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Six candidates make mayoralty bids

Martin van den Hemel   Sep-19-2018


Six candidates are running for Mayor, including incumbent Malcolm Brodie, Richmond lawyer Hong Guo, Donald Flintoff and previous election candidates Roy Sakata (who will be featured in our October edition), Lawrence Chen and Cliff Wei.

Name: Malcolm Brodie

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Party: Independent

High School: Prince of Wales (Vancouver)

Post-secondary: UBC

Richmond resident since: 1977

Occupation: Lawyer—1975 to 2002, Mayor—2001 to present

Bike/bus/car? Bicycle, Canada Line and car.

Why are you running for office? While we always face challenges, I wish to continue helping our city grow responsibly, sustainably and affordably, while maintaining good management, a high quality of life and a safe environment for all.

Political role model: Winston Churchill

What are the top four issues in this election and state your position?

• Affordable housing—We need to support housing in our community so that people of all ages and economic means can live here. Our Affordable Housing Strategy adopted over a decade ago and updated this year, supplemented by the Market Rental Housing Policy, allows the city to work with the development industry to create housing opportunities for all.

• Retail sale and cultivation of cannabis—Our approach must be very cautious as too many see this new industry as a means to gain economically, sometimes at the expense of livability. From the example in other cities, we know that retail sale needs to be strictly regulated. Cultivation should also be limited to growing the product in open fields because of the types of building structures used and odour issues if grown indoors. Local government should be given a reasonable share of the revenues resulting from the sale of cannabis to defray some of the enforcement and other costs that will be incurred by local government.

• Traffic congestion—Extending alternate forms of transportation will assist in encouraging people to get out of their cars, thus reducing congestion and greenhouse gases. The city should supplement alternate forms of travel including bicycle paths and pedestrian areas. In consultation with the city, the provincial government should upgrade the existing tunnel and twin it in order to reduce congestion on Highway 99.

• Protection of agricultural land—There is a very limited amount of high quality agricultural land available in Richmond and throughout the province. Steps need to be taken for its preservation. As one aspect, the proliferation and size of estate homes on agricultural land should be restricted in order to support agriculture. Local government needs to work with the Agricultural Land Commission to protect this vital resource.

Name: Lawrence Chen

Party: Independent

University: MBA from University Technology of Sydney, Australia

Richmond resident since: 2007

Occupation: Instructor

Bike/bus/car? Car

Why are you running for office? Bring fresh air to Richmond city hall

Role model: Listen to the voice of the residents

What are the top four issues in this election and explain your position?

• Improving community neighborhood safety

• Improving Richmond hospital service

• Protecting Richmond environment

• Creating more jobs for young people and new comers

Name: Donald J. Flintoff

Party: Independent

Post-secondary: University of Toronto

Richmond resident since: 1975

Occupation: Self-Employed Professional

Bike/bus/car? Bike in Richmond, bus/Canada Line, then car for longer trips.

Why are you running for office? I want more accountability for expenditures: increased public consultation on finances; and more involvement by the younger generations on long-term plans for the city housing and commerce.

Political role model: W.A.C. Bennett

What are the top four issues in this election and explain your position?

• Residential Use in ALR—Council should have placed a moratorium on building permits in ALR until the Provincial government review was completed. Food security and soil management is fast becoming a global issue.

• Megahomes—This issue should have ended years ago as it converted useable existing housing stock to new unaffordable megahomes that impact the character of the neighbourhood. The existing housing is more affordable and could be modified into less expensive flats for joint ownership or rental properties. Megahomes are sitting empty and usually only house a single family when occupied. Council has sat on this issue for too long. Demolition permits should be carefully scrutinized to avoid the unnecessary loss of the lower-cost existing housing stock.

• Property Taxes—We need accountability in the city. Major capital spending without a referendum must stop. Supporting business enterprises such as the Oval, Lulu Island Energy Company and VRX (through the OVAL) with cash and assets being transferred and no dividends. This situation must change. The use of city staff as chair, directors and management of these other businesses must end. Council needs to rein in its spending and investments in questionable enterprises. Without accountability, we have a trust-me situation. Council needs to reduce the property taxes for residential and commercial enterprises.

• Long-Term Plan for Affordable Housing and Commerce—The ALR takes up a large part of our island. Growth is limited. We have started to use high-rises as an option. What will be our next option? The citizens need to be consulted on housing options to accommodate growth as the land available is in short supply. The younger generations need to have input now as the long-term plan will impact them and local businesses. Hopefully extensive public consultation will produce better options than what is currently being proposed. The younger generations use “car share”. Perhaps, ”house-sharing” is also in their future. They have to decide how they will live in the future. It’s their future we need to be concerned about.

Name: Hong Guo

Party: Independent

Post-secondary: University of Regina, University of Windsor

Richmond resident since: 2005

Occupation: Lawyer

Bike/bus/car? Car

Why are you running for office? I am running for mayor because I want to build bridges that bring city hall closer to our neighbourhoods, and foster understanding and connection between residents.

Political role model: John F. Kennedy

What are the top four issues in this election and explain your position?

• Increase accountability by listening and representing all local voices

• Work with the federal and provincial governments for a George Massey Tunnel replacement

• Hold a referendum on the RCMP vs. a Richmond police force

• Jumpstart housing construction by cutting red tape and wait times at the city hall

Name: Cliff Wei

Party: Independent

High School: High School attached to Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

Post-secondary: MBA of Tsinghua University

Richmond resident since: 2002

Occupation: retired

Bike/bus/car? Electric car

Why are you running for office? To resolve on coming issues in Richmond

Role model: listener

Political role model: negotiator

What are the top four issues in this election and explain your position?

• City planning—Over the years, the city changed into a metro city! People want live more simply, with less stress, will be disappointed because resource is short and living cost would climb high. I came from Beijing the capital city of China. When I was 10, it was the political centre like Washington, moderate development and the city is beautiful. When I was 20, I learned the city is short of water. The water supply has supported the city for over 1,000 years will no longer meet the requirement. When I was 30 I learned that the air pollution suffocating people inside the city. By the time the population has reached 15 million.

• Massey tunnel—The jelly like soil structure under the tunnel was discovered 29 years ago. Then we understand the tunnel is vulnerable to earthquake, since then many methods has been tried to strengthen the tunnel. They are all failed. Includes one attempt to drop big rocks along side the tunnel, and the tunnel was shifting away because of those rocks. Action aborted!

In past three decades we have studied the traffic pattern through Massey tunnel. We have learned 65 per cent of the traffic is between Richmond and Surrey plus Delta. Those are the people who live or work in those three cities. The new bridge will unite our three cities together. The bridge is the solution for people who no longer afford a house in Richmond and still wish to keep their jobs or businesses in Richmond.

• Policing—We hired RCMP, the mayor is only the liaison. Because the RCMP has its own guide line created by its headquarters so any special requirement from our city will be considered a interference. Successful measures has been performed in Vancouver, could not be used in Richmond. That’s the reason why we need to set up our own police department—RPD.

In this way we will no longer seeing the break-in rate drops in Vancouver while raise in Richmond.

• Listening—Once elected, mayor took oath bear allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen will ask him to serve people not ruling them. Listen and comply is the way to go. We will develop cell phone app to collect opinions from all residents, resolve conflict before making any decision during the next council meeting. I am confident that we can change the way how our government run.


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