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Eight council seats, but 30 candidates in the running

Martin van den Hemel   Sep-20-2018

There are 30 candidates for Richmond council, including incumbents Harold Steves, Bill McNulty, Derek Dang, Ken Johnston, Linda McPhail, Chak Au, Carol Day and Alexa Loo.

Name: Andy Chiang



Party: Independent

High School: Steveston

Post-secondary: UBC, SFU

Richmond resident since: 1984

Occupation: account manager

Bike/bus/car? Car

Why are you running for office? There’s only one place we can call our home at any given time, so let’s take care of it.

Role model: Bill Gates

Political role model: Barack Obama

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

• Driving Safety—It’s no secret that driving in Richmond has a certain negative stigma, but what have we done about it? I realize there are those who will scoff and say they aren’t part of the problem, but the truth is, we all are. Did you remember to use a turn signal each time you switched lanes? Did you remember to turn on your headlights when it’s dark? What about speed: are you at or below the speed limit? My point is this... we need to work together to make the roads safer and more efficient. We need to respect each other on the road. Most importantly, we need to remember that at the end of the day, everyone has the same goal, to go home—but let’s make sure we do it safely. I want to provide additional signage, re-educate drivers, and partner with local law enforcement to ensure we all make it home, safely.

• Housing and Commerce—With the recent residential boom in Richmond, there are more people here than ever, but commercial space has not grown at nearly the same rate. We need more goods and services available to the people of Richmond, and this means we need to help our local businesses grow and attract more businesses to open.

• Education—Another unfortunate by-product of the residential boom is the access to education has shifted. I see my elementary school in proposed closures every year, and my high school has already closed its doors. It’s sad to see old friends move away so that their children have access to schools. I don’t want to see schools close. I don’t want to see friends and neighbours move away. I want to ensure that our city has adequate and convenient access to education.

• Community Sense—It’s been a while since I’ve seen a lot of pride for our city. This is our home and we should be proud of it. This isn’t something one person can do, but together, we can instill that pride back into our community. By creating and participating in more events and activities, we can unite the city. At the end of the day, we can only call one place our home, and for those reading this, Richmond is our home. Let’s be kind, be patient, and be good to on another, because we are all neighbours here.

Name: Theresa Head

Party: Independent

High School: Downtown East Education Centre (DEEC)

Post-secondary: n/a

Richmond resident since: 1995

Occupation: part-time from home

Bike/bus/car? Public transit

Why are you running for office? To engage with City Hall about homelessness in Richmond.

Role model: My sister

Political role model: Rick Hansen/Sam Sullivan

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

• Affordable Housing—I am living in the only BC Housing in Richmond. More affordable housing, and accessible housing with services for those who need them is needed. (extra kitchen space, lower cupboards). PWD can’t afford the high cost of rent in Richmond, and neither the average working person. One bedroom in Richmond cost $2,180. PWD monthly check is approximately $1,110. (each person income is different). As the cost of food, housing prices, taxes, keep rising affordable housing is more important than ever. With the right attitude anything can happen, and must happen for those who need it most.

• Empty condominiums—By Better Dwelling website: Brighouse area of Richmond, a condo rich community known for its appeal to overseas buyers. The author determined that over 46 per cent of condo sales over the past year have been vacant for over a year. (These empty units could be used best for our homeless people that are living on the streets here in Richmond. Our local government should not allow this to be happening especially when the number of homelessness is on the rise in Richmond. Need I say anything more about the problem?)

• Supportive Housing—We need more Storeys because it provides people with a home, food, support, and decreases the use of hospitals, police, and fire services. Storeys is a success story because it has shown when people are given a second chance anything can happen, and is happening. This is why more (Storeys) are needed to get our people off the streets and a better life. Everybody deserves a better life! If a person’s situation doesn’t change then don’t expect a person to change. Anybody can change when given the chance, and the people living in Storey have proven that.

• Improved transit—People on low income need required transit to get around. We need free trans for children and youth and a sliding scale for low-income adults. For one bus ticket $2.95 might not seem a lot to most people but when buying groceries then getting on a bus with small children several times a week or days it can add up. This don’t count the cost of doctors’ appointments, to from school, or daycare. Transit need to be available to everyone not just the working class. We all need to pay our share but only pay based on each individual income.

Name: Alexa Loo

Party: Independent

High School: McRoberts/ McNair

Post-secondary: UBC, CPA Canada, Royal Roads

Richmond resident since: 2 weeks old

Occupation: Executive coach

Bike/bus/car? All of the above

Why are you running for office? To continue to make Richmond a great place for people and families to thrive

Role model: Rick Hansen

Political role model: Dick Pound, Malcolm Brodie

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

• Affordability—Creating policies and approving developments that add to the affordable housing available to our residents. Partnering with the provincial and federal governments to leverage our funds and build affordable housing. Ensuring that our new market rental policy has strong enough incentives that more rental stock is actually built now! Supporting businesses so that residents have good jobs and are able to afford and thrive in Richmond.

• Congestion—Tackling congestion through workable policies and good partnerships with TransLink, the provincial and federal government to ensure that residents, goods, and workers can get where they need to go. We need to be the gateway to the pacific—not the bottleneck! Building better, safer bike lanes and supporting bikeshare programs and expanding “learn to ride” programs offered by the city.

• Community Harmony—Continuing to invest in recreation and sport facilities where residents can meet, play and spend quality time together. Ensure the Steveston Community Centre replacement is built for the future, on time and on budget. Invest in sports facilities like a Hugh Boyd field house to ensure our athletes and participants have great sports and recreation experiences and opportunities.

• Health and Safety—Keeping the pressure on the provincial government to build our much needed acute care tower at Richmond Hospital. Building a better and safer community by using technology and incorporating technology. Ensuring our police and fire are optimally hired, trained and equipped to ensure our safety. Ensuring good nutritious food is produced in Richmond by: connecting young agrarians to underutilized farmland, and continuing to partner with KPU Agriculture to grow its seed lab and develop urban farming as well as supporting pollinator projects that connect bees and pollinators to flowers.

