Honour for Cranbrook at UBCM

e-know.ca

The Honourable George Heyman, Minister of Environment & Climate Change Strategy presented awards recognizing the leadership of B.C. local governments and public sector organizations at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention, and the City of Cranbrook has received an honourable mention. …

City of Richmond won in the Community Planning and Development category for the Community Energy Save Program. In accepting the award, Mayor Malcolm Brodie noted that, “Richmond’s Community Energy Save Program empowers businesses and residents to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. This program has helped Richmond achieve a six per cent reduction in community GHG emissions despite a growing population.” …

Read Full Story

Critics raise questions about China’s reception for B.C. municipal leaders

The Globe and Mail

After a heavy day of policy discussions about housing affordability, energy conservation and the importance of a robust and free media, municipal politicians were invited Wednesday evening to wind down and network with their colleagues from across the province at several receptions.

Like most conventions, the Union of BC Municipalities gathering relies on sponsors to host its professional and social events. The sponsors include groups large and small – law firms, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Province of British Columbia, Shaw Communications. On Wednesday evening, the Chinese consulate played host to a reception, the only foreign government to do so.

The consulate’s hospitality has raised the eyebrows of China watchers, though some municipal politicians scoffed at any suggestion of impropriety, noting the consulate has hosted the reception for the past six years. …

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie also said he saw no problems with the reception.

“I don’t agree with the concern. There are many many different groups [and] organizations will host receptions at UBCM,” said Mr. Brodie. “Officials from foreign governments will invite politicians from every level to various events because it’s important to keep those networks and channels open.” …

Read Full Story

First annual Richmond Harvest Festival to feature great food and entertainment

Georgia Straight

The weather has cooled down and leaves are beginning to turn reddish-brown, which indicates that harvest season is quickly approaching.

To celebrate the bounty of local food and produce, the first annual Richmond Harvest Festival will take place this Saturday (September 30) at Garden City Lands (between Garden City Road and Lansdowne Road, Richmond) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. …

“The first annual Richmond Harvest Fest is a great opportunity to celebrate our commitment to being a sustainable, diverse and vibrant community, as well as Canada’s 150th anniversary,” said Richmond mayor Malcolm Brodie, in a press statement. …
Read Full Story

Letters: Richmond council has adopted the right policy in dealing with Chinese signage

The Province

I commend Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie and council for taking the route of education and outreach to address the issue of Chinese signage in Richmond.

A couple of years ago, Richmond Chinese community leaders formed a group called Signs for Harmony, which took the lead in convincing Chinese businesses to use both English and Chinese on their business premises. It makes sense. This is a healthy and productive approach to address an issue that has brought rather unwanted attention to this community. Businesses that have signs in Chinese only need to be convinced — rather than forced — that having signs in both languages is simply good business practice, bound to increase their exposure and customer base. …

Read Full Story

Richmond, B.C., opts for persuasion over bylaws in campaign against non-English signs

CBC News

After four years of protests and contentious council meetings, the debate over how Richmond, B.C., should deal with business signs that don’t include English came to a quiet conclusion.

In a virtually empty council chamber, one of Metro Vancouver’s largest municipalities unanimously voted to continue the current policy, under which if a sign contains less than 50 per cent English or French, city staff are instructed to “encourage and educate” businesses, in the hopes they’ll add English to their Chinese signs.

Only now, it will be formalized in writing.

That’s in contrast to other regions in Canada which have used laws, not diplomacy, to encourage the use of Canada’s official languages on signs.

“It’s taking the verbal policy, the attitude of our city council in the past, and simply putting it into a written policy so it’ll be preserved in the future,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. …

Read Full Story

Warehouse to provide new home for homeless

Richmond News

Richmond’s growing homeless population is getting a new, expanded shelter.

