The Greater Vancouver Regional District board has elected Delta Mayor Lois Jackson as its new chair, replacing Surrey city councillor Marvin Hunt who had chaired the board for the past three years.

Mayor Lois Jackson (Courtesy:
Corporation of Delta)
Jackson has been on the GVRD board for the past nine years and has been on Delta council for the past 25 years.

She is just beginning her third term as mayor.

When the votes were counted at Friday's inaugural GVRD board meeting, she emerged as the winner. And Hunt says he thinks he knows why.

"If I were analyzing it I would be saying it has a lot to do with the growth management plan this year. There certainly has been a perception that Surrey hasn't worked with the Livable Region Strategic Plan in the past."

The strategic plan is the document that is supposed to guide the GVRD. It calls for the preservation of green zones, finding alternatives to the car and ending urban sprawl.

Jackson says it's a plan she believes in, and that the GVRD needs to live by it.

"I believe that each of us must contemplate and envision the future of this region 25 years from now. I'm sure that we can all agree that our land use plans and our transportation plans need to be balanced."

Vancouver city councillor Peter Ladner, who was elected as the vice chair, echoed much of what Jackson has to say. Ladner is new to the GVRD, one of 17 rookie directors.

There are a total of 35 directors on the GVRD board.