Delta Council moves forward with City of Delta reclassification and name change

Lois Jackson

AT Monday’s regular meeting, Delta Council endorsed a report from the Municipal Clerk certifying the results of the Alternative Approval Process, held to obtain voter assent for Delta’s reclassification. In total, Delta received 1,506 elector response forms opposing its reclassification out of a total of 69,928 eligible voters; a figure representing 2.15 per cent of the Delta electorate.

The Council subsequently approved a report from Chief Administrative Officer, George V. Harvie, to make a formal request to the BC government to change Delta’s classification from a District Municipality to a City and update its name, by Letters Patent, from The Corporation of Delta to the City of Delta.

“These changes are being sought as a progressive step towards clarifying the municipality’s identity and role as a key municipality within Metro Vancouver,” said Delta Mayor Lois E. Jackson. “The Corporation of Delta name no longer accurately represents the essence of our municipality, nor the provision of services, infrastructure, events and initiatives that Delta delivers as a local government.”

Harvie addressed concerns raised by citizens that a city reclassification will lead to a loss of Delta’s historical, agricultural and environmental identity. He explained: “This is a positive and historical step for the municipality – farming and agricultural land remain vital components of not only Delta’s identity, but its economy, culture and history … Recognition Square along with Delta’s new Cultural Services and Museum Centre celebrate the preservation of Delta’s rich history and diverse culture, and offer places for citizens to directly engage in various aspects of our extensive history.”

If the BC Government supports Delta’s request, an Order in Council will be drafted and considered by the Provincial Cabinet, requesting a new Letters Patent be issued to Delta assigning the municipality a city classification and name change to the City of Delta. As a result of the recent provincial election, this process could take longer than the estimated six to eight weeks.

Should the ministry approve Delta’s request, staff are working to include this announcement as part of the community’s Canada 150 celebrations, along with a phased implementation of Delta’s new name to ensure staff keep within the $5,000 budget allocated to this project.