Name: John Roston

Party: Independent

High School: Westmount High

Post-secondary: McGill

Richmond resident since: 2007

Occupation: Consultant and retired McGill administrator Adjunct Professor

Bike/bus/car? Electric car and bike

Why are you running for office? We need action on urgent issues based on facts and principles, rather than the current Council’s inaction based on politics.

Role model: Aspects of many people from Winston Churchill to Leonard Cohen

Political role model: No single person

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

• Affordable Housing—The housing crisis demands immediate bold action, but council has done little. Families, seniors with health problems and those working from home need multi-bedroom rental units, but the supply has not increased rapidly enough to bring rental rates down. Millennials who grew up in Richmond are forced to either continue living with parents or move away because they cannot afford to rent here. They need to share a multi-bedroom unit with roommates to make rent affordable. Developers prefer to build one-bedroom units that are more attractive to investors who often leave them vacant. Council only requires 40 per cent multi-bedroom units in new developments. It should be 80 per cent.

• Protecting Farmland—Growing more of our food locally will keep costs down especially as global warming lengthens our growing season. However, council is covering up the most fertile farmland in BC with mega mansions and taking entire farms out of production which only benefits farmland owners who make millions and investors seeking a safe haven. After our numerous presentations to council and meetings with individual councillors failed to convince them to limit farmland house size, some of us met with the Minister of Agriculture and the Leader of the Green Party to convince the province to act. Additional steps are now necessary to help young farmers secure long-term leases so they can make major investments in infrastructure like drainage. Farmland investors usually insist on one-year leases that allow them to sell the farmland quickly.

• Making Neighbourhoods Safer—Council has been spending millions on more RCMP officers which would be fine if they were also greatly expanding BlockWatch and similar programs. As a BlockWatch captain, I know it is neighbours calling police about suspicious activity that enables police to catch thieves in the act rather than arrive long after they are gone.

• More Value for Our Taxes—As Richmond Museum treasurer, I discovered how fortunate we are to have excellent city staff, but we must control costs by ensuring salaries match market rates and staff time is spent efficiently. Councillors frequently delay making decisions by asking staff for yet another report that will repeat information already available. The Onni Imperial Landing waterfront rezoning process dragged on for eleven years with countless staff reports and time wasted on endless meetings. As an independent councillor and experienced administrator, I can work collaboratively with all councillors to improve efficiency and reduce cost.

Name: Manjit Singh

Party: Independent

High School: Northolt, London, U.K.

Post Secondary: Aberdeen, U.K.; St George’s University School of Medicine

Richmond resident since: 2001

Occupation: Owner/Instructor—Step Alive Emergency Training Center

Bike/bus/car? Car

Why are you running for office? I would like to see Richmond within the affordability of an average family’s earning be they housing, schooling, recreation or welcoming new immigrants to our society.

Role model: Nelson Mandela

Political role model: JFK

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

• Housing—Over the 18 years I have lived in Richmond I have seen the cost of housing skyrocketed. We all know about the price war in housing or increase in rentals. Ask yourself; the groceries you and I buy have not tripled, the wages paid out have not even doubled, why the house prices? The city council has stood by and watched it all and plays a blame game to foreign buyers. Well, who went abroad to bring these foreign buyers and now this housing freeze upon us. People of Richmond have stood by far too long to let it all happen. A change is a must. We don’t need construction of high rises with one bedroom hen houses at the cost of 3 bedroom house. It has been proven psychologically the highrises are detrimental to raising of safe neighbourhoods for our children to play and grow. Let us get wise and meet the Canadian dream that every immigrant or person born here grows up with; just a small house with a garden, that’s all.

• Traffic—This is quite evident to any body who has commuted to and from work. There are number of grid points, totally unnecessary; No. 3 and Westminister; Massey Tunnel; Arthur Laing Bridge; Cambie and No 5. The list goes on. The city designers need to re-think. The frustrations in people are real and sitting in traffic breathing exhaust of the other cars is not a healthy environment. We need new ideology at City Hall to bring this change.

• Diversity/ Senior Homes—I commend all communities living in Richmond for accepting each others cultures. However it breaks my heart to see when this happens on hot muggy days or cold wintery icing conditions in parks, at grocery stores or bus shelters. Don’t our seniors deserve dignity and respect to socialize in a safe, protected and comfort environment of indoors. A place where they can talk about their music, arts and native cultures. We need to strengthen the diversity by bringing people of Richmond together under one roof as otherwise I fear power in wrong hands can easily erode this very fabric, as evident in our southern neighbouring country. Only diversity can strengthen diversity and I urge you all to vote for Manjit Singh on 20th Oct to safeguard our diversity fabric and build Richmond a harmonious and great place to raise our children.

Name: Kerry Starchuk

Party: Independent

High School: Richmond High

Post-secondary: Life lessons

Richmond resident since: 1957 minus a few years

Occupation: dedicated full time advocate—casual contract work

Bike/bus/car? Car in Richmond, bus and SkyTrain to go downtown, bike pleasure

Why are you running for office?

As someone with a long history in Richmond, a love for this city and a personal investment in its continued health, I can be trusted to challenge policies and initiatives when necessary and be a voice advocating loudly and insistently for benefits and improvements in the lives of Richmond’s residents.

Role model: Oprah Winfrey

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

• A longtime community volunteer and dedicated social activist, I have been at the forefront of efforts to encourage local, provincial and federal governments to amend policies related to challenging issues that affect the lives of all Richmond citizens. These issues include language on public display signage, the exploitative practice of birth tourism, illegal short term rentals and the gradual breakdown of the neighbourhoods. I believe firmly that neighbourhoods matter, individuals matter and that we have to be vigilant about protecting our community and enhancing the lives of Richmond’s residents. Progress to me is not how many condos or mega houses we build—especially if those have a negative effect on neighbourhoods. Progress to me is measured by an improvement in quality of life for a community’s residents, and our elected leaders should be dedicated to ensuring that changes are positive and beneficial to the community as a whole. As a community advocate and activist I’ve experienced the frustrations of not being heard. I will listen. As a city councillor, when faced with decisions that will have an impact on people’s lives, I will always ask myself the question: how will this decision affect the lives of our residents?

