Managing change

Significant change is coming to South Delta, there’s no point avoiding the issue.

But the inevitability of massive infrastructure plans—port expansion, new highway construction, establishment of a new rail yard, and revamped power lines—should not signal any defeatist attitude or the polar opposite, an all-out, bare-knuckled assault to try and halt the mega projects dead in their tracks.

The time is now to strike some middle ground.

Accept the fact that the landscape will be forever altered with a larger container port facility, a new truck-carrying road, a possible large area to shift and shuttle rail cars, and a new route to transmit electricity to Vancouver Island homes and businesses.

But also start to look at how best those projects—which don’t have many direct returns to our community—can provide a better life for residents by lessening their impact and leveraging positive return where possible.

Let’s find creative ways to funnel truck traffic to and from the larger port. Greg Hoover and Olav Naas have made a convincing argument in support of their alternative route through Delta for the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

It’s a route that would largely use existing right-of-ways, avoid massive expropriation of farmland and would bypass Burns Bog altogether.

The folks at the Gateway Program may still be convinced—with the help of a little political pressure.

Put your ideas and voice forward to suggest a better route for power lines.

The provincial government has conveniently put that decision in the hands of arms-length bodies, when in truth cabinet always has the option to overrule.

And lend your imagination on how to best draw adequate compensation from those who stand to derive direct benefits from all the coming changes.

But don’t think of that as being bought off.

When looking at what this community may look like in 50 years or so when all the projects are in place and serving their intended purposes, South Delta will have more than earned the return.

The situation is clear. Massive change is coming.

Right now, it’s up to us to decide how we deal with it.

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