Surrey City Council Cancels LRT Project, Approves SkyTrain Extension

604 Now

Surrey’s new city officials are moving forward with cancelling the light rail transit (LRT) project.

Mayor Doug McCallum and the new members of Surrey City Council officially took the Oath of Office at an inauguration ceremony held Monday evening at City Hall. …

McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition will also ask TransLink’s Mayors’ Council to cancel the LRT and reallocate Phase Two funds towards the new SkyTrain extension.

It’s fair to assume many will back Doug McCallum. He’s received public support on the move from Vancouver’s Mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart.

On the contrary, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie has publicly stated he will not support a SkyTrain line to Langley. …

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Richmond approves moratorium on ‘mega-mansions’

News 1130

Richmond is one step closer to banning new so-called mega-mansions on farmland after city council approved a moratorium on new big-builds Tuesday.

Council also ratified a motion calling for a bylaw to limit new house sizes on Agricultural Land Reserve property to a maximum 5,382 sq. ft and contained on a 10,764 sq. ft. home plate.

The vote comes one day after the province introduced similar laws. …

City staff will now prepare a bylaw to be presented at next week’s council meeting, but Mayor Malcolm Brodie says the immediate moratorium gives them time to do public consultations.

“By statute, there’s seven-day grace period, then there’s a moratorium after that. We’ve got 90 days to bring in the bylaw and have it approved after public hearing,” Brodie tells NEWS 1130. …

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Province, Richmond move to restrict ‘mega-homes’ on farmland

News 1130

New so-called “mega-homes” and “mega-mansions” on farmland might soon have to be a little smaller, as the province and the City of Richmond propose new rules to limit house sizes, heights and footprints.

Legislation introduced in the legislature on Monday would make three major changes the B.C. Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) including limiting houses to less than 5,400 square feet, reinstating one zone for all ALR land and enforcing anti-dumping rules. …

n May, Richmond council voted to keep the 10,000 square foot limit, but Mayor Malcolm Brodie says two major changes have happened since then.

“One of which has been extensive discussion among the entire community. We also had an election and two of the councillors who supported the status quo were defeated and replaced by two vocal critics of the previous policy,” he said.

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Richmond’s new city council prepares to be sworn in tonight

Richmond News

Richmond’s new council will be sworn in Monday night, just over two weeks after the city’s dramatic election.

Last month, Richmond’s municipal election saw some significant shifts as former councillors Derek Dang and Ken Johnston were not voted back to council. Instead, Richmond Citizens’ Association’s Kelly Greene and RITE’s Michael Wolfe were elected. …

Mayor-elect Malcolm Brodie will begin his seventh term as mayor this evening. Previously serving and councillors-elect Carol Day, Linda McPhail, Bill McNulty, Chak Au, Harold Steves and Alexa Loo will all be sworn in as well. …

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Legislation would restrict size of mansions on B.C. farmland

Vancouver Sun

The B.C. government has introduced legislation to ban mega-mansions on agricultural farmland by overriding local zoning in cities like Richmond.

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham’s bill introduced Monday would restrict the maximum size of a home on agricultural land reserve property to 5,400 square feet. …

The provincial legislation is a welcome move, said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie: “It’s a good idea to have consistency throughout the province.” …

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Richmond Mayor Doesn’t Think Being Born In Canada Should Guarantee Citizenship

604 Now

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie believes that there’s a huge problem in his city and it stems from birthright citizenship.

The re-elected mayor doesn’t believe people should be permitted citizenship solely on the basis that they were born here in Canada. In particular, he points to the problem of birth tourism in his city and how some people are profiting off this practice.

By definition birth tourism is to “travel to another country for the purpose of giving birth in that country”.

Brodie acknowledges that it’s very tough for him to do anything at the municipal level, because it’s not illegal for a foreigner to give birth in Canada. …

Understaffed fire department outpaced by city’s growth: Richmond Firefighters Association

Richmond News

As the number of people and condominiums in Richmond continues to grow, the Richmond Firefighters Association is warning there are not enough firefighters to keep everyone safe.

“It is very concerning to us. The population in the city has grown by tens of thousands of people since 1990, but staffing levels have almost remained the same,” said Cory Parker, president of the Richmond Firefighters Association. …

Mayor Malcolm Brodie said he cannot comment until a personnel review is done, and that he expects a personnel requirement and budgetary implementation process to be finished by the end of the year.

Richmond receives Innovative Energy Project of the Year award

Richmond News

Richmond has been recognized by the Association of Energy Engineers with the 2018 Innovative Energy Project of the Year award for its Alexandra District Energy Utility Phase Four project.

The phase four project focused on connecting large retail development with low carbon, cost-effective and reliable energy. To do so, the project used air source heat pumps. According to City of Richmond, this project is the first district energy system in Canada to provide heating and cooling to a large retail building with this technology.

“Richmond has been an international leader in district energy development to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie.

“Through innovation and conservation, we are proud of our achievements to secure a sustainable and economic energy source for thousands of residents and commercial and institutional users.” …

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Some Metro Vancouver mayors are ambivalent on cancelling Surrey LRT for SkyTrain

Daily Hive

Some mayors in Metro Vancouver are expressing their doubts on Surrey mayor-elect Doug McCallum’s plan to reverse course on the Surrey Newton-Guildford (SNG) LRT and redirect funds towards building a SkyTrain extension on the Fraser Highway.

Re-elected New Westminster mayor Jonathan Cote told Daily Hive his neighbour’s new position on transit expansion creates a “dilemma” for the 10-year Mayors’ Plan. …

His counterpart in Richmond also agreed, with re-elected mayor Malcolm Brodie calling McCallum’s plan “ill-conceived.” While Brodie knows the existing makeup of the Mayors’ Council would disagree with the move, he is not sure what the consensus will be within the new Mayors’ Council given that there are 13 new mayors in TransLink’s governance body.

Brodie added that it will “take years” to do the new planning work required for SkyTrain, if LRT is abandoned. The largest issue will deal with filling in the funding gap for the superior alternative.

“The first thing that’ll have to be done is they will need to find the extra money to pay for it. Surrey will be asking for a premium type of service, and they will have to pay the increment or find the money,” said Brodie. “I don’t think there will be regional sources for that money.” …

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Richmond election: Two rookie councillors could shift ALR mega-mansion policy

Vancouver Sun

The days of new mega-mansions on Richmond farmland may be numbered after voters elected two new faces to council.

On Saturday, newcomers Kelly Greene and Michael Wolfe unseated incumbents Derek Dang and Ken Johnston. Both campaigned on lowering maximum house sizes in the Agricultural Land Reserve — a hot-button election issue after council’s decision in the spring to stick with the 10,764-square-foot limit. …

Mayor Malcolm Brodie, who handily won re-election, had voted in favour of lowering maximum house sizes in the past.

Both Greene and Wolfe said the public can expect the issue to be raised in the fall.

“It will be one of the first actions of the new council,” promised Wolfe. …

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