Bay.

Jackson briefly touched on several hot-button topics such as changing Delta’s official designation from “corporation” to “city” and building a new arts centre to replace the Firehall Centre of the Arts, but did not dwell on them.

“I am extremely proud of our accomplishments,” she said at the end of her address. “And as much as I’m proud of our successes, I’m as excited about our future.”