It’s been an honour and a privilege to serve as Mayor of Richmond since 2001. The City and people mean so much to me – we have been through a lot together. Over the years, we – the people of Richmond, our City Council and staff – have made our city better, more livable, more secure and more successful than ever. I am tremendously proud of how far we’ve come – how we’ve evolved. But it is certain that there remains a lot more to do. With the constant pressures of growth, we continue to face some key challenges.
There’s no question that the City has become more complex and diversified. We have changed with a population growing to almost 220,000. There is more variety of housing, an increasing diversity of jobs, culture, ethnicity, business connections and more pressure on us to maintain aging facilities, a greater need for civic services, along with the need to address concerns over traffic congestion, affordability, flood-proofing the City, waterfront expansion and more.
I’ve witnessed a growing sensitivity to people looking after each other, more volunteers who give back to so many organizations helping seniors, youth and those in need. I am immensely proud of the city we’ve become and grateful for the thousands of citizens who have brought us to this point.
Together, we have captured opportunities, many of which began as significant challenges. For example, remember how:
- we worked together to build the Canada Line, the Olympic Oval, the fire halls, the Railway Greenway and the Minoru Centre for Active Living;
- we are now winning many awards for heating and cooling buildings with environmentally-friendly district energy;
- we enhanced recycling services and reduced greenhouse gases to be carbon neutral as a city;
- we supported the economy by promoting robust tourism partially as the result of sport hosting and filming activity;
- we regulated the retail sale and cultivation of cannabis;
- we made our emergency response more timely while we added to our police complement;
- we developed a great network of wonderful parks, heritage sites and special areas such as the Garden City Lands to be enjoyed by those of all ages;
- we found ways to keep taxes down though facilities have been upgraded; and
- we added affordable housing throughout the City as we continue this critical objective.
We have also faced the challenges of change experienced by most big cities. Never before has the City had to constantly face the difficult issues of how to assist those who are homeless, pressure on the agricultural land, ethnic and cultural differences, the possibility of added city centre height restrictions, the high price of land and the retail sale or cultivation of recreational cannabis. These are the types of complexities we continue to face in Richmond.
I am running for Mayor because of the many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. There is so much more work to be done. And future generations will benefit from our contributions.
There is no question that we must keep property taxes low and spend the City’s money wisely. But we also need to open new facilities such as the new City Centre North and Steveston Community Centres. We want to help our first responders ensure the safety of our residents and businesses as the City grows. Housing for our citizens needs to be affordable and available to residents of all ages. To better protect our environment, demanding standards need to be maintained. We will continue to combat the growing congestion on our streets and we need more transportation choices including better public transit and cycling lanes.
I take nothing for granted. If I am re-elected, I will continue to work with the community and our residents to make Richmond even better – safer, more livable, more affordable, more prosperous, more friendly, with more parks, trails and community facilities – and I will work hard to secure more jobs and business. Understanding the past journey gives me the experience to ensure Richmond’s civic governance remains effective. As your Mayor, I will continue to work with the entire community and City Council for the benefit of all. With my leadership, experience, vision, and deep commitment to Richmond, our City will remain a secure, livable community for families and businesses for years into the future.