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Monday, August 16, 2010

Meet Sylvia Bishop

Sylvia BishopAs part of the 2010 Delta Free Press Candidate Challenge each candidate was asked to fill out and return a questionnaire covering some of the issues and questions that the citizens of Delta are facing right now. There are eight candidates vying for a single seat in the upcoming by-election. Here is the second set of answers returned.

Name: Sylvia Bishop

Why are you running for city council?

I have lived in Delta for over 40 years and have seen a lot of changes, some good and some not so good. I am concerned about the lack of open vigorous debate at council, the direction of land use policies and the preservation of Delta's unique characteristics.

What do you feel you offer the citizens of Delta?

Integrity. Commitment. Energy. I have been outspoken on the issues people care about, such as the preservation of the Southlands farmland and the South Fraser Perimeter Road. Together with many other Delta residents, I worked to collect signatures for the anti-HST campaign. I am a hard worker, willing to pitch in and do what it takes.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing:

North Delta?

The destruction of the Sunbury/Annieville neighbourhood because of the construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road cannot be underestimated. People I have talked to worry about increased traffic volumes in their neighbourhoods and the lack of adequate upgrading of infrastructure, particularly in the northern portion of North Delta.


The potential developments announced by the Tsawwassen First Nations will impact the neighborhoods immediately adjoining the Tsawwassenlands. Ladner's unique historic downtown core must be preserved in the face of pressure to increase density and height.


The potential development of the Southlands is the single most important issue for Tsawwassen. The land should be returned to the ALR and at the very least, retain its agricultural zoning. The increased population and traffic development would bring, would forever change the community. The pressure on infrastructure and protective services such as policing and fire fighting would make us all vulnerable.

Delta as a whole?

Anticipated population growth in Metro Vancouver means Delta will see increased pressure to accommodate our 'fair share'. We must have the right development, in the right place, at the right time for the right reasons.

Further, Delta's many resources: its people, its location, its land must be considered in an overall plan to advance our assets while retaining our unique character.

Tsawwassen Area Plan

Tsawwassen is currently in the midst of an area plan review. As your first order of business as a city councilor it is likely you will have to vote on an updated plan. The most contentious issue in the Tsawwassen Area Plan is the proposed development of the Southlands by the Century Group.

Do you support some residential development of the Southlands? * (Required)


As a councilor would you vote to rezone this property from its current agricultural designation to allow residential/commercial development on the property? * (Required)



It's farmland. Agrologists agree with the right irrigation, drainage and soil amendments it could be Class 1 or 2 farmland. When farmers own land, it's farmed. When developers own land, it lays fallow until people think it is of no use. We need local farmland for food security, sustainability and to support a new generation of farmers.

What is your view of the South Fraser Perimeter Road?

* (Required)

It is backward thinking. It is a 1950's model of transportation and relies on fossil fuels. It is also the wrong route as it destroys wildlife habitats and established neighborhoods together with farmland and forests.

We must address truck and container traffic volumes in another way. A different route was proposed but ignored.

We should be using forward thinking modes of transport such as electrifying railways, barging and fuel efficient vehicles.

In Region Waste to Energy

Mayor Lois Jackson has gone on record supporting an in region waste to energy facility be built in Delta.

Do you support development of a waste to energy incinerator in the Delta region? * (Required)



We should be aiming for zero waste and working with the manufacturing sector to change packaging. We have not achieved maximum recycling curb site pickup as in other areas of Metro Vancouver. I am not convinced the science of waste to energy incineration and the particulites created are harmless. Our air shed is already polluted as it makes its way up the Fraser Valley.


What is your favorite food? Halibut, local potatoes and Westham Island strawberries for dessert

What is your favorite movie? The Replacements

What is your favorite place in Delta?

My home and garden. The backyard is an oasis of privacy. I love to garden so there are an abundance of shrubs and flowers blooming throughout the seasons. We have fruit trees and berry bushes to harvest. All the neighborhood cats come by for a bite to eat.

What is the last book you read?

The Omnivore's Dilemna

Who is the one person who you admire most?

My mother


Annasusanna, Susie for short, left her native Germany and followed her new husband to start a new life in Vancouver. She hardly could speak english and arrived with little money or possessions. With sheer determination she built a wonderful life together with my dad. She would be the first to admit a little luck helped along the way. The lessons of making something from nothing, frugality and strong work ethic are not lost on me. She had a great sense of humour and was the life of the party.


Who are the major contributors to your campaign?

I am. Followed by many friends and concerned fellow citizens who believe in me. My campaign relies on many people making donations instead of a few large donors representing special interests.

