Four of the seven candidates for Delta in the upcoming federal election — (from left) Randy Anderson-Fennell of the NDP, Liberal Carla Qualtrough, Craig DeCraene of the Green Party and Angelina Ireland of the Peoples’ Party of Canada — squared off on Saturday, Sept. 28 at an all-candidates meeting hosted by the Delta Residents Association at North Delta Evangelical Free Church. (Frank Bucholtz photo)

Four of the seven candidates for Delta in the upcoming federal election — (from left) Randy Anderson-Fennell of the NDP, Liberal Carla Qualtrough, Craig DeCraene of the Green Party and Angelina Ireland of the Peoples’ Party of Canada — squared off on Saturday, Sept. 28 at an all-candidates meeting hosted by the Delta Residents Association at North Delta Evangelical Free Church. (Frank Bucholtz photo)

Delta residents get first look at MP hopefuls

The Delta Residents Association held its all-candidates meeting on Saturday, Sept. 28

By Frank Bucholtz for the North Delta Reporter

A full house of over 150 people came to North Delta Evangelical Free Church Saturday morning for a federal candidates’ meeting.

Four of the seven candidates running in Delta attended the meeting, co-sponsored by Delta Residents Association and the Council of Canadians. Not attending was Conservative candidate Tanya Corbet, who had earlier confirmed she would attend but cancelled two days before the meeting, and recently announced independent candidates Amarit Bains or Tony Bennett.

The candidates gave opening and closing statements and each responded to questions posed by moderator Susan Spratt, chapter chair of the Delta-Richmond Council of Canadians. The questions came from members of the public to organizers via e-mail, and were often combinations of several questions posed on the same topic.

The complete meeting will be posted online on the Delta Residents Association page at groupspaces.com. Those unable to attend can see responses from the four candidates who did attend. They were Randy Anderson-Fennell of the NDP, Angelina Ireland of the Peoples’ Party of Canada, Craig DeCraene of the Green Party and incumbent Liberal Carla Qualtrough.

The questions covered both local and national topics. On the local issues, all four candidates had responses tailored to Delta, while on national issues, both DeCraene and Anderson-Fennell often responded by simply reading party policy.

Anderson-Fennell cited his strong labour background and said he wants to stand up for Canadians who are falling behind. His party is promising a national pharmacare program, free dental care for families earning less than $70,000 and increased taxes on the wealthy.

Qualtrough said “Delta is the very heart of Canada” and she has been honoured to represent it for the past four years as both an MP and cabinet minister.

“I know what Canada represents to the world, and I also know about exclusion,” said the human rights lawyer and former Paralympic swimmer.

DeCraene said he has lived on Delta for three and a half years and is running primarily because he supports party leader Elizabeth May and wants to see the party gain more votes.

“Voting for the Greens is not a wasted vote. A higher total number of votes gives her more moral authority in Parliament, especially in a minority situation,” he said.

Ireland is a 10-year Delta resident who has been active with the Rotary Club of Ladner and Delta Hospice Society. She said her party has come a long way since being formed a year ago, with candidates in almost every riding in the country, and noted that its candidates have backgrounds in all parties. She was a Conservative and left the party after it determined who the Delta candidate would be without an open nomination battle.

Potential federal contributions to replacing the congested George Massey Tunnel came up during Saturday’s meeting.

Ireland said roads and bridges are a provincial responsibility, and “it is not fair to make it a national issue.” She said her party believes in reducing taxes so that people have more money in their pockets, and not contributing to projects outside federal responsibility is one way to keep taxes low.

Anderson-Fennell said the NDP “believes the federal government should be able to invest in various projects” by partnering with other levels of government and First Nations. He cited community benefit agreements, instituted by the NDP provincial government, as a way to train local workers for skilled jobs.

Qualtrough said the Liberals have promised to contribute to the Massey Tunnel replacement project, and it is up to the province to take advantage of that offer. She noted that Highway 99 connects directly to the United States and also to the Vancouver Airport, making it more than a local project, adding the tunnel needs replacing.

“The money is there. It is a provincial asset, and they (the province) have to decide what kind of crossing they want.”

DeCraene said the Green Party is against new roads and bridges being constructed, but that he does agree that existing infrastructure — including the Massey Tunnel — should be replaced.

Moderator Spratt asked what candidates would do about the “climate emergency” and said “we need to stand up with young people” who took part in the “climate strike” on Friday (Sept. 27).