• I will use my role as councillor to encourage people to work together toward a common goal: ensuring our community is a healthy, happy, inclusive, and progressive place to live and work.

Trust is the key issue here. As someone with a long history in Richmond, a love for this city and a personal investment in its continued health, I can be trusted to challenge policies and initiatives when necessary and be a voice advocating loudly and insistently for benefits and improvements in the lives of Richmond’s residents.

Name: Chak Au

Party: Richmond Community Coalition

High School: YMCA College, Hong Kong

Post-secondary: University of Hong Kong

Richmond resident since: 1991

Occupation: Family therapist

Bike/bus/car?: Car, public transit, and walking with my two feet

Why are you running for office? In my 20 years of public service my objective has always been building up a harmonious community in Richmond that everybody can call home.

Role model: My father, who fought in the Second World War, and taught me the true meaning of service above duty, sacrifice, integrity, and helping other people.

Political role model: Nelson Mandela

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

• Housing affordability: a) increase rental housing supply by 100 per cent; b) develop rental-only zoning; c) encourage “gentle density” development; d) curb illegal short-term rentals.

• Traffic: a) improve the flow of traffic in city centre area by 50 per cent; b) urge the provincial government to take immediate action on the George Massey Tunnel choke point (the Ironwood area is a nightmare in the late afternoon); c) better public transit connections.

• Vision for Long-term Development: a) comprehensive economic development plan; b) smart city development (residences and jobs in local areas); c) support agriculture and preserve farmlands; d) increase and stabilize funding for social services; e) more seniors’ housing and activity centres.

• Community Safety: a) better policing in Hamilton (East Richmond) area; b) improve police and fire department response times, c) support neighbourhood safety initiatives.

Name: Parm Bains

Party: Richmond Community Coalition

High School: Richmond High

Post-secondary: BCIT and Royal Roads University

Richmond resident since: 1976

Occupation: Applied communications instructor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Bike/bus/car? Car and SkyTrain

Why are you running for office? To keep families together and stop young professionals from leaving our city.

Role model: Parents

Political role model: My father

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

• Housing Affordability—I support a gentle density plan that moves away from big home development and creates smaller home options in-and-around our neighbourhood schools. This will provide options for young professionals and existing families to remain closely-knit, and it will also attract other working families who will help increase K-12 student enrolment. The number of aging parents, who need care, is increasing rapidly and families need to be able to live close to one-another. Young children also benefit in their development by having grandparents nearby to help provide care and assistance.

• Transportation Infrastructure—We desperately need a bridge crossing to replace the worst traffic bottleneck in BC, the George Massey Tunnel. I support a forward-looking crossing project, which would include HOV lanes, pedestrian walk-ways, bike lanes and a SkyTrain line for future implementation. The crossing project should also include Hwy 99 roadway improvements to assist with diverting traffic to various exit points. Increased transit frequency is needed for several congested areas around our city, including the Steveston Highway corridor.

• Tax increases—I support a lesser tax burden imposed on Richmond residents and businesses.

• Divided Community—I support healthy community consultation with residents on all issues important to Richmond.

Name: Jonathan Ho

Party: Richmond Community Coalition

High School: Christian Alliance College

Post-secondary: Hong Kong Polytechnic

Richmond resident since: 1997

Occupation: Banker and Richmond school trustee

Bike/bus/car? Car and bus

Why are you running for office? Giving back to the city I have called home after I immigrating to Canada is my passion.

Role model: Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Political role model: Dr. Yat-sen Sun, the founding father of modern China

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

• Housing affordability–Many people today are talking about the affordability of housing. Paradoxically, we do not want housing prices to fall sharply. The fact is, whether you like it or not, many people’s wealth, retirement income, jobs, and many economic activities can be directly or indirectly related to the real estate market. However, many of our young families have been driven away for they just aren‘t able to afford it. I advocate that we learn from some of the success stories in Asia in handling this problem, such as the British Hong Kong government’s Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) and also the Housing and Development Board (HDB) Flats of the Singaporean government to see if it can be applied here to address this problem. Stop the tax hikes: The city already receives more property taxes due to the current densification process. However, it seems that we still haven‘t benefit from it. Our property taxes increase almost 3 per cent per year and it seems to be a norm. Besides, our city is currently sitting on $900 million reserve. I believe our city needs to spend those reserves wisely on roads, infrastructure, etc rather than have funds sitting on a huge reserve and increase our taxes annually. We should conduct a full spending review of the City to ensure value for our tax money. To keep Richmond affordable, we must start with keeping property taxes affordable.

• Keep Traffic Moving—Highrise buildings are everywhere in the city centre and in the north, but there is no proper transportation plan to cope with it. Traffic condition is becoming worse particularly in that area. Also, we desperately need a new bridge to replace our aged George Massey Tunnel. Aging of our city due to the departure of young families This issue is in fact of vital importance to the long term healthy development of our city. I will strive to take advantage of our geographical advantages, such as our proximity to the airport, seaport, and close ties with Asia to attract more foreign investment, promote more economic activities so that our young people can have more and better development opportunities in Richmond.

Name: Ken Johnston

Party: Richmond Community Coalition

High School: Killarney

Post-secondary: UBC

Richmond resident since: 1976

Occupation: Councillor

Bike/bus/car? Car, Canada Line.

Why are you running for office? I care about our community and want to contribute to making it even better.

Role Model: Father

Political Role Model: Jean Charest

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

• Affordable Housing and rental

availability—We need to work with the housing industry to develop more affordable housing and rental stock, using incentives and partnerships with government and private providers. I would support a Empty Homes Tax to help fund the affordable housing fund and create more rental stock. We need to redefine our housing policies to allow gentle density such duplexes, fourplexes and multiple smaller homes on large lots.

• Transportation—We need to expedite improving the road network in the downtown core to develop better flow. Living in the 5 and Steveston area I am reminded daily we need an immediate solution to the George Massey tunnel fiasco. More capacity on the Canada line.

• Protecting the environment—Continue being a leader in sustainable practices including water quality, energy delivery, solar power, green fleet and addressing all aspects of climate change. Enhance our parks and dykes.