If you don't win in this by-election do you plan to run in the general election in 2011?



  1. Kathleen is a one trick pony. Housing, housing, housing. You can't do anything about housing until you change the OCP and I have never seen Ms. Higgins at a Tsawwassen Area Plan meeting. I haven't seen Ms. Higgins at a Metro Livable Region Meeting. Ladner town centre and waterfront? Again, missing in action. I don't doubt her good intentions but to make things happen you need to show up and work. Kathleen, like many of the candidates that lost in the last election have been sitting at home licking their wounds while this developer owned city council runs roughshod over the public.

    Sylvia Bishop has been on the front lines, fighting for the people of Delta. This election needs to send a message to the puppets paid for by Ron Toigo, Sean Hodgins, and the rest of the "Delta Boys" who think they still rule over us like royalty.

  2. The South Fraser Perimeter Road is not a done deal! The fill can be removed and the land returned to its proper state. Stopping the road now would be far less expensive than actually building the damn thing. This road is ruining farmland, destroying Burns Bog, and decimating communities.

    The poor children in Bridgeview are going to have a four lane highway and interchange a block away from their school. If this highway was being build next to South Pointe Academy in Tsawwassen you could be sure the Liberal machine that is putting its weight behind Ian Paton would be scolding Gordon Campbell down at the club while sipping scotch and deciding who's going to be the designated driver.

  3. Syliva Bishop's German background explains a few things.
    South Fraser Perimiter is a done deal. Millions have been spent. How many millions would this cost to undo?? Who would pay for that??
    Who is to pay for the water to the Southlands?? The last family that farmed that could not make a go of it for many reasons, including lack of irrigation. Who is willing to farm this land?? Can you imagine the tractors going up 56th with their equipment behind that takes up both lanes?
    Delta does not need a councillor who is not willing to listen to ALL sides and come to fair decisions and compromises. If Syliva Bishop were selected for jury duty she would be dismissed in the selection process. No matter what the outcome, everyone has a right to due process in our county.
    Sylvia Bishop's strong beliefs are good for her, but not good for Delta.

  4. We are very fortunate here in Delta that we have a candidate who is willing to stick her neck out and be very clear on where she stands. Sylvia Bishop will be elected as she is the not only the best candidate but she has been out there attending meetings, listening to residents concerns and doing her homework. She is intelligent, ethical and hard working.
    There is no other candidate who will be as prepared as Sylvia for the challenges.

  5. While I think Ms. Higgens is a very nice lady I don't think she has political acumen to deal with the clique that is Delta Council. Ms. Bishop has been involved with all that has been going on in Delta, especially the SPFR and the Tsawwassen Area Plan. Long before George Hawksworth passed away and a byelectin was ever needed. We need a person like her who has the strength of will to stand up and diagree with what is being rubberstamped by this current council Councilors Pederson and King are too scared of the others to be willing to shake up anything, They want to liked be the others and have no backbones. Sylvia Bishop has the background and the ability to stand up for the people of Delta and get those doors of the hall flung open and let some fresh air in there so we'll finally know what's going on. I may vote for the very nice Ms. Higgens in the next election but she's just not right for the times

  6. The Council has too many connections with developer funding. The latest eample is the MK Delta proposal on ALR land. At ther last election MK were the largest contributors to Jackson, Hamilton, and Campbell. This not of course illegal, but needs to be recognized. There are many sightings of Delta Council members and the CAO meeting privately with a well known developer.
    Nothing illegal in that either, but still noteworthy.
    Sylvia Bishop is honest, able, and will do a great job for us.

  7. Anyone thinking that Sylvia Bishop is "honest, able and willing to do a great job for us" should read the article posted here by Debbie McBride. I can't believe Ms. McBride would ever be allowed to publish such rubbish.
    No one needs a councillor who is willing to go to such a low level to win. Lies, gossip and scandal driven by fear. This is not what Delta needs.

  8. The Debbie McBride article is gone for legal (libel) reasons.
    Sylvia Bishop and her camp are anything but honest.
    Delta does not need this, that's for sure.

  9. Sylvia Bishop only stated what she saw. If Ian Paton and Sean Hodgins don't want to be seen having lunch at a North Delta White Spot together, then they should have lunch in private. If, however they feel no need to hide their close and mutually beneficial relationship from the public, then they will have to bear the brunt of flaunting that relationship in the public's face and in Delta itself.

    The fact that they met in public, before a by-election, just goes to show how ignorant they are of the public's perception of such meetings.

    If you can't stand the heat, get out of the pot.

