Lois Jackson is asking voters to become the Mayor of Delta - again
With only a few months left until the civic election in BC, a number of politicians are making some hard decisions regarding whether to remain or enter public life. If we want renewal and a new generation of leadership in the region, the only way that will happen is if a few of the veterans lose their bid for re-election or decide not to run at all. So far that is looking very unlikely.
Speaking of veterans, it appears two long-time BC NDP civic leaders are planning yet another kick at the can. Delta Mayor Lois Jackson and her Burnaby counterpart Mayor Derick Corrigan have announced they are seeking re-election.
In the case of Jackson, her victory will likely guarantee her another term as the head of the un-elected Board of Metro Vancouver. The position brings with it a huge boost in salary and control of the region’s most powerful un-elected civic government. A couple of local Delta councillors have announced they are going to challenge Jackson for the top job.
Corrigan on the other-hand has a complete stranglehold on the Burnaby civic scene. He’s been on council longer than most people can remember. With the centre right parties split in his community, he is all but considered a shoo-in this November. It’s too bad that for yet another three years, Burnaby will remain void of any good ideas or leadership.
In New Westminster, local fudge maker and veteran Mayor Wayne Wright appears poised to throw his hat in the ring yet again. Wright took over from former Mayor Helen Sparks in a tightly contested battle he won almost a decade ago. James Crosty, a local community leader is likely going to put his name up to challenge Wright this time around.
While getting some fresh blood at the region is essential, I also believe a few senior politicos should be given the nod once again. Politicians like Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart and North Vancouver's Mayor Richard Walton have all served their community well. I fully anticipate they’ll run again and return to office this fall.
Based on how it’s shaping up so far, the upcoming civic election may well be characterized as “same old, same old.” However in politics a week can be an eternity. If voters are grumpy and looking for change, we could well see a whole set of new leaders capturing the brass ring in November. But don’t count on it.