• Crime and safety—Increase resources to our RCMP detachment in terms of officers and support staff. Increase resources to Richmond Fire Rescue to ensure top level service to our growing Community. To reduce response times for both Police and Fire.

Name: Melissa Zhang

Party: Richmond Community Coalition

High School: Baoding Seventeenth High School

Post-secondary: Hebei University, University of International Business Economics

Richmond resident since : 2005

Occupation: Financial advisor

Bike/bus/car? Car

Why are you running for office? To bridge between all of our communities and to bridge between our residents and local government.

Political Role Model: Abraham Lincoln

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

• Traffic—Rapid population growth require more efficient and well planned traffic system

• Safety—Enhance Block Watch, offer more grant to encourage residents to take care of each other, organize seniors, to help with crime prevention

• City development—need a forward-looking plan to catch up with population growth and keep the uniqueness of our city

• Interaction between council and school board—work together for a better planning for a city centre school.

Name: Carol Day

Party: RITE

High School: Richmond High

Post-secondary: College

Richmond resident since: 1962

Occupation: Business owner for 43 years, community activist for 25 years

Bike/bus/car? I love my bike. Own a Honda Fit, and take the Canada Line to Vancouver.

Why are you running for office? Richmondites need a voice at city hall and I work every day, all day for them. It is my honour and pleasure to give back to my city and my people.

Role model: Oprah Winfrey

Political role model: Sue Halsey-Brandt

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

• Mega Mansion on Farm land—I have worked for four years to reduce the size of house to save our farm land from destruction, I made a motion for a moratorium on new permits but only Harold Steves supported it. The increase in size of Mega Mansions has turned class one farm land into speculation properties and we need to reverse the bylaw now that allows for 10,974 sq ft houses. But I need help. Please vote them all out.

• Vacancy tax—We must lobby the province to allow all cities in BC to have the ability to deal with empty houses and condos. I feel the proceeds of a vacancy tax should go towards affordable housing. A vacancy tax would better control housing prices and rents because speculators will be forced to sell or rent out their units which will lower the prices for buyers and renters through more supply. We cannot build our way out of the problem but we can make better use of the units that already exist.

• Code of Ethics for Councillors—The Local Government Management Association code of ethics states that managers working for all BC cities may not deal in property directly or indirectly within the municipality that they serve in, other than their personal property. These rules should apply to councillors. It is unfair that councillors have access to information that they can financially benefit from and yet they are not prohibited from using that information to buy and develop properties.

• Traffic congestion—We need to make smarter choices in regards to new developments because traffic grid lock has become a big problem. It is critical we vote for smarter developments that allow for street widening, and other traffic improvements rather than allowing variances that crowd more people into a smaller and smaller spaces. This is a quality of life issue and the time is now to be more critical of future developments.

Name: Niti Sharma

Party: RITE

High school: Holy Child Senior Secondary School, Delhi, India.

Post-secondary: Delhi University, Eastern Michigan University

Richmond resident since: 2003

Occupation: Part-time writing teacher

Bike/bus/car? Bus, in my initial years in Canada. Mostly car now or walking.

Why are you running for office? As a resident, I am concerned about the growing unaffordability in Richmond; and, as a councillor I would like to remind each of us that our individual choices affect others and this planet, so that together we can make more compassionate and sustainable choices to build a Richmond that does not leave so many people behind.

Role model: Jane Jacobs

Political role model: Mahatma Gandhi

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

• Housing—Richmond needs to put housing policies and bylaws that prevent and curtail housing speculation. We need to build more modest two and three bedrooms for families and seniors and others. We urgently need an empty-homes list and tax, so that existing homes are used for living and do not stay empty. Short-term rentals should not be allowed when the home is not the principal residence of the owner. Building norms should allow for true co-existence between older and newer housing stock. I think multi-family construction needs to use more human scale and gentle density and pay better attention to community amenities such as space for childcare and a city centre school instead of cramming as many homes as possible in a small space. We need to mix social and market housing to ensure income diversity and long term health and vibrancy of the community. I would also like to see a renters’ advisory committee in Richmond and for the city to invest in building more co-op housing.

• Protecting Richmond’s ALR for food production—In my opinion, the trend of building and selling mansions has distorted the incentive for owning farmland in Richmond. Reducing the size of farmland houses to the provincial guidelines is much needed as the first step to prevent the loss of the best farmland in BC. A majority (74 per cent) of Richmond’s farm lots are small sized and provide a great opportunity for small family farms and new farmers to build upon

Richmond’s farming legacy and to promote healthier and local food systems in the context of climate change.

• Community engagement and dialogue—I think the city needs to create avenues for respectful and honest collaboration and dialogue, especially around issues of conflict so that residents can carve out common ground. This applies to seeking common ground not just between intercultural/faith groups and between existing and incoming residents; but, also between residents and developers, renters and landlords and other stakeholders that seem to be pitted against each other in shaping development in the city.

• Better transparency and accountability of elected officials:

The city should have an independent ombudsman and mechanism for filing complaints against misuse of power by elected officials. Checks and balances on power ensure that public interest stays the prime mover of the city ‘s decisions around development, land-use and city resources.

Name: Michael Wolfe

Party: RITE

High School: Cambie

Post-secondary: UBC

Richmond resident since: 1982

Occupation: Science teacher

Bike/bus/car? Old pickup truck with 400,000 km and an even older bike

Why are you running for office? I’ve been a candidate in over ten elections in Richmond and have gained a better understanding of how the three levels of government can best serve Richmond, and I am ready to be an educated leader on city council.

Role model: David Suzuki

Political role model: Adriane Carr

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

• Leadership—As a well-educated, youthful, environmentally-conscious candidate, I have the distinction of providing a voice for many people in our community who need someone that represents their lifestyle and long-term future planning. In my view, city councillors should not be permitted to profit from large-scale developments in the city they work in, and so I offer myself as an alternative to those councillors. I represent the product of four generations of Richmond residents and I am proud to continue a legacy of contributing to the community.

• Education—As a teacher, I am well equipped at being a life-long learner and I will nurture a continuously collaborative relationship between our Richmond School District and the city. Public education is the key to many of the barriers and challenges we face in our communities and I will be the strongest advocate encouraging meaningful progress, while improving the city services we use day to day. I’m a recent graduate with a Master’s Degree in Education for Sustainability and I am excited to share my passion with citizens, city staff, and the elected officials after the Oct. 20 election.

