“The south Delta area – which encompasses the community of Tsawwassen, the Tsawwassen First Nations’ lands, the Westshore and GCT Deltaport terminals at Roberts Bank, and the BC Ferries terminal – is becoming more densely-populated and increasingly commercialized,” said Bishop, a two-term councillor who is Team Delta’s mayoral candidate.
“It is an exceptionally challenging situation when the nearest ambulance station is located in Ladner, and an emergency-services vehicle may have to travel 12 or 13 kilometres through often-congested traffic before arriving at the Ferry terminal or Boundary Beach.”
She added: “Such a trip can take up to 15 minutes or more, which may be far too long for a person in distress or in need of emergency-care to wait for medical assistance.”
Robert Campbell, a veteran councillor who is seeking re-election under the Team Delta banner, noted that new property-developments currently are planned for the Southlands and Tsawwassen First Nation’s territory.
“The Southlands project will see the construction of as many as 950 new housing units in addition to another 80,000 square feet of commercial space,” Campbell said. “Plus, the Tsawwassen First Nation has their busy Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre – now with over 200 stores – and is actively working to expand the Tsawwassen Commons and develop new housing projects.”
Dr. Joan Hansen, a newcomer to municipal politics but a long-time Tsawwassen optometrist and business-owner, noted that vehicle and passenger volumes on BC Ferries have been rising in recent years.
“Last year, in 2017, nearly one-million vehicles and four-million passengers departed from Tsawwassen terminal for either Schwartz Bay or Duke Point,” said Dr. Hansen. “And a comparable number of vehicles and passengers arrived at Tsawwassen from those two destinations.
“Recent news reports, moreover, have stated that the first six months of 2018 saw the largest numbers of vehicles and passengers traveling on BC Ferries in the last two decades.”
Bishop concluded by noting Tsawwassen, which in 2017 had a population counted at 21,558, deserved an ambulance station on its own merits, notwithstanding the South Delta’s economic development projects.
“I think it’s wonderful that communities such as Sooke, Comox, Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Fort St. John, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Salmon Arm, Trail and Hope – along with dozens of other communities in BC – have their own ambulance stations,” Bishop said.
“However, I also believe that it would wonderful if the B.C. Ambulance Service had a station in Tsawwassen to serve local residents, as well as those traveling through on their way to work or Vancouver Island.”