Richmond’s Trusted Leader
Richmond residents have entrusted me to be Mayor for 17 years. During this time Richmond has grown and prospered while we have enhanced our civic quality of life, sustainability and prosperity. Accomplishments during this period include:
Quality of Life
- Compared to residents elsewhere in Canada, on average our residents live the longest – average life expectancy in Richmond is 86.3 years. Richmond has won international awards for healthy lifestyles, especially as we redevelop our downtown core to make it more liveable with access to rapid transit, parks and full amenities.
- The wide range of our recreational programs emphasize programs for youth and seniors.
- Our City’s childcare spaces have grown significantly and reflect community need.
- Richmond’s active and engaged volunteers have increased significantly and have done so much to make our community a better place for all.
- Components of our updated Arts Strategy broaden the social and artistic fabric of Richmond.
- Housing issues are very important as addressed in our long-standing Affordable Housing Strategy. City Council has approved supportive housing and a shelter for those without a home. Housing for seniors has also been a priority.
- Everyone should feel safe and secure. City Council has worked very closely with many safety partners for the benefit of our residents and businesses.
- The RCMP complement has been increased by 40 officers in this Council term. In their day-to-day operations, the RCMP co-ordinate their activities to reflect the City’s strategic priorities, such as strategies to reduce the number of break-ins. Closed-circuit intersection cameras will soon enhance police investigations.
- Six new or upgraded fire halls will benefit the City for decades to come. Built to the highest environmental standards, they will remain safe in the event of a major seismic event. Council is reviewing future needs for personnel and equipment.
- Bylaws and regulations have been introduced to restrict the cultivation and retail distribution of cannabis.
- The new Minoru Place Activity Centre will serve important future community needs as it replaces the outdated Minoru Pavilion, Aquatic Centre and Seniors Activity Centre.
- Our Richmond Olympic Oval with all its programs and attractions is highly used by our residents from youth to seniors. Along with other venues, the Oval attracts many visitors to stay in our hotels as they patronize our restaurants and shopping areas.
- Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site is a restored shipyard which reminds us of our maritime past and supports many community activities throughout the year.
- We have significantly strengthened our environmental stewardship because we all want to live in a “green” city featuring sustainable approaches.
- Richmond has adopted a comprehensive and balanced approach to the climate change challenge through community-based programs encouraging us to reduce waste, greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint.
- We implemented programs to divert food scraps and yard trimmings from the landfill. In the region, our overall garbage diversion rate remains one of the best.
- We currently have over 300 community garden plots at 9 parks and schoolyards throughout the city. This reflects an increasing interest in urban agriculture. From 2018 through to 2020, the program should almost double.
- District Energy Utilities are being developed using sustainable, “green” sources of energy, thus avoiding reliance on fossil fuels. These utilities use ground water and other natural sources to heat and cool buildings. Eventually, Richmond will have one of the largest “green” utilities in North America.
Our Economy & Taxes
- Region-wide, Richmond has maintained its position of having almost 1.5 jobs for every local worker, one of the highest ratios in the region. Many of those workers both live and work here.
- Richmond’s Resilient Economy Strategy, Business Development Program, the Employment Lands Strategy and the Industrial Land Intensification Initiative are examples of our proactive support for the business sector.
- Taxation rates are guided by Council’s Long-Term Financial Management strategy. Keeping property taxes down to one of the lowest levels in the region has helped people of all ages to live here.
- With our active partners in the business community, many programs which benefit our economy have been implemented. An example is the Sport-Hosting program.
- We support local tourism as it brings more revenue to hotels and local businesses. For instance, our active filming industry attracts more visitors, especially to Steveston.
- Public transportation in Richmond has improved dramatically thanks to the Canada Line. We need to continue to strengthen other components of Richmond’s public transportation network through system upgrades.
- To combat congestion, corridors around No.3 Road and the City Centre generally have been further developed. Bicycle lanes are extended each year.
- We continue to address traffic congestion at No. 5 Road / Steveston Highway.
- The legacy plan for the Garden City Lands is now being implemented to benefit future generations.
- Richmond is the home to many beautiful parks and recreational areas. New parks such as along the Middle Arm of the Fraser River and on the Lansdowne Centre site should be developed.
- Supported by partner contributions, our many artificial playfield surfaces can be used in all weather, night and day. This is a cost-effective way to grow Richmond’s capacity to support recreational activities.
Programs & Events
- Throughout the year, there are many Richmond events for residents and visitors as we have proven our ability to organize events of any size.
- Events such as the Maritime Festival encourage us to work towards the return of more Tall Ships.
- Doors Open, the Cherry Blossom Festival, Asian Heritage Month, the Childrens’ Arts Festival, the Richmond World Festival, and many more have become yearly Richmond traditions.
- Our diverse population also supports a multitude of cultural opportunities such as the Lunar New Year and Diwali celebrations.
- With almost 40% of Richmond’s land consisting of agricultural land, parks and open space, Richmond has protected land in the Agricultural Land Reserve as a top priority, notwithstanding many pressures for commercial and residential development.
- The City has resisted the Port of Vancouver’s encroachment on agricultural lands in addition to considering the issue of appropriate house sizes.
- Live-streaming of City Council meetings is an example of how the City is open and accountable to residents. Past meetings are archived for future reference.
- Campaign revenues and expenses are now shared online for all candidates who seek elected civic office.