• Health—As a person living with a chronic disease, I am well aware of the potential challenges we face with our day-to-day physical and mental health. I’ve been a six-year member of the Richmond Heath Advisory Committee and can advocate for improvements within the network of services in the Richmond Hospital and other facilities. My family have used nearly all the services available in Richmond and I am a promoter of better emergency preparedness, as individuals, families, neighbourhoods, and the city as a whole.

• Environment—The loss of access to nature in our neighbourhoods and the decline of habitat is putting insurmountable pressure on the remaining areas and life. Our city is located in the mouth of the Fraser River and is impacted by tidal fluctuations, thus we have to recognize our unique responsibility to protect the environment for future generations. I will not stand for mega mansions on farmland, while our food security issues continue to rise. As I hear your perspectives on better practices for the future, I will be extremely active on the Parks, Recreation, and Culture Committee and the development of the Garden City Lands for our shared benefit.

Name: Henry Jiun-Hsien Yao

Party: RITE

High School: McRoberts, McNair

Post-secondary: KPU, UBC

Richmond resident since: 1990

Occupation: Previously a constituency assistant

Bike/bus/car? Car

Why are you running for office? Richmond is more divided than ever before, and I aim to help Richmond create genuine harmony by fostering cross-cultural understanding, appreciation, interaction and cooperation.

Role model: Theodore Roosevelt

Political role model: Abraham Lincoln

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

• Agricultural Land and Environmental Protection—Richmond has one of the best farmlands in Canada. With the recent weather pattern uncertainty due to climate change, Richmond community can no longer take our water supply, air quality and food security for granted. I am determined to protect the existing agricultural land by reducing the house size on farmland from 10,764 square feet to the provincial guideline of 5,382 square feet. We must stop future mega mansions from destroying the existing top-quality farmland. I am also committed to continuing to work with the community to proactively preserve our local environment, water supply and air quality.

• Affordability and Livability—Richmond’s rental and real estate markets are fuelled by speculation. It is getting harder and harder for young professionals, new families and seniors to find affordable and reasonable independent living arrangement. I, along with the RITE team, am committed to lobbying for a vacancy tax to combat housing speculation. I will also find ways to screen development applications to ensure units designed and developed are more suitable for families and not for speculation. Our team aims to work with the provincial government to increase the quantity of affordable housing units and encourage long term rentals.

• Community division and isolation—Richmond is more divided than ever. Communities in Richmond are often not given the necessary tools, programs and resources to connect, interact, learn and appreciate each other. I am committed to serving our community by building bridges through facilitating better communication between different cultures and communities. And providing opportunities for dialogue on critical community issues. I will also advocate for better inter-cultural linguistic accessibility in community dialogues, programming and consultation.

• Councillors’ Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest—Richmond city council’s decisions are frequently overshadowed by special interests. I, along with the RITE team, am committed to our community’s best interest. We need to introduce a code of conduct for councillors to minimize conflict of interest and special interest influence. If teachers and school staff are not allowed to run for school trustee in the jurisdiction where they work, then how can developers whose applications are evaluated by the city be allowed to sit in the Council for the jurisdiction where they have projects. RITE will work with Elections BC and provincial government to establish effective regulations on promoting transparency and accountability while minimizing conflict of interests.

Name: Derek Dang

Party: Richmond First Voters Society

High School: Richmond High

Post-secondary: UBC

Richmond resident since: 1958

Occupation: Richmond city councillor

Bike/bus/car? Bike and car

Why are you running for office? I have a strong love for my community and I want to make a difference.

Role model: My Dad, Tony Dang

Political role model: Pierre Elliot Trudeau

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

• Community Safety—An important part of a city is the ability to go about your business and daily life feeling safe and secure. We have increased the complement of police officers in Richmond by 40 in the past term. Similarly, we will be looking to increase the Richmond Fire-Rescue complement to reflect the growth of our dynamic city. We have invested in six new or upgraded fire halls throughout the city. With the increase in natural disasters worldwide and the possibility of an earthquake happening, now, more than ever, we need to have a comprehensive plan to survive a natural disaster.

• Quality of Life—Richmond has enjoyed the distinction of having the people with the longest lifespan (86.3) in Canada. This isn’t by accident, as the city has many beneficial recreational programs from cradle to senior years that help promote healthy lifestyle choices. We have built new parks such as the Aberdeen park in the City Centre and are completing the Garden City Lands for our future generations. This fall, the new Minoru Activity Centre will provide seniors with a new building that doubles the current building in size. The new Aquatic Centre will provide the community with a state-of-the-art Aquatic Centre that will be the envy of other cities. Additionally, we’ve addressed offering housing options in an expensive housing market. We’ve developed a market rental housing policy with incentives to developers to encourage purpose built rental housing. Moreover, we’ve approved supportive housing and a homeless shelter for the winter season.

• Transportation—With the advent of the Canada Line, Richmond has given us an option to driving a car. We’ve added to our bike trails annually. I fully support the bike rental pilot project that is coming this fall to the City Centre. Working with the province, we need to have a fully-consulted answer to No. 5 and Steveston Highway gridlock. There has to be a comprehensive answer to creating a solution to the tunnel. Whatever solution is chosen, a consultative model has to be chose.

• Economy and Taxes—Richmond is a net importer of labour; we have more jobs than local workers. I have been the council liaison for the Richmond Economic Advisory Committee for several years for now. We have benefitted greatly from the expertise of local business leaders in guiding the city’s economic planning. We were able to create Richmond’s resilient economy strategy and the industrial land densification with the help of EAC.

Name: Sunny Ho

Party: Richmond First Voters Society

High School: Yuen Long Lutheran Middle School

Post-secondary: University of Ulster

Richmond resident since: 1998

Bike/bus/car? Car

Role model: No

Political role model: No

Why are you running for office? Enhancing Richmond to become a metropolitan city for business, working and living.