  10. Hooray for Sylvia Bishop and her integrity and honesty in reporting the facts. That Century Group's Sean Hodgins and candidate for Delta Councilor, Ian Paton got caught red handed having lunch together, an uncompromising situation to be in, for sure.

    Ian Paton should drop out of the race for Delta Councillor. He has no integrity left.

  11. Haha. You guys are funny.
    Yes. Like "lovers caught". Then on twitter.
    Sylvia Bishop is so afraid of Ian Paton that she is trying to start any scandal she can. How convenient for her to say they looked like "lovers caught".
    Isn't it a duty of a good councillor to not "perceive" but rather base decisions on facts?
    The article by Debbie McBride was a real beauty. Shows the lack of depth of the Bishop camp. A lot of harm was done here. Thanks for that one.
    Ian Paton should take this all as a compliment. You will cast stones at the ones you fear the most. And you should be afraid.
    Keep it coming.

  12. Have you also been lurking around spotting Ian Paton meeting with fellow farmers and Boundary Bay residents? He's been doing that too. How 'compromising' for him to gain perspective from all sides on a very contraversial topic!! Shame shame!!

  13. Whoever said that Ian Paton and Sean Hodgins didn't want to be seen? I would think that if this meeting was supposed to be private, it would not have taken place in a public restaurant.

  14. Gaining perspectives from all on a very controversial topic?

    If Ian is only figuring out where he stands on the Southlands issue now it's too late. This issue has been fought for too many years, on too many battlefields, by too many people to be coming up with perspectives at this late date. Let's be very clear on this point. You are either for developing farmland or you are not for developing farmland. Times that statement by 1000 and it doesn't begin to describe the public sentiment of the Southlands.

    It seems to me that most of the candidates are using George's passing as an opportunity to get some name recognition. Where was everybody 3 months ago? 6 months ago? 1 year ago? The usual suspects have been in hiding since they lost their respective elections. Hiding on the sidelines, waiting to spout their rhetoric to the masses.

    This election is about hard work and dedication to values that we as a city hold true to our hearts. Sylvia has been diligently attending all the committee meetings, all the council meetings, challenging council to do better in the media. This election didn't get her out of hiding like it did for the rest. There is only one choice for this by-election. The other candidates need to get active out in the community and at municipal hall if they want to even be considered in the real election next year.

  15. Believe me, Ian Paton Jr. does not need name recognition. "Get active in the community"? While Ian Paton is may not be there to fight against everything that anyone proposes, he does more FOR the community than Sylvia Bishop has ever done.
    I am sure he is quite certain as to where he stands on the Southlands issue. At least he is willing to listen and educate himself on all sides of this issue.
    You non farmers and non agriculture people with all your advise on farming and agriculture in Delta is a joke. How much support from the farming community does Sylvia Bishop have? What is her agriculture background?

  16. Since this is a very hot topic, those couple of questions worth repeating:
    1. How much support does Sylvia Bishop have from the farming community of Delta?
    2. What is Sylvia Bishop's background in agriculture and farming?

  17. I have one neighbour who is a farmer. Agriculture is one aspect of our community. We have thousands of people who work in Vancouver for a living, who outnumber farmers. Does that make farmers irrelevant! Of course not.

    Look at the rest of our councillors. Mothers, Real Estate Agents, Lawyers, Teachers. How many of the candidates for municipal councillor are mothers, should we disqualify those who were never mothers!

    Pretending that farming experience is a prerequisite to be a candidate in Delta is just plain ignorant. The next thing we'll be hearing is that only farmers should have any rights. Get a life!

  18. Perhaps we should weigh votes by the amount of land we own? You can't fault the old farming families in Delta wanting to cash out and retire in luxury (sorry more luxury). It's not like their children have what it takes to be farmers. I cry for the generations to come. We are reaching a turning point in society and I fear for the future. Baby boomers? Gen X? Gen Y? They don't have the mettle to face what my generation faced. A bunch of weak kneed sissies afraid of hard work.

    When the depression comes, and it will, it always does. That will make men of you. Until then, leave something for the next-next generation to work with. Otherwise we doom them to having to rip out pavement to eek a living out of the ground that feeds us.

    If you say you need to be a farmer your wrong. You need to be strong and unafraid of the enemy in front of you.

  19. Since 'saving farmland' is without doubt a very hot and important topic in Delta it is important to keep these families farming. Many of the next generation coming still do want to farm. These children do have what it takes and are very involved now. You would know that if you had a clue about farming in Delta.
    How much support does Sylvia Bishop have from the Delta farming community?
    Does she know the issues that need to be resolved to keep these families farming? Does she have their support? What is her agriculture background?
    No, it is not the only issue, but Sylvia Bishop has made such a huge deal over the Southlands so let's hear it.

