Learn more about chafer beetles and other invasive species this month

Richmond News

May is Invasive Species Action Month in B.C. and Richmond is hosting four awareness campaigns to educate the public on local invasive plants and animals.

For four weeks, the city will display information on a new invasive species each week: knotweed species, parrot’s feather, Brazilian elodea and European chafer beetle. Each display will also share how the city is combating the species and what alternative plants support local pollinators.

“By helping people become aware of the invasive species that are prevalent in Richmond and why we need to take action against them, we can better protect our ecosystems” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie in a press release.

“Invasive species displace local species and habitat. Early detection by both residents and professionals in the field, collaboration with other jurisdictions, regular monitoring and management will help combat these destructive species.” …

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Municipalities grapple with regulating legalized marijuana

Vancouver Sun

Local governments are next at bat as the complicated process of regulating the sale of recreational cannabis continues ahead of federal legalization later this year.

On Thursday, the provincial government introduced three bills that will amend different B.C. laws and essentially hand municipalities “control of their own destinies,” in the words of one Metro Vancouver mayor.

Local governments across B.C. must now determine if — and if so, where — they will allow marijuana dispensaries in their communities. …

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said his council is opposed to legalization “as a concept,” but he wanted to wait until staff have studied the issue before speculating on how Richmond will deal with legalization.

“I’m sure council will have a discussion, and there will be different views put forward,” he said. “My thinking is that there is no rush. Let’s take our time and make the right decisions.”

As Richmond currently bans dispensaries, council will begin with the “fundamental question of whether to allow them at all,” the mayor added. …

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B.C. Housing Minister gives Richmond tools to bump deflated rental sector

Richmond News

Mayor Malcolm Brodie says a forthcoming City of Richmond review of market rental housing will coincide with new legislation announced by Housing Minister Selina Robinson that grants municipalities the ability to re-zone for rental-only purposes.

But until both policies are ironed out, Brodie said it’s unclear whether Richmond will be able to add more rental stock that is sorely needed.

“What the possibilities are, it’s impossible to say at the moment,” said Brodie.

Rental zones have been called upon for years by local governments, which are bound by the provincially-governed Local Government Act.

According to estimates, the city anticipates needing 320 purpose-built rental units per year until 2026. …

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Richmond’s public smoking crackdown could net you a $1,000 fine

Global News

With federal legislation to legalize recreational marijuna expected to be in place within months, Richmond city council has set some new ground rules around smoking in public.

New regulations approved by city council this week will further limit smoking and vaping in public places and on city-owned land. …

The City of Richmond has taken one of the toughest stances in B.C. on pot legalization, with Mayor Malcolm Brodie initially saying he didn’t want to see cannabis being sold within the city.

Richmond city council also wrote a letter to the federal and provincial governments last year calling on them to delay the rollout of legal pot. …

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Expanded police presence coming to Richmond’s City Centre

Richmond News

The City of Richmond is going to double the capacity of its City Centre policing operations, when it moves to a new location in the fall of 2019.

Currently operating out of a cramped 4,500 square feet at Lansdowne and No. 3 roads, the City Centre Community Policing Office is moving to the 10,000 square feet temporary Brighouse Firehall No. 1 on the northwest corner of Gilbert Road and Granville Avenue. …

“As our community grows, there is an increasing demand for police services across Richmond, but particularly within our rapidly evolving City Centre,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie in a press release.

“Council has already approved funding for 40 additional police officers during the current term to meet emerging community needs.

“An expanded City Centre Community Police Office will allow us to permanently station officers in the heart of Richmond, improving response times and increasing street level presence”. …

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Finalists for Richmond’s 10th Arts Awards announced

Richmond News

After receiving 86 applications, the city has announced its 18 finalists for the 2018 Richmond Arts Awards.

At a ceremony hosted by Mayor Malcolm Brodie on May 15, winners from six categories will be announced. The finalists have been chosen for how they reflect Richmond’s vibrant cultural scene. Rising stars and emerging talent are also recognized through the awards.

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Delta disagrees with Richmond casino crime warning

Delta Optimist

City of Richmond staff list a series of concerns including a potential increase in overall crime and the movement of currency in and out of the facility.

When it comes to street level crime, a letter to Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie from Delta Mayor Lois Jackson notes, “Correlating the presence of a casino in Delta to crime rates in Richmond would be similar to Delta attributing crime in South Delta to attractors in Richmond such as McArthurGlen Mall which is currently expanding, Ironwood Shopping Centre or the Cineplex Movie Theatre. This is not an equal comparison whatsoever.” …

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Why don’t we see more floating homes in Metro Vancouver?

News 1130

Given our housing crunch and the shortage of land in Metro Vancouver, why don’t we see more floating homes in this region?

In the view of Matt Tobias with International Marine Flotation Systems — which builds such homes — there’s demand for floating homes, and the space to have more of them along the Fraser River.

He says the main barrier preventing this is the Port of Vancouver, which he says doesn’t have an interest in opening up more room for that type of community. …

“The buck stops with them, in terms of having floating homes along the river, and so on. If you want to be along the river — which is really where a lot of these floating homes are — the port does not want this to be in their jurisdiction anymore,” adds Tobias.

One of the communities that would make sense as a possibility for more floating homes is Richmond, where there is a small number already there.

The mayor of that city, Malcolm Brodie, says he’s open to the possibility of adding more floating home communities, but doesn’t feel it would meaningfully improve affordability.

“I can’t see it becoming such a popular thing that it would significantly make an impact,” says Brodie.

Brodie believes adding more floating homes could be a positive, but it would need to be done in the right way.

“We’re amenable to the possibility that there would be more, but there are multiple jurisdictions that are involved,” says Brodie, mentioning there are other factors like parking which people don’t always factor in.

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City to host capital projects open house

Richmond News

The City of Richmond is hosting this year’s capital projects open house on April 18 at city hall.

The open house will start at 3 p.m. and last for four hours. Richmond residents are invited to come to learn more about the city’s capital construction projects. …

“An exciting year is underway for the City with a diverse array of capital projects that will provide dependable, resilient and accessible facilities and amenities for Richmond residents,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie in a press release.

“From building new community centres and pump stations to upgrading watermains, sewers and roadways, these construction projects align with Council’s strategic goals and help support the continued growth of our city.” …

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An exodus of B.C. mayors is in the offing, and some point to social-media nastiness

The Globe and Mail

The Lower Mainland will undergo a massive political upheaval this fall as about half the region’s mayors, some of whom have served for multiple terms, decline to seek re-election for a number of reasons.

The departures include mayors from the area’s two largest cities: Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner announced this week she would not run again, and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson announced earlier this year that he was leaving.

Those two, along with the departures of nine others – for a total of 11 mayors leaving out of 21 in office – will leave two-thirds of the region’s population under new leadership.

“The amount of knowledge we’re losing is worrying to me,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, now in his 17th year on council. “I really regret that there are so many of the mayors who are leaving. The region is going to be very different politically.” …

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