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

• Safety—40 more RCMP and 20 more firefighters

• Housing—building 3,000 affordable rental houses within 4 years, especially for seniors and young families

• Multiculturalism development—more resources on the education for pursuing our Canadian Spirit of Multiculturalism

• Marijuana—no retail marijuana in Richmond

Name: Andy Hobbs

Party: Richmond First Voters Society

High School: Richmond High

Post-secondary: UBC

Richmond resident since: 1967

Occupation: Retired VPD

Bike/bus/car? Yes to all three.

Why are you running for office? Public service is a calling that I’ve always believed in and I want to continue serving Richmond, as a member of City Council, where I can influence long and short term decisions that impact Richmond’s overall livability and daily quality of life.

Role model: Uncle Arch, Aunt Isabel, Jack and Alice.

Political role model: Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor.

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

• Protecting farmland—At Richmond’s core, its soul so to speak, characteristics include our fishing and farming roots. I’ve bailed hay, herded cows and ridden horses on farmlands, mostly now gone. Although the City has changed and is more urban, we are at a tipping point. While house size limitation was long overdue, which I highlighted during the last campaign, we must work with the province, the federal government, the port and farmers to protect farmland from further industrialization. The City, through negotiation and agreements, has to reach accommodation with the Port of Vancouver, which has purchased scores of acres of farmland.

• Housing and livability—A livable community needs multiple housing options including densification, rentals, and supportive housing. Single family homes are another component. Many young people who grew up in Richmond have had to move further out to find something relatively affordable. When the price for a 60 year old tear down house is $1.5 million, we have to consider options for single family homes too. Laneway houses, coach houses, duplexes and smaller homes on smaller lots are all considerations. A smaller lot, with a smaller house, would attract young families and it’s the people who make a community livable and vibrant.

• Community safety—As a retired Vancouver Police Superintendent with more than 35 years service, I have a significant amount of experience in working to keep communities safe. Richmond is a relatively safe community and my commitment is to make it even safer. Safety on our roads is a major concern. Many fatalities and injuries are preventable. Local police must have the resources required to enforce traffic laws and effectively partner on education and engineering solutions. Fire safety, ambulance service, and community service groups all contribute. I have worked on every safety issue with a variety of groups and agencies to improve safety.

• Reducing traffic congestion—Traffic congestion negatively affects all of us. The Steveston Highway and Highway 99 interchange is antiquated. This includes the No. 5 Road and Steveston Highway intersection. Working with the province on the Massey Tunnel replacement, which must include rapid transit, is a priority. Transit within Richmond, both connecting to the Canada Line and east and west bound transit requires improvements. Cycling within Richmond requires improvements with well planned cycle routes (progress has been made).

Cycling connections through north and central Richmond to the Canada Line and the cycle/pedestrian bridge are inadequate as are east/west cycle routes. Car sharing presents another opportunity.

Name: Peter Liu

Party: Richmond First Voters Society

High School: No. 2 High School, Tianjin

Post-secondary: Sichuan University

Richmond resident since: 2002

Occupation: Management

Bike/bus/car? All three

Why are you running for office? Bring in fresh solutions on council

Political role model: Bill McNulty

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

• Community Safety—In Richmond, the steady increase in population and density over the years have led to an growing concern regarding breaking and entering incidents and traffic safety. Many neighbourhoods have been targeted by multiple break-ins, greatly impacting local homeowners’ sense of security. In addition, every year, reckless drivers, either impaired or careless, have cost many lives in our community. Our seniors citizens have been severely impacted by these incidents. I will advocate for increased funding towards local policing and the investment of money in better technology to yield a safer and smarter city.

• Quality of Life—Richmond is the city with the longest life expectancy in Canada thanks to our local food, parks and recreational facilities. With our steadily growing aging population, Richmond needs to update the city’s current OCP (official community plan) by growing parks and facilities to meet the rising demand. High quality of life comes from easy access to work, life, and recreation.

• Transportation—Congestion in Richmond is not only affecting our local residents but neighbours in the Vancouver, Delta, and Surrey corridor who pass through the city frequently for work or travel. Traffic congestion is also a key factor in housing affordability and community safety. With the rapid development along No. 3 Road and densification in the downtown core, traffic will continue to worsen over time. I will advocate to build a new SkyTrain line to link the Vancouver, Richmond, Delta, Surrey corridor to dilute traffic from No. 3 Road and the highways to reduce total car traffic. The City of Richmond should conduct a total review and formulate a 10-year plan on traffic planning, which includes rapid transit, buses, ride-sharing programs and bike lanes, sourcing insights from big data and implementing technological innovations.

• Livability—With housing prices soaring over the past ten years, young adults, seniors, and working families have suffered from its consequences. It has not only become impossible for many to buy a property, but also increasing difficult to rent. The City will never become prosperous and sustainable without housing all citizens adequately. It is up to the councillors to decide how to make the city affordable by rezoning city properties, planning property functionality, and setting appropriate tax levels on residential, commercial, and agricultural land. I will advocate to release more city-controlled properties to build purpose rentals to house vulnerable groups, young adults, and seniors.

Name: Bill McNulty

Party: Richmond First Voters Society

High School: Hope Secondary School

Post-secondary: UBC

Richmond resident since: 1971

Occupation: Richmond city councillor

Bike/ bus/ car? Use all three

Why are you running for office? I love Richmond and I’m committed to continue building a positive Richmond.

Political role model: Mayor Gil Blair

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

• Community Safety—Every resident and business must feel safe and secure. We have added 40 police officers this year but, with the growing population, we need to add more general duty officers on the street. We have not increased our fire-rescue complement since 1999. The recent fire at the Nature Park shows that Richmond has a one incident department leaving the remainder of Richmond exposed. Medical calls are increasing at an alarming rate and response times are suffering. We have added 6 new or upgraded fire halls to earthquake standard. Ambulance services are similarly affected. All resources are stretched to the limit and need increasing. I am advocating for an increase in all necessary resources in order to keep Richmond safe.

• Quality of Life—Everyone should be able to live in Richmond. I have initiated an affordable housing strategy that requires developers to put legal secondary suites in new housing. I led a motion to require that 10% of new developments be low market rental. Rental housing is critical and necessary. I have recently asked staff to develop a market rental housing policy with incentives to encourage building rental units. Seniors housing is limited and needs to be increased as our population ages. At the same time, we need to provide for families and increase affordable child care spaces. Poverty and homelessness need to be addressed. All housing options must be explored.