  20. It is time we had a farmer and someone with some common sense on council.
    We also need a voice from Ladner.

  21. Quote from above: "Pretending that farming experience is a prerequisite to be a candidate in Delta is just plain ignorant. The next thing we'll be hearing is that only farmers should have any rights. Get a life!"
    No one said it was a prerequisite to be a candidate. However, if Sylvia Bishop wants to "save the farmland" she'd better have support from the farmers, know the issues, be willing to work with people and have some sort of knowledge on farming. Sylvia Bishop has made this one of her biggest issues. The reason no one can answer how much support she has from the Delta farming community is because she has none. Perhaps she should take this off her platform and leave it to those who actually know what they are talking about.

  22. Perhaps a background check on Ian Paton should be done. Do a background check into why he no longer teaching?

  23. What does Sylvia Bishop know anything about North Delta and what interest has she ever shown there, other than to show her face at the Annieville parade. Southlands is her only "real issue" It's obvious that she has to pick the brains of the North MLA to learn anything, and even still only mentions River Road re: the South Fraser Perimeter Road. There's a whole community up the hill.

  24. Why is attacking the person more important than the issues? I am not a Bishop supporter but I don't go around making derogatory personal comments about her integrity or her background. Ian Paton and all others who stick their neck out to be chopped off by the righteous public should be given respect. Personal attacks are the last resort of people with nothing positive to add to the debate. Unfortunately all too often the debate is identified with these people and their personal agendas.

  25. Should do a background check on "anonymous"

  26. I agree. Let the candidates do their thing. We are all passionate about Delta and have different ideas. Let's just play fair and agree to disagree on how everything should be done. This is a great place to live. Hopefully whomever the new councillor is, they will do a great job for our community. Turning this into a dog fight simply deflects from what the candidates have to offer to our community.
    For the record, Ian Paton chose to go into the auction business with his father, Ian Paton Sr. instead of pursuing his teaching career. Feel free to check that if you see fit.

  27. Very curious what is happening with signs this byelection. Wherever signs have been illegally knocked down, there is always one left standing, Ian Paton's.

    It looks like Mr. Paton and/or his supporters are trying to intimidate Delta's populace? Then again it could be that only Ian Paton's campaign knows how to put up a sturdy sign, being a farmer and all? Could it be that the wind only blew down Mr. Paton's signs?

    Maybe the police should do a stake out on signs?

    I would suggest that Mr. Paton and his supporters are the main suspects here.

  28. All the signs were down this morning including Paton's! What a silly accusation!

  29. That is a very silly accusation.

    For the record, we on the Paton sign crew have been out a couple of times a day putting up the knocked down signs. Don't forget...we have lots of trucks being farmers :)

    Ours are down as much as everybody else's so don't get your knickers in a knot. Geez, you people really like to stir the pot! You should really try being more neighbourly!

    Someone really has it in for the Paton campaign, huh?

  30. Oh... and one more thing. You should really be careful about accusations after the McBride article the other day. That article has not disappeared despite the fact that it is no longer on this blog.

    It is not the Paton campaign that is slinging mud. We don't need to.

  31. Quotes from above at 8:14 PM:

    "Very curious what is happening with signs this byelection. Wherever signs have been illegally knocked down, there is always one left standing, Ian Paton's."
    "I would suggest that Mr. Paton and his supporters are the main suspects here."

    What a bunch of hog wash,

    Elvis, I thought I had a new respect for you, but allowing people to publish such rubbish is absolutely ridiculous. This is a prime example of why this blog loses so much credibility. You have people responding here that are just trying to start rumours and scandals, turning this once again into nothing but a gossip column. This is not just a comment, or an opinion. It is an accusation, and a ridiculous one at that. Let's not go down this road again...

  32. It's funny that this is being posted on the comments. I have been talking to the city about the rules governing signs and I was going to write a story on where the best places are and who has the most eye catching signs. A special interest piece. Fluff at the most.

    As I was driving around I started to notice signs down. I knew from talking to the city that crews hadn't been around yet so I figured something was amiss. As it turns out my 'fluff piece' has a bit more to it than I had thought.

    Read about it here:

    Signs, Signs, Everywhere There's Signs

  33. Good article Elvis.

  34. Sylvia, I was originally going to vote for you, but then read the comment (under Higgins) that you are the President for the NDP Delta South.

    I then did some research and found the comment below, as well have learned that you are being endorsed by the NDP Delta North.

