Metro municipalities brace for cannabis retail gold rush

Business in Vancouver

Ottawa’s Cannabis Act, Bill C-45, passed third reading in the House of Commons on November 27, little more than seven months before the federal government’s July 1, 2018, target date for legalizing recreational marijuana. The bill must be approved by the Senate and achieve royal assent but the writing is on the wall that legalization is on the way.

The B.C. government has yet to reveal how it plans to regulate retail sales for non-medicinal marijuana. …

No dispensaries operate in Richmond, and Mayor Malcolm Brodie said the community supports council’s opposition to retail outlets in the city.

“Everything has been done so quickly that, probably, there would be a public process before we came firmly down on [forbidding dispensaries in Richmond],” Brodie said.

Were the province to require Richmond to allow bricks-and-mortar cannabis retail outlets in the community, Brodie said he would prefer that they were either pharmacies or government liquor stores and not privately run dispensaries.

Brodie opposes cannabis cultivation on farmland because he doubts that the crop would be secure. He said production should be on industrial land. …

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Richmond cash starts design work on new Canada Line station

Vancouver Sun

Richmond has sent $3.5 million to TransLink to pay for designing a new Canada Line station at Capstan Way.

The city’s council approved the transfer at a meeting on Tuesday night.

In 2012, Richmond signed an agreement with TransLink for Capstan station, which will be at No. 3 Road between the existing Aberdeen and Bridgeport stations. Capstan was one of four stations that were planned for the Canada Line to be built later when they were needed. …

In an interview, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie suggested that a similar arrangement could work for stations along the planned light rail lines in Surrey and Langley and the proposed Broadway SkyTrain extension in Vancouver.

“It does beg the question as to the level of financial support that Vancouver and Surrey have to give for the rapid transit lines that are going into their communities,” Brodie said. “What is their responsibility? And that question is not yet answered.” …

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Letter: Farmland mansion review a step in the right direction

Richmond News

Dear Editor,

Last week, when most of Richmond’s planning committee voted to send the bylaw regarding home sizes on Richmond’s ALR lands back to staff for further information and more options for preserving land, we felt it was a small step in the right direction.

Staff were specifically tasked to look at options for smaller home sizes and home plates than allowed under the current bylaw.

They are also asking for the province to do their part to help municipalities deal with increasing speculation on farmland.

Councillors Harold Steves and Carol Day presented more information to the committee on the mansions that continue to be built under this bylaw (and emphasized that these are not farm homes), and in the end, nearly all members of the planning committee (Chak Au, Bill McNulty, Linda McPhail, Malcolm Brodie and Harold Steves), with the exception of Alexa Loo, voted to send it back to staff.

We welcome this positive step because it means that council is starting to give equal weight to the voices of the public and not just to the often-overwhelming voices of farmland owners and others interested in keeping farmland prices high. …

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Richmond’s compost waste stinking up Delta

Richmond News

Richmond’s mayor is downplaying the impact Richmond may be having on increased odour complaints in Ladner.

Since March, the City of Richmond has been diverting its multi-family home organic waste from Harvest Power in east Richmond to Delta-based Enviro-Smart Organics.

And since about that time, Delta residents have increasingly become disturbed by foul composting odours, much like their Richmond neighbours.

Mayor Malcolm Brodie said he’s been told by Metro Vancouver and city officials alike that Richmond’s multi-family waste is “clean,” meaning it has limited contamination and much of the meat scraps are mixed with yard waste for aeration to mitigate odours. …

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Richmond asks for help fighting invasive aquatic plant

Vancouver Sun

A letter to the provincial government will likely be the next step in Richmond’s efforts to eradicate an aquatic plant that has invaded a waterway in Steveston and threatens a nearby wetland.

The staff recommendation to send the letter requesting that the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations get involved immediately and allocate money to fighting the Brazilian elodea infestation was endorsed by all members of the general purposes committee last week, of which the mayor and all councillors are members.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie is confident council will vote unanimously to send the letter at Tuesday’s meeting.

“There’s frustration by the city, there’s certainly frustration on the part of the strata unit holders in what’s called Mariner’s Village, which is where it is, and it’s important that it move ahead expeditiously,” Brodie said on Monday.

“It is a real problem and we just have to make sure it does not spread anywhere.” …

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BALDREY: Pot to dominate spring session in Victoria

North Shore News

There is a runaway freight train barrelling down the track at all provincial governments, and the young B.C. NDP government is no exception to its impact.

I’m referring to the looming legalization of recreational marijuana, which will create a hornet’s nest of problems at the provincial government level. …

Who will sell marijuana and how is a key issue. It could be through government liquor stores, or through private outlets, or through a mixture of the two, or some other model.

Another big question is whether all municipalities will agree to have marijuana-dispensing facilities within their boundaries. Already, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie has said his municipality will be saying “no” to such drug outlets. …

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Richmond Sports Wall of Fame adds 9

Richmond News

The City of Richmond announced nine outstanding individuals will be inducted into the Richmond Sports Wall of Fame on Nov. 18 at Richmond city hall.

“Sport is an important part of our community’s heritage, as well as providing lifelong benefits to its participants and inspiration for us all,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie, via a news release. …

This year’s induction ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Nov. 18 in council chambers at Richmond city hall. The induction ceremony is open to the public. …

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Richmond farmland mansion review to be continued

Richmond News

There are fewer, and smaller, mansions being built on protected farmland six months after a new bylaw ushered in new development restrictions, according to a report by City of Richmond staff.

On Tuesday, city councillors had different reactions to the review after hearing from landowners and small-scale farmers, who also had differing views on house sizes on the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). …

Since April, the average size of homes is 8,192 sq. ft., which is lower than the 10,408 sq. ft. average between 2010 and 2016.
But even with the 21 per cent drop, questions by councillors remained regarding the footprint and size of houses.

As well, the cost of farmland in general, is still viewed as too high for many who want to farm, which has lead to the suggestion of farmers leasing land. This has been proposed at both the civic and provincial levels.

“The more land leased, the more will be farmed,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. …

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Remembrance Day: City of Richmond preparing to remember

Richmond News

The City of Richmond invites the public to observe and participate in the annual Remembrance Day ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 11 at Richmond city hall, 6911 No. 3 Rd.

A parade will start marching at 10:20 a.m. towards the cenotaph, which is located on the east side of city hall. …

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Multi-family homes in Richmond not scrapping it out

Richmond News

Metro Vancouver regional district will target multi-family residents in its latest “Hey, food isn’t garbage” campaign.

Despite available green bins in most of the region’s apartment and townhouse complexes, too many food scraps are still ending up in the trash. …

“Metro Vancouver residents living in apartments and townhouses know composting is the right thing to do, but there are still barriers that keep them from using the green bins in their complexes,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, who is also chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee.

“We’re hoping that by making simple changes to their food scraps routine residents can help us keep waste out of the landfill.” …

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