• Transportation—Traffic congestion needs to be continually addressed. New corridors in the city centre need to be opened up. At the same time, we need to increase the alternatives to motor vehicle usage by

improving the Canada Line with additional cars. Adding more buses and transit routes are recommended with travel-friendly schedules. The gridlock at the Massey Tunnel must be addressed now by the provincial government by building either a bridge or twinning the Massey Tunnel. The congestion at Steveston Highway and No. 5 Road would ultimately be improved.

• Livability—Richmond has one of the lowest tax rates in the region, making it easier for people of all ages to live here. We support small businesses that are providing employment for many. New development in Richmond has allowed us to provide amenities for families. A new community centre for Steveston, a new lawn bowling clubhouse, RAPS Animal Shelter, and a Community Soccer Clubhouse will be built in the near future.

Name: Linda McPhail

Party: Richmond First Voters Society

High School: McNair

Post-secondary: Douglas College

Richmond resident since: 1961

Occupation: Richmond city councillor

Bike/bus/car? All three

Why are you running for office? As a life-long resident, I truly love Richmond and believe I have a skill set and qualities that can get work done to keep Richmond a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Role model: My mother

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

• Community Safety—As the City continues to develop and the population increases and ages, delivering police and fire services becomes more complex. We added 40 more RCMP members over the 2014-18 Council term, yet mental health related calls for service continue to increase. We must continue to work with partner agencies to ensure strategies like the Mental Health Crisis Team, the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team and the RCMP detachment’s Vulnerable Persons Unit are well resourced. In the upcoming budget, we will be looking at what are the appropriate staffing levels that meet the growth and change in the city and supports the day-to-day delivery of services for Richmond Fire Rescue. To maintain a high level of emergency response readiness, a sustainable solution that allows for the continuation of a planned replacement strategy for vehicles and equipment needs to be found. With the legalization of cannabis next month there will be added pressures to RCMP and Richmond Fire-Rescue resources—to what extent hasn’t been determined yet. We need to keep our Emergency Preparedness planning a priority. The flood and wildfire events of the last two summers highlights the importance of having plans and programs in place for an effective response in the event of a major emergency.

• Housing—I want Richmond to remain a vibrant, family-oriented city with single-family neighbourhoods and planned growth that has a healthy mix of housing options. The Affordable Housing Strategy, Market Rental Policy and Market Housing Policy are some of the tools that we use to provide a wider variety of housing types, sizes, and prices to meet the ongoing demand. We cannot do this all on our own at the local government level and need to keep up conversations for partnerships and funding from the Provincial and Federal governments.

• Transportation—the Canada Line is a key element in reducing vehicle travel to and from Richmond. We must continue to advocate for strategies to ease the passenger crunch at peak times and for better local access to routes to and from the line. As the City Centre continues to densify, building communities that are walkable with access to cycling and

transit routes is key. Adding to the cycling network and adapting transportation infrastructure to meet the accessibility needs of the community is also important. We must continue to advocate for a cost-effective and sustainable solution for the Massey Tunnel replacement that is right for Richmond.

Name: Kelly Greene

Party: Richmond Citizens’ Association (RCA)

High School: Hugh Boyd

Post-secondary: UBC

Richmond resident since: 1990

Occupation: Community activist and stay-at-home parent

Bike/bus/car?: Car, Canada Line

Why are you running for office? To be the change I wish to see, so that our children inherit a city that is vibrant, green, and prosperous.

Role model: Mr. John Dyck

Political role model: Elizabeth Warren

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

• Reduce house size on farmland to curb speculation. Speculative development is cited as the top reason farmland is taken out of production. The reduction of house size on farmland is a major tool to protect farmland from speculation. Only Councillors Day and Steves, and Mayor Brodie voted to reduce house size on farmland. We need to get more councillors elected that will protect our future food production. Grow and protect our supply of appropriate and affordable housing. In Richmond, we see a lot of one bedroom condos and luxury mansions built, which is squeezing families and seniors out of the place they call home. We are simply not building enough 2 and 3 bedroom homes and there is a dire shortage of rental supply, both market and subsidized. The way we think about our neighbourhoods needs to be re-evaluated, as we struggle with vacant luxury homes and the erosion of community.

• Amend the municipal conflict of interest rules. Current conflict of interest rules are insufficient to inspire trust in elected officials’ ability to conduct themselves in the best interest of the entire city. To that end, I will petition the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) to amend conflict-of-interest rules to include a declaration of all assets and business interests of the elected official and their spouse, have a lobbyists’ registry that is publically accessible and free to search, and to appoint an independent officer to provide conflict-of-interest oversight and complaints investigations for BC municipalities. Confidence in government stems from transparency and accountability. Without specific reforms to the Community Charter, we fall short of that benchmark.

• Develop a comprehensive environmental plan. Environmental plans are about more than waste reduction at community events and public buildings meeting LEED standards. We have made a good start, but it is not enough. Richmond is next to a rising sea level, and this summer we experienced firsthand a drought related forest fire. We need to be climate leaders, not followers. We are overdue to develop a single use plastics phase-out plan, and are behind other Canadian cities when it comes to a plastic bag ban. District energy, solar energy, energy efficient buildings, green space, and better public transportation options, are all things we need to consider during the planning process. It is time to set goals, and enthusiastically achieve them.

Name: Judie Schneider

Party: Richmond Citizens’ Association (RCA)

High School: Sardis Secondary

Post-secondary: UBC, Langara and UCFV

Richmond resident since: 2013

Occupation: Part-time assistant at an independent business

Bike/bus/car: I get around Richmond and Vancouver on my bicycle, on transit and on foot.

Why are you running for office? I am running for office because Richmond’s livability, affordability and perfect mixture of urban amenities, farmland and riverfront community space (the reasons I decided to raise my son here) are now threatened by decision makers who care more about developers’ demands than the needs and wants of the rest of the citizens.

Role Model: I am inspired by many people—both strangers and those close to me—to strive to be the best version of myself I can be.

