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Former Delta councillor Bruce McDonald honoured with Freedom of the City Award

McDonald celebrated along with 13 other recipients at first-ever Mayor’s Achievement Awards
Former Delta councillor Bruce McDonald (seated, with councillors Jessie Dosanjh, Dylan Kruger and Rod Binder, Mayor George Harvie, and councillors Jennifer Johal and Alicia Guichon) became the fourth person to ever receive the Freedom of the City Award at the inaugural Mayor’s Achievement Awards at Tsawwassen Springs on Thursday, March 9, 2023. (City of Delta photo)

Former Delta councillor Bruce McDonald received the city’s highest honour last week for his decades of service to the community.

McDonald was presented the Freedom of the City Award at the inaugural Mayor’s Achievement Awards, held on Thursday, March 9 at Tsawwassen Springs.

The Freedom of the City Award is “restricted to only very exceptional cases of exceedingly high merit where council wishes to honour a distinguished person or a distinguished unit of the armed forces of Canada,” according to a city press release.

McDonald joins a very elite group, becoming only the fourth person in the city’s history to receive the award. Previous recipients were then-premier William Andrew Cecil Bennett in 1969, Edgar C. Dunning in 2004, and Arne F. Knudsen in 2006.

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“It was an exceptional privilege for me to present my esteemed former colleague Bruce McDonald with the Freedom of the City Award,” Mayor George Harvie said in a press release.

“As only the fourth person in Delta’s history to receive this prestigious award, Bruce is in good company as he has selflessly dedicated his time, influence, leadership and commitment to our city.

“It was a great honour for me to have worked collaboratively with him for so many years and I want to thank him for his long-standing service to making Delta the best community in B.C. To quote his infamous catch phrase that he often liked to share, ‘We live in the best part, of the best part, of the best part of the world.’”

McDonald was first elected to Delta council in 1988 and went on to serve nine terms before retiring last October. Over his decades in office, McDonald worked on every municipal committee and commission and served as Delta’s representative at Metro Vancouver on a number of occasions, acting as a strong community advocate with an immense knowledge of local issues.

READ MORE: After 35 years on council, McDonald says Delta’s still ‘a pretty great place to live’

McDonald and his wife, Barbara, have been Delta residents for over 50 years, raising their three children in North Delta. In addition to serving on council, his professional experience includes 41 years in air traffic control, both as an operational controller and senior manager.

This past November, McDonald was named Citizen of the Year at the Delta Chamber of Commerce’s 71st Annual Hats Off to Excellence Awards in recognition of his long and extraordinary service and contributions towards bettering the community.

Thirteen other Delta residents were also recognized at Thursday’s event:

• Outstanding Volunteer Award: Jeremy Stam, Kathy Lane, Sheryl Gray and Don Sangster

• Environment Leadership Award: Deborah Jones

• Different Maker Award: Nathan Wilson and Alex Sangha

• Arts & Culture Award: Warren Dean Flandez and Angela Rebrec

• Special Achievement Award: Jane Devji

• Long-term Contribution Award: Steve Krawchuk, Bill and Tracey McKnight

“Our city has so many incredible individuals and organizations who have contributed an outstanding amount of their time and passion towards achieving great outcomes for our community,” Harvie said.

“It was an honour to present these awards to all the very deserving people who have made it their goal to make a positive impact in our community.”

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James Smith

About the Author: James Smith

James Smith is the founding editor of the North Delta Reporter.
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