The City of Richmond and BC Housing announced Thursday that the Salvation Army is to receive an expanded facility in southeast Richmond, near Ironwood Plaza. This, after the only shelter on Shell Road — a single-family home — was given a notice to evict due to a highly speculative real estate market

Major Kathy Chiu noted about 130 requests for shelter are denied each month at the existing facility.

“Homelessness is a pressing social issue for Richmond and it’s on the rise,” said Chiu. …

The city is contributing the land, valued at $6 million and the provincial government will support the operational costs. The Province will also fund building improvements.

“Support for the homeless population in Richmond has been identified as a critical need in our Affordable Housing Strategy. We’re pleased to be working with our partners in this innovative and collaboration initiative,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie, via a statement. …

Read Full Story

City council looks to fill advisory board positions

Richmond News

Richmond City Council is looking to fill more than 75 volunteer positions available on 16 different advisory committees.

Residents interested in serving their community in a volunteer capacity may apply before the Friday, Sept. 22 deadline.

“There are many opportunities for the public to have an impact on local government through Richmond’s long-standing committees,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie.

“Through volunteering one’s time and expertise on any of the city’s advisory bodies, valuable insight is given to addressing a variety of specific areas of civic importance such as the arts, culture, environment, agriculture, seniors, youth, and the economy.” …

Read Full Story

BC city opts for outreach over enforcement to settle decades-long signage spat

Metro News

Some councillors of a Vancouver-area city with a large Chinese population say they hope formalizing a policy of education and outreach will put to rest a divisive, decades-long dispute over including English on store signs.

The City of Richmond voted Monday to put in writing a policy that directs municipal officials to push behind the scenes for business signage to be at least 50 per cent English, instead of using fines to enforce explicit language requirements.

The unanimous decision formalizes a practice that has been in effect since 2014. …

The dilemma around language requirements on city-regulated signs has dogged Richmond since at least the early 1990s, Mayor Malcolm Brodie said.

Some council members have previously called for strict regulations and the hiring of a sign enforcement officer, only to back down in the face of possible charter challenges around freedom of expression.

Brodie said the fear of a costly legal battle is not the only factor deterring the city from passing a bylaw regulating the use of language on signs.
“The feeling of council was that it would not enhance community harmony to have these kinds of mandates laid down,” he said. “We wanted more of a co-operative venture.” …

Read Full Story

Richmond city council passes policy encouraging 50% English on commercial signs

CBC News

Richmond’s city council has decided the current approach to dealing with English on commercial signs will be formalized into a written policy.

After months of debate, councillors unanimously voted to adopt a policy that encourages signs to be at least 50 per cent English.

It means the city will continue to have no bylaws regulating language on signs. …

But Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said the issue has been percolating in the city for around 25 years.

“We have a very large non-English speaking population. That can easily get translated into signage. If you see your clientele is mostly Chinese, maybe you just need a Chinese sign. I think that’s a mistake from a marketing and business point of view, but I think it’s a mistake from a cultural point of view as well,” he said.

Brodie said Richmond can have only so much effect on signs — mentioning that people’s complaints stem from real estate postings, which aren’t regulated by the city — but he’s hopeful the city has come up with a lasting policy that’s effective.

“I think we’ve dealt with the issue. I think we’ve had a very fulsome debate. I would hope this will enable us to go to the next step, which is we’re comfortable with our diversity, but it’s not a them and us, it’s an us situation, and we can work through that.”

Read Full Story

‘It’s time for a restart’: Metro Van mayors hope new government brings new relationship

CBC News

A decade ago, Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore wanted to become a B.C. Liberal MLA. He ran for the party in 2005 and became a regional organizer for them.

But when Moore looks back at how the previous provincial government worked with cities like his own, he is less than complimentary.

“There were some areas that we worked well together, but there were big files … that we really didn’t work very well together,” he said.

“There was definitely disagreement.” …

“Work the mayors’ council, work the various cities, I think that will get us far farther than the stubborn approach that has been so narrowly focused in the past,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. …

Read Full Story