Getting rid of MSP to cost some B.C. homeowners more in property taxes

StarMetro Vancouver

VANCOUVER — A provincial tax that will replace the Medical Service Plan premiums will cost Lower Mainland cities at least another $34.9 million next year, according to documents from 16 B.C. municipalities.

At least eight of those municipalities said there will likely be increases to property taxes to offset the costs, with examples ranging from .75 per cent to 2 per cent next year. …

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, meanwhile, said his city will look to see whether there are services that can be reduced to pay for the costs. His city’s homeowners are facing a tax increase of up to 1.15 per cent.

“These increases are beyond our control,” he said. “We’ll do everything we can to mitigate the effect but in the end, there has to be some tax impact because of the added cost that is being given to the cities.” …

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Richmond residents invited to ‘explore and connect’ for Seniors Week

Richmond News

This June, Richmond’s seniors are invited to try one or all of 14 free or low-cost activities scheduled for Seniors Week.

From Monday, June 4 to Saturday, June 9, seniors can try Qi Gong, an ancient form of Chinese medicine, take an aquasize class, learn to square dance and more. All activities were designed around the theme “explore and connect,” encouraging seniors engage with fellow Richmondites while trying activities that promote healthy living. …

“As an age-friendly city, Richmond recognizes social connections to be extremely important to senior’s well-being,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie in a press release. “Events such as Seniors Week contribute to the vitality and overall quality of life of Richmond’s seniors. …

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Second dwelling approved for Richmond ALRs; home sizes to remain at status quo

Western Investor

It was the second council meeting this year to draw more than 30 delegations speaking on the issue of home sizes on Richmond’s agricultural land reserve. This time, however, the discussion went past midnight. …

… Coun. Harold Steves put forward a motion to adopt staff’s Option 1, which would limit home sizes to 5,382 square feet. The motion was defeated, however, with Couns. Carol Day, Steves and Mayor Brodie the only three in support of it.

Council moved on to vote on the matter of a secondary dwelling which passed, with the same three opposed.

Before the votes, Mayor Malcolm Brodie spoke passionately about why he believed reducing home sizes was important.

“If anyone thinks that the whole quality of the agricultural land reserve isn’t being fundamentally changed by what is going on the residential side of it, if you think it’s not changing, then I think you’re from another planet,” Brodie said. …

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Richmond Council maintains status quo on home sizes on ALR properties; Green Party attacks decision

Indo-Canadian Voice

Council has decided to maintain the status quo on home sizes on the agricultural land reserve while allowing a secondary dwelling.

Those who supported a reduction in home sizes were Mayor Malcolm Brodie, who insisted the whole quality of the agricultural land reserve was being fundamentally changed by what was happening on the residential side of it and said that in a few years there would be estate houses everywhere, and councillors Harold Steves and Carol Day. The three also opposed a secondary dwelling on ALR properties. …

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Richmond council keeps status quo on ALR home sizes, approves additional dwelling

Richmond News

It was the second council meeting this year to draw more than 30 delegations speaking on the issue of home sizes on Richmond’s agricultural land reserve. This time, however, the discussion went past midnight. …

Previously, city staff had recommended 12 options for maximum farm house sizes to councillors, ranging from 5,382 to 10,764 sq. ft. After Monday night’s discussion, all councillors voted to strike down city staff’s Option 5A, which was previously supported at last week’s general purposes committee meeting. This option would have kept the square footage the same, but would have reduced the home plate, forcing larger homes to increase the number of floors they had.

After this, Coun. Harold Steves put forward a motion to adopt staff’s Option 1, which would limit home sizes to 5,382 square feet. The motion was defeated, however, with Couns. Carol Day, Steves and Mayor Brodie the only three in support of it.

Council moved on to vote on the matter of a secondary dwelling which passed, with the same three opposed.

Before the votes, Mayor Malcolm Brodie spoke passionately about why he believed reducing home sizes was important.

“If anyone thinks that the whole quality of the agricultural land reserve isn’t being fundamentally changed by what is going on the residential side of it, if you think it’s not changing, then I think you’re from another planet,” Brodie said.

“I think this is a serious mistake. Our role is to do what is best in the interest of all the residents and businesses here in Richmond…if we don’t improve the situation as has been mentioned, I think we are doing a terrible disservice to the city of Richmond.

“We’ll come back here in a few years and there will be these estate houses everywhere. And that will be the end of it.” …

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Who’s running for Richmond city council, so far

Richmond News

In anticipation of the municipal election in October, the Richmond News takes a look at what names have been been announced so far. …

Mayor Malcolm Brodie is seeking re-election in the October municipal election. Brodie, a lawyer, was elected to city council in 1996 as a member of the Richmond Non Partisan Association and was elected mayor in 2001. He left the now disbanded RNPA, and currently serves as an independent. He is the second-longest serving mayor in Richmond’s history, next to Ruby Grauer, who served from 1930 to 1949. …

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Richmondites encouraged to get active for Move for Health Week

Richmond News

Many may think it’s something they could use a little more of in their life: exercise. Staying physically active can improve both your physical health and your mental health.

To encourage Richmond residents to stay active, the city is hosting Move for Health week starting today, and going until Friday May 18.

Richmondites can try one of 50 free or low cost activities including hoopla yoga, fitness workshops and parent and toddler playtime sessions.

“We all need to keep active to ensure we have a long and health life,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie in a press release.

“I invite everyone to join with me in trying some of the many activities offered locally for Move for Health Week and then to continue being active for an ongoing healthy lifestyle.” …

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Richmond aims to create ‘Intelligent Operation Hub’ for emergency responses

Richmond News

As part of the national Smart Cities Challenge, Richmond is hoping to create an “Intelligent Operation Hub” that would use data and local services to improve emergency responses, ranging from traffic congestion to a major earthquake.

“Our rapidly-growing, island city is home to more than 220,000 residents and nationally important infrastructure and services,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie in a press release. “New technologies and the integration of data streams offer us huge opportunities to improve our residents’ overall quality of life, while ensuring our community and economy are resilient in the face of any level of emergency.” …

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Mayor says farmland off limits in Richmond for pot growers

News 1130

Companies that might be eyeing Richmond’s fertile agricultural land as an ideal site to grow recreational pot are going to be out of luck.

The city is expanding a policy that currently governs medical marijuana, which outlines that grow-facilities must be placed on industrial land, not in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Mayor Malcolm Brodie says they’re not against the product itself, but they have problems with the infrastructure erected to prevent theft.

“The growers have to have structures complete with security and a physical building around it. Given that situation, we think the operations would be best off in industrial areas.” …

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B.C. mayors wary as province eyes intersection camera revenue

Vancouver Sun

B.C. mayors are concerned their policing budgets could be strained if a new red-light camera revenue-sharing deal with the province leads to cuts.

“That money is really important to our police budget and we have an endless need for police resources,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “It’s really important to our community safety programs.”

The provincial government has told municipalities that it intends to change the way revenue from fines is distributed, after the system is updated to catch speeding drivers on green and amber lights. The system currently only nabs drivers who run red lights.

The program took in about $58 million last year, but the government has been advised the take could go up to $89 million.

If the take goes up, municipalities will want their fair share.

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