Delta Free Press RSS Feed

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Response to: Lack of choice prompts some to look elsewhere for housing

Elvis Glazier(By: Elvis Glazier) After reading Mike Shneider's opinion piece (published in the Delta Optimist November 14, 2009) in the titled, "Lack of choice prompts some to look elsewhere for housing", I find myself utterly confused. The writer tries to confuse the issue of development by citing Patrick Conron's opinion that the Metro Vancouver region will require "800,000 additional dwelling units by 2056". What has this to do with anything in Tsawwassen?

The fact is, one only need to look at the Canadian census reports to find out the population in Tsawwassen was 21,337 in the year 2001. Experts have projected the population to grow to 24,610 by the year 2021. That means population of Tsawwassen will grow roughly .75 percent per year. That means we would need to build about 1,200 new dwellings over the 20 years of 2001 to 2021. That amounts to 60 houses per year to handle all the growth in Tsawwassen.

I don't disagree that there needs to be more variety in the homes being built. We need to make sure that housing choices are available to everyone. I believe we need more density close to our town center. My disagreement is on the amount of housing we need. Ron Toigo's development alone will more than satisfy Tsawwassen's need for townhouses with 194 units finished by the summer of 2012. Add to that another 243 apartments and we have satisfied our dwelling requirements for over five and a half years. That doesn't include the normal development that is consistently taking place on a smaller scale.

The conclusion Mike Schneider tries so hard to draw is that if we don't build the houses on the Southlands we're going to see people leaving in droves. The article is just another thinly veiled attempt at promoting the all but doomed Southlands development project using doom and fear. Well Mike, I've done the math and your numbers just don't add up.


  1. You fail to see that population growth in the area does not simply come from within. Take a look at the population growth forecasted for the region. Are you saying that Delta is exempt from accommodating any of these immigrants?


  2. Population growth comes from within as well as from without, but there is a natural trend that populations grow more rapidly in metropolitan areas. One only need to look at the failures of Abbotsford to realize that growth needs to be slow to be sustainable. Delta has a much more important role in accommodating the population growth in the region than by allowing large scale development. Delta has the onerous task of feeding the population with our fertile agricultural lands. In many ways it would be easier to just turn our backs on our responsibilities to the region and take a NIMBY approach to farming. I know as a community that we're far to caring to let this happen. I see it in all the charity work and causes that we fight so hard for.

    There will be population growth Mike and we have to make sure that we're there to feed them.

  3. How many Deltans are fed with locally produced food? Do you have the numbers for this? I do.

    Congrats on your site by the way! It is important for people to have a venue to discuss the issues and I applaud you for providing yet another avenue to do so.

    It is important for people to be exposed to opinion but it is crucial for them to be exposed to fact.

  4. Mike,

    Thanks for the compliment. If I had known I was going to get this much traffic so quickly I would have taken the time to work the bugs out of the system and test it a little more. I hope that you're not having any troubles getting around. It would be nice to get more content in quicker, but I guess that comes with time.

    As for our food numbers, depending on what source you look at, roughly 50% of the food we purchase is local. I know that through proper marketing and better agricultural stewardship we could do so much better.

    Much like you, I truly believe in personal responsibility and sustainability. Population growth needs to be meted out carefully as a byproduct of surplus resources and self reliance. We're not there yet so we need to tread lightly. We currently have the potential to feed ourselves. We just need to be willing to imagine a future where self sufficiency can be realized.

    On a sad note, tonight I ate the very last of my tomatoes from my backyard garden and I'm a little sad.

  5. Jean from Tsawwassen writes,
    I disagree with most of Mr. Schneiders comments. He has worked with Century Group and is too biased to be taken seriously.
    I arrived here in 1980. I have witnessed steady development, through new housing (i.e. the Terrace, Southpointe, pockets along 56th Street, in the town centre, etc.) in fact most available development land has been used up except for space in town centre and along 56th Street.
    Toigo's development will bring the much needed development (remember please that those who are pushing for housing on Southlands are the same ones who pushed the Toigo development) let's wait and see how that pans out first. Who moves in there..what impact does it have on our town centre, and on getting around. How will the TFN housing and commercial/industrial developments impact all of us!
    Why do we have to take immigrants in. We don't have much to offer here--no special schools for them, need for a car, limited work, etc. Most people from another culture like to live in clusters near those that have come from the same country. We are quite small.
    I purchase as much local food as I can and I grow some in my garden too. I freeze local berries, for example, have my own apples. I avoid anything from China..