Qualtrough said “kids are calling us adults out” and her party wants Canada to get to net zero emissions by 2050. It is also prepared to ban single-use plastics by 2021 and to conserve more lands in a natural state.

DeCraene said his party opposes twinning the Trans Mountain oil pipeline and B.C.’s approval of an LNG plant.

“We need to transition away from fossil fuels as soon as possible.”

Ireland said “there is not a climate emergency,” to scattered boos from the audience.

“I do not want children to be exploited for any political cause. The climate will continue to change as it has for millions of years. The correlation between carbon and temperatures does not exist. Science has become politicized.”

Anderson-Fennell said the issue is “very personal” for him, as members of his family were forced from their home and came to live with him during the destructive 2017 B.C. wildfires.

“We need to stop subsidizing giant oil companies.”

The use of agricultural land for growing marijuana was put to the candidates.

DeCraene said land within the Agricultural Land Reserve should only be used to grow food. He called on Health Canada to do more to deal with the smell emanating from greenhouses used to produce marijuana.

Ireland said the federal government has “nothing to do with ALR lands” and “legalization of marijuana was a terrible idea.” However, she says Canada is now stuck with the change made by the Liberal government.

“What can we do? Probably nothing.”

Anderson-Fennell said he did not have an answer.

Qualtrough said the federal government needs to do a better job of enforcing Health Canada regulations about odour from marijuana production, and ”we need to protect the food supply.”

The federal government’s move to reduce the length of time that organizations can receive Canada Summer Jobs grants, prompting a question on that topic. It was noted by Spratt that this has caused some hardship to non-profit organizations.

Qualtrough said the program is the only one that MPs have direct responsibility for. What she has done is have organizations apply for two grants, so some students are funded for eight weeks, the current length of the program, and then again under another grant for four more weeks, adding not all MPs have approached the challenge that way. She said the idea of shortening the length of time of the grants is to try and get more students involved, so they can gain work experience.

Ireland said such programs are important, but her party has concerns that the Liberal government excluded some organizations from being eligible for such grants.

“They should not have to sign attestation statements, as the Liberal government (made them do),” she said.

Other questions were related to balancing the budget, post-secondary education, protecting wild salmon stocks, support for seniors, reconciliation, dealing with rising sea levels in low-lying areas and national disability legislation.

Three more all-candidate meetings are currently scheduled for Delta. The Delta Chamber of Commerce is hosting a pair of events — the first at North Delta Secondary on Monday, Sept. 30 and the second at the Genesis Theatre in Ladner on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Both meetings take place from 6 to 8:45 p.m. Questions for the candidates can be submitted in advance by e-mail (events@deltachamber.ca), phone (604-946-4232), by mail or in person (6201 60th Ave., V4K 4E2). Written questions will also be accepted from the floor.

On Thursday, Oct. 12, a group of residents has organized an all-candidates meeting focusing on environmental issues as part of the nation 100 Debates on the Environment campaign. The meeting is scheduled to take place in Tsawwassen at KinVillage Community Centre (5430 10th Ave.) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Over 150 people came out to an all-candidates meeting hosted by the Delta Residents Association on Saturday, Sept. 28 at North Delta Evangelical Free Church. (Frank Bucholtz photo)

Over 150 people came out to an all-candidates meeting hosted by the Delta Residents Association on Saturday, Sept. 28 at North Delta Evangelical Free Church. (Frank Bucholtz photo)

Just Posted

Through his lens, Doug Cook captured this picture of the Fraser River, Mount Baker, an eagle, and even the Golden Ears Bridge on a sunny fall afternoon. The photo was taken from the wooden walkway leading down to the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport float plane dock. (Contributed photo)
Friends of Semiahmoo Bay to host virtual World Wetland Day event

Webinar event to feature six speakers, to be held Feb. 2

One of the Choices Lottery grand prize packages includes a home located at 16730 19 Ave., Surrey. (Contributed photo)
Two South Surrey homes featured in Choices Lottery

Tickets on sale now for BC Children’s Hospital lottery

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

The City of Surrey is currently working through the initial phase for a park that’ll be built at 72 Avenue and 191 Street in Clayton. (Image via City of Surrey)
New park to be built in Clayton Heights

City of Surrey asking for feedback from Clayton residents

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a Surrey high-intensity rehabilitation unit, Laurel Place. On Dec. 22, 2020, Fraser Health said four patients and two staff members have tested positive for the virus. (Image: Google Street View)
Fraser Health says COVID-19 outbreak over at Laurel Place in Surrey

Health authority declared outbreak over Jan. 16

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

Most Read