Housing: NDP and Greens tackle money laundering and tax evasion in Richmond

Richmond News

Tackling foreign speculation and money laundering in the real estate industry is a key component of both the BC NDP and BC Green Party housing platforms this election.

“The concern is, the housing market is being used as an easy way to conceal and facilitate money laundering,” said David Eby, Vancouver Point Grey MLA and Opposition Spokesperson for Housing. …

Mayor Malcolm Brodie recently acknowledged the possible prevalence of corporations owning homes when drafting a short-term rental bylaw. …

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Richmond city hall surge ends with farm home ‘compromise’

Richmond News

If they claim their voices weren’t heard during the process, they certainly made up for it at city council Wednesday night.

Such was the surge on city hall from Richmond’s farming community, that the planning committee meeting had to slide downstairs, to city council chambers, to accommodate around 120 people. …

What it all added up to was a near, five-hour long meeting, ending with what the majority of the planning committee — including Mayor Malcolm Brodie — deem a “compromise.”

After much discussion among city councillors — including an unsuccessful motion from Coun. Bill McNulty to refer the matter back to staff for more consideration — Brodie successfully tabled an amendment for house size limits to be doubled to 1,000 square metres (10,764 square feet) if the land it’s being built on is at least half an acre in size.

Anything less than half an acre would be subject to the original staff recommendation of 500 square metres (5,382 square feet).

“It’s a balancing act,” Brodie told the Richmond News.

“There are those that want to minimize (the house sizes) and those that want no regulations at all.”

Brodie said he made the motion to resolve the issue, even though council placed a moratorium on such development applications last month.

“If an application comes in after the moratorium, the city only has 30 days in which to decide if the application is commensurate with any new bylaw,” Brodie explained. …

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Richmond to crack down on short-term rentals by end April

CBC News

Richmond is one step closer to cracking down on short term rentals like Airbnb.

By the end of the month, residents won’t be allowed to rent out an entire dwelling for 30 days or less and short term rentals of suites, coach houses or laneway houses won’t be allowed.

Only a single room in a home can be rented to a maximum of two people at a time.

Mayor Malcolm Brodie said council had to address residents’ concerns about the growing number of short term rentals in the city.

“With the short term rentals you have people coming and going, strangers in the neighbourhood, people coming and going at all times of night and day,” he said. “You’ve got pressure on the utilities. You’ve got parking issues and it’s really affecting the neighbourhoods.”

Brodie speculates the approximately 1,500 web based rental listings for Richmond are just a fraction of what’s actually being offered for short term stays.

Violators of the beefed-up bylaw will be fined $1,000 per day per offence. …

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Mayors ‘pleased’ with NDP’s commitment to transit plan

Richmond News

The politics of transportation are heating up following Tuesday’s provincial election writ, and Richmond is in the crossfire.

Metro Vancouver’s Mayors’ Council wrote Thursday that it was “pleased” that the BC NDP includes a full commitment to the 10-year transportation plan crafted by the mayors and regional planners.

“Today’s announcement suggests the BC NDP is prepared to make the investments and work in partnership with the Mayors’ Council to move forward with the full, comprehensive region-wide transportation strategy that’s needed to reduce congestion on our roads and overcrowding on our transit system,” stated New Westminster mayor Jonathan Cote. That plan does not include remedying the George Massey Tunnel crossing. The NDP has stated it will reassess the bridge plan, if elected.

If the mayors’ plan is approved it will mean the Canada Line will get more trains, with more frequent departures. Richmond will also get a B-line bus to Metrotown. More frequent bus service has already been implemented under Phase 1, according to Translink.

But the mayors stated they are also asking for clarification on bridge tolling. …

Mayor Malcolm Brodie was unavailable for comment.

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City of Richmond Selects PerfectMind to Help Community Live Healthily with Improved Access to Parks & Recreation Services


PerfectMind, creators of next-generation facility booking and membership management software, and the growing City of Richmond in British Columbia today announced an agreement that will make it simpler for the City’s parks, recreation and cultural program users to access services while also extending the use of technology to improve the customer experience. …

“Through our innovative Digital Strategy, the City of Richmond is committed to being a leader among local governments in using technology to improve customer service and efficiency,” said Richmond Mayor, Malcolm Brodie. “The City has closely monitored the implementation of PerfectMind at the Richmond Olympic Oval and has worked closely with the company to enhance their product so it can meet the needs of our rapidly growing community. We believe it will become the new standard for a robust, customer-friendly registration solution for local governments.” …

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Japan’s majestic Kaiwo Maru sailing to Richmond for multi-day ship festival

Georgia Straight

Japan’s Kaiwo Maru — one of the world’s largest tall ships — is sailing across the Pacific Ocean to join the Ships to Shore King of the Sea Festival (May 5 to 7) at Garry Point Park (12011 Seventh Avenue, Richmond).

The four-masted, 361-foot-long and 182-foot-high naval training vessel will be making a rare North American visit in light of Richmond’s Canada 150th celebrations.

The Kaiwo Maru will be making her second voyage to Richmond since 2004, providing a rare opportunity to view this majestic ship,” said City of Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, in a press statement. “The Kaiwo Maru rarely leaves Japan and Richmond will be the only North American port of call on this visit. This special visit recognizes the strong cultural ties and long standing friendship between Richmond and Japan.” …

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Protestors try to damper bridge announcement

Delta Optimist

It was supposed to be a celebration of the start of construction of the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project but protestors had something else in mind.

Around three dozen opponents, including members of the Council of Canadians and Fraser Voices, were on hand at the Delta Fire Hall 4 in East Ladner Wednesday morning to make their presence loud and clear at the scheduled government announcement, which was to include a shovels-in-the-ground photo op for the media. …

The regional district and most other Lower Mainland mayors, including Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, have voiced opposition to the $3.5 billion bridge plan. …

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