Delta is a district municipality in British Columbia, Canada. Located south of Vancouver, it is bordered by the Fraser River to the north, the United States (Point Roberts, Washington) to the south and the city of Surrey to the east. Delta is composed of three distinct communities: Ladner, Tsawwassen and North Delta. Population (2005 Estimate): 102,655
Prior to European settlement, Delta's flatlands and coastal shores were inhabited by the Tsawwassen indigenous peoples, a First Nation of the Coast Salish. The first European settlers were Thomas and William Ladner, who began farming the area in 1868. Farming and fishing helped the community grow quickly over the next few decades.
Due to its geography, Delta was a relatively isolated community. The completion of the George Massey Tunnel in 1959 linking Ladner to Richmond and Vancouver along with the opening, in 1960, of the Tsawwassen Ferry terminal and the British Columbia provincial highway 99 being rerouted from the King George Highway in Surrey in 1962 to a new route through Delta, ended Delta's isolation and resulted in a massive 400% population growth over the next 20 years. The 1989 completion of the Alex Fraser Bridge connecting North Delta to New Westminster and Vancouver also helped Delta's growth.
Total area: 183.78 kmē Delta is located 27 km south of Vancouver and 22km north of the U.S. border at White Rock. It is bordered by water on three sides: The Fraser River to the north, the Georgia Straight to the west and Boundary Bay to the south.
Delta is the second-largest municipality in the GVRD; the largest, and only by a small margin, goes to its neighbour to the east, Surrey.
Delta's flat, fertile land has made it one of the most important agricultural areas in Greater Vancouver. North Delta is also home to the Burns Bog, 10,000 acres (40 kmē) of natural wetlands that are important for wildlife.
Delta's population is approximately 100,000. About 23% of Delta's population are visible minorities, of which there are approximately 12,000 South Asians and 5,400 Chinese-Canadians. There are also about 1,400 Aboriginal peoples, most from the Tsawwassen Indian band, who still hold traditional lands on the Tsawwassen Indian Reserve.
Delta is unique in that it comprises three distinct, geographically separate communities:
North Delta (pop: 52,000) is home to over half of Delta's population. It is a largely suburban area in north-east Delta bordered by the Burns Bog and Surrey.
Ladner (pop: 25,000) is a 19th century fishing village in north-west Delta that is has managed to preserve its village feel, while expanding outwards into the suburb it has now become. Fishing and farming are important industries. Ladner Trunk Road is its main street.
Tsawwassen (pop: 25,000) is a suburban community in south-west Delta that calls itself the sunniest place in Greater Vancouver. Luxury waterfront homes line Tsawwassen's coast. Tsawwassen is also home to the busy Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal which links the mainland to Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The unique town of Point Roberts sits on a peninsula attached to Tsawwassen (south of 49th parallel north) and actually belongs to Whatcom County, Washington. The town is thus one of the two points in the US that is accesible only through Canada or through a water body. It is accessible by the Tsawwassen/Point Roberts border crossing at the foot of 56th Street, the main artery through the community.
Government and politics
Delta is governed by the Delta Municipal Council, led by a Mayor and six Councillors. They are elected for three-year terms, the last elections being held in November 2005. The current mayor is Lois Jackson.
In the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, as of the 2005 election, one of one Delta's seats is held by the New Democratic Party of British Columbia, while the other is held by the BC Liberal Party.
In the Canadian House of Commons, Delta's two seats are both held by the Conservative Party of Canada.
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