Photo by Chung Chow
The winds of change blew through Richmond on Saturday night, effectively altering the political landscape.
In an emotionally-charged civic election, the public voted two new members to city council to replace two incumbents.
Carol Day, one of six incumbents to retain their seats, unofficially topped the polls with 20,871 votes. The RITE (Richmond Independent Team of Electors) candidate has vehemently campaigned for the protection of farmland, voting to reduce the maximum house size on farmland to 5,500 square feet.
“We do not need 11,000 square foot houses. That’s just insane,” she said, referring to the current maximum allowed in Richmond.
“I’ve been fighting the fight for the last four years and admit it’s been frustrating at times, but I’ve done it because I really, really love Richmond and didn’t feel the people were being heard. I’m so honoured by the belief they’ve shown in me.”
Day described this election as a “repeat of the Terra Nova issue when so many councillors lost their seats.”
“I said all along this wasn’t going to be a tide of change but a tsunami of change. I really feel people engaged (in this election) because you don’t mess with farmland in Richmond. We are a city with lots of things going on, but we still started off being a farming community and we still are. You have to respect that. If we can’t grow our own food how are we going to feed ourselves 30, 40 years from now. And I think with global warming people recognize the importance of that. It went across all demographics and age groups.”
Day said she believes the public expects her, and longtime city councillor Harold Steves, who was also re-elected with 19,136 votes (second most among the eight individuals who will help form the new city council over the next four years), to continue on the same chart.
“We’ll be taking that 100 per cent to task and making sure we do everything we can to protect farm land,” she said.
“But what I think is also really important is our diversity. It’s what makes us special. We need to remember that together we are one and if we can focus on that everything else will get resolved.”