Political Role Model: None

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

• Lowering ALR House Size Limits—Richmond is fortunate to have some of the best soil for growing food to feed our province. When house size on farmland exceeds the limits on neighbouring residential properties, our farmland becomes threatened by speculation. With yearly droughts happening in California, it is increasingly clear that we need to protect our food security for future generations by respecting the original intent of the Agricultural Land Reserve. To this end, we need more than two councillors working to protect our farmland from landowners who benefitted from lower purchase prices because the land was in the ALR and subject to strict rules, but now want to play by their own rules regarding development.

• Incentivizing Renovations of Single Family Homes—Housing unaffordability for both buyers and renters, low rental vacancy rates, fractured neighbourhoods, low school enrolment, constant construction noise and traffic, environmental damage, loss of trees and loss of architectural history are all consequences of uncontrolled, rampant demolition and could be mitigated by these measures:

• Raising the price significantly of house demolition fees—Mandating that 70 per cent of demolition materials be recycled Offering financial incentives to renovate older homes. Taking a stronger lead on encouraging homes to be moved to another location. 405 single family homes were demolished in 2017 in Richmond, which created 40,500,000 pounds of demolition waste. I believe we can do significantly better than that for our environment.

• Providing Housing That Meets Local Needs—Address Richmond’s plethora of empty homes by implementing an empty homes tax. Build new rental buildings, housing co-ops and subsidized housing for seniors and families. Protect rental housing/starter homes in single family neighbourhoods from demolition and replacement by luxury homes. Actively enforce short-term rental regulations.

Name: Harold Steves

Party: Richmond Citizens Association (RCA)

High School: Richmond High

Post-secondary: UBC

Richmond resident since: Richmond resident since birth

Occupation: Farmer, Agro-ecologist

Bike/bus/car? As transit has improved I mostly take the bus, Canada Line or car pool.

Why are you running for office? I am running again to continue my role in protecting farmland, developing parks, community facilities, heritage and waterfront, and promoting affordable housing, transit, food security and energy alternatives to improve the lives of all Richmond citizens.

Role model: Manoah Steves

Political role model: Tommy Douglas

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

• McMansions on farmland—As Richmond’s provincial MLA in 1973 I was one of the main founders of the Agricultural Land Reserve. I fought the council of the day to save Terra Nova, Garry Point and the Garden City Lands from development. Mansions on farmland are by far the greatest threat to the ALR in Richmond since it was founded. I am shocked that six members of council are prepared to allow what is happening on No. 2 Road to cover Richmond farmland with over a thousand 10,764 square foot mansions. There must be a change. Richmond’s future is at stake.

• Affordable housing—We have a shortage of available housing because of empty houses and short-term rental AirBnBs. We need a vacancy tax on the empty houses. While developers are required to provide some affordable housing, there is a need for co-op housing and purpose-built affordable housing. It can be financed from the vacancy tax, negotiating land from developers and matching funds from senior governments as we did in the past.

• Law and Order—I am appalled with the money laundering at the casino and in real estate as well as “illegal” hotels and short term BnBs flouting Richmond’s by-laws. We need to better police our community and actively enforce our by-laws rather than only acting upon complaints. We need a code of ethics at city hall that puts councillors at “arm’s length” from development activity.

• Planning for the future—Our weather and climate are changing. We must increase public transit and LRT; plan a food secure future with the Kwantlen Farm School assisting young farmers, getting unused farmland back in production; develop energy alternatives from geothermal district energy to solar, including green or solar rooftops; reduce food waste and increase recycling; encourage waterfront redevelopment for recreation and tourism and rebuild our dykes to accommodate rising sea levels.

Name: Jack Trovato

Party: Richmond

Citizens’ Association (RCA)

High School: McNair

Post-secondary: SFU, UBC

Richmond resident since: 1976

Occupation: Teacher

Bike/bus/car? Mostly car. I take the Canada Line into downtown Vancouver.

Why are you running for office? I am committed to ushering in a new age of honest, transparent, and accountable civic government where the common good and best interests of the entire community are a priority.

Role model: Martin Luther King Jr.

Political role model: Tommy Douglas

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

• Preserving Farmland for Future Generations—The RCA presented a petition to city council with 5,500 signatures in support of lowering the maximum house size to 500m2 (5,383 sq. ft.) in Richmond’s Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). We will decreases the size limits on farmhouses from 1,000m2 (10,764 sq.ft.), put better protocols in place to make sure that farmhouses are actually used for farming, and work with the province to close the loopholes which permit speculators to purchase farmland by avoiding residential lot guidelines, pricing policies, and residential property taxes. Ultimately, with climate change, food sovereignty will become increasingly important.

• Amend the Conflict of Interest Rules and Implement a Lobbyist Registry—The RCA wants to ensure that our elected officials are serving the best interests of our community. Municipal officers are governed by the conflict of interest provisions of the Community Charter, which is legislation enacted by Victoria. I will petition the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) to request that the BC government amend and strengthen those provisions to include oversight by an independent officer, and that a new lobbyist registry is created that will require all individuals lobbying the City of Richmond (Mayor Councillors) to register and declare all their lobbying activities.

• Protecting and Growing a Variety of Housing Options—The growing housing crisis plaguing Richmond attests that an ever-increasing number of renters are struggling to keep their families housed. Current research suggests that as many as one-fourth of all greater Vancouver residents are spending over 50 percent of their total family income on housing alone. RCA will work in partnership with the provincial and federal government to advocate for more affordable, non-profit, and purpose-built rental housing. Clearly, when families are living from paycheque-to-paycheque it becomes apparent that we need more social, cooperative, and subsidized housing.

• Work Towards a Single-Use Plastic Ban—Municipal governments are at the forefront of global action on climate change, and many of the policies/initiatives fall under their jurisdiction. We all have a role to play in reducing our waste and consumption. We should explore how to reduce waste from disposable cups, shopping bags, and take-out food containers. Moreover, RCA will advocate to the BC government to establish industrial norms to ensure new bags and other disposable items such as coffee pods are recyclable. Let’s elect officials who recognize the need to make these changes to protect our environment.

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