    From "The Straight: "As an independent, I represent everyone in the community, and if I represent myself as belonging to a political party, then I am seen to only represent those parties’ views, and that’s not correct at all,” she said. “A community is made up of that broad base of all sorts of kinds of people. As an independent I want to be able to say that I can represent all of those types of people.”

    Can you explain this contradiction before I cast my ballot?

    Thank you,
    Jen Smith, Tsawwassen

  35. The worst kept secret in Delta! Let's not go back to the days of no growth and stagnant communities! For goodness sake let's be sensible here. We don't need another left wing granola bar on our city council. We need someone who can represent the entire community - not someone with a narrow one-sided agenda! MY MONEY'S ON PATON!!!!!

  36. I haven't seen any left wing granola bars publicly supporting Sylvia. I have seen newspaper articles quoting Lois Jackson. The president of her group ( which includes councillors Scott Hamilton and Robert Campbell) feel that Sylvia believes in "carefully planned development" (whatever that means)and Krista Englund is getting her name in print as a supporter, as well.
    Wonder how many people seem to know this "worst kept secret in Delta" Could it be that there are granola crumbs revolting?

  37. Why is the candidate who is well-versed in agricultural issues suddenly pounced on. Almost half of Delta's landbase is ALR land and any meeting regarding planning usually refers to this area in some way or other. The phrase "save the farmland" is echoed often at these meetings but I'm not sure if it is always for the "farming" or for the "greenspace". However, having a representative with in-depth knowledge of the issues can create a good balance. I don't think anyone realizes how hard the comparitively small farming community works to keep the lands productive while also dealing with a myriad of issues coming in from all sides (including many opinions on how Delta farmers should and should not handle their businesses). I could go on and on, but I only want to bring attention to the fact that Ian Paton, along with his father, ran a dairy operation for many years and still runs a hay business. He did not just jump in from teaching to auctioneering. PS David Bradbeer's article in the Delta Optimist of Sept 4th is a good read.

  38. Jen, I don't think Sylvia is trying to keep her political affiliation secret. She's actually run for the NDP in Delta in the past! And I would rather have a councilor that has a strong value system and knows what they believe, rather than someone who has just played it safe.

    The quote you provided was taken out of context. I read the Straight article, and Sylvia's comment is specifically in response to why she is running as an independent and not for Tridelta. So not being a member of a municipal party is what she's referring to, rather than her NDP background.

    You're trying to make an issue where there is not one, and you're not fooling anyone by pretending to honestly be concerned about this.

  39. Sorry. This is my first time voting. Thanks for being so condascending.

  40. You didn't take Sylvia's quotation out of context, Jen.
    You can read the artice, yourself, at

    She said "political party", not municipal group.

    She also bragged "she was once president of Citadel, a long-time civic party in Delta, but that entity has now been dissolved." That was the one year that she was president, but put the group "on hold" so she could run for the NDP (twenty years ago in the way the majority would remember that. When she lost, Citadel was not dissolved. It was destroyed by her and some current Citadel councillors joining IDEA (known in some circles some as Independant Developers Electing Associates) and refusing to co-endorse. Over the years, more IDEA members were elected,(they had a lot more money to put into their campaigns) and more developing was done) until we got until we got to we are now.

    Lynn Kemp was quoted in the same Staight article as believing that Sylvia believes in "carefully planned development" Since that is so vague, I just take it that she believes in development.
    In so far as people trying to make an issue out of nothing.....wasn't it Sylvia who wanted everyone to know that Ian Paton and Sean Hodgins were,in public, eating lunch together and, as far as I'm concern, made a homophobic comment.

  41. Let's boil this election down to the basics. The current back-room dealing arogant council supports Paton. Sorry buddy, but that is the kiss of death. Council needs to change and the people have to send the message that their days are over. DO NOT SUPPORT OUR CURRENT COUNCIL, or by extension PATON.

    While we are at it - who could possibly vote for anyone remotely connected to the Provincial Liberals.... give the voter a break.

  42. Exactly - Paton may be the best candidate on the planet (he is not), but he is supported by the current council. With only a short term left, this election is not about electing the best candidate, or a farmer, or mom, but rather sending messages. The TAPC debacle and all the secret meetings held by council are horrible.

  43. We need a person with integrity, open mindedness, common sense and INTEGRITY.
    That person is IAN PATON. Sylvia Bishop has no integrity at all. Her campaign tactics have proven this on several occasions.
    If you want someone you can trust to listen and make decisions for the betterment of all of Delta, that person is IAN PATON.
    Ian Paton is nobody's puppet, and I would sure rather see someone who is endorsed by our mayor, that someone who is endorsed (and rather quietly) by the NDP.

  44. What secret meetings?
    How is giving people a voice in the process a debacle?