Surrey votes against Metro Vancouver regional growth plan

Delta Optimist

Metro Vancouver’s latest regional growth strategy will be going to a public hearing next month despite opposition from Surrey, the region’s largest and fastest growing city.

At the March 25 Metro Vancouver regional board meeting, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and four councillors aligned with his majority slate at Surrey City Hall voted against sending the proposed Metro 2050 Regional Growth Strategy to a public hearing. …

The vote to move forward to an April 20 public hearing was initially questioned by Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, who pondered if the proposed plan needed to first incorporate Surrey’s objections. …

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BC Housing ‘welcomes’ harrasment, bullying investigation at Richmond charity

Richmond News

BC Housing said it welcomes an independent investigation into harassment and bullying at Chimo Community Services, an agency it provides funding to.

The Richmond News has learned an internal investigation into complaints of harassment and bullying is taking place – the second one in three years –  at the agency, which runs Nova House, a shelter for women fleeing abuse, as well as many other services, for example, crisis lines.

“Results of the investigation will be shared with BC Housing to inform next steps,” BC Housing said in a statement to the News. …

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie told the News, while he has confidence in the services provided by Chimo, he expects city council to get more information about the WorkSafeBC claim, either in a formal or informal process.

“While you always review all these situations, Chimo is a long-standing, very valuable member of our community, from the crisis lines to Nova House for battered women, they have a lot of very good programs that I certainly support,” Brodie said, calling it a “steadfast” organization. …

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City of Richmond’s ban on single-use plastics comes into effect

CBC News

A ban on single-use plastics goes into effect in Richmond, B.C., on Sunday. The ban also covers foam take-out food containers.

Mayor Malcolm Brodie said reducing single-use plastic items, such as bags and straws, is key to the city’s goals, adding that the bylaw, which was adopted in September, will eliminate 35 million pieces of the banned items annually from disposal.

“We can all make a difference by choosing reusable options and supporting our local businesses as they transition to acceptable alternatives,” he said. …

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Richmond councillor claims UBCM housing report doesn’t give the whole picture

Richmond News

A Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) report claims housing supply in the province is actually keeping up with population growth – but one city councillor said this report doesn’t reflect decades of slow housing growth.

Canada – including B.C. and Richmond – is far behind on building housing, but this problem goes back decades when the federal and provincial governments significantly slowed down construction of rental and affordable housing, said Richmond city Coun. Andy Hobbs. …

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie recently told the Richmond News that, while Richmond’s population grew by 5.9 per cent between 2016 and 2020, there was a 9.8 per cent increase in dwellings – 7,557 new homes – completed over those four years.

Statistics compiled in the UBCM report mirror housing supply in Richmond, for example, homes in Squamish grew by 30.3 per cent while the population increased by just 21.8 per cent from 2016 to 2021. …

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Richmond loses beloved community member, who was a strong advocate for the vulnerable

Richmond News

Marnie Plant, one of the driving forces behind Richmond’s non-profit social enterprise Storeys Café, has passed away, age 65.

Plant’s family said she had been fighting, for two years, a rare form of blood cancer, but that she handled it with “remarkable grace and fortitude” by making the most of every day and seeing opportunity in adversity. …

Mayor Malcolm Brodie described her as a “hard worker” who cared a lot about serving people. …

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Richmond youth invited to learn about local politics

Richmond News

How does city hall work and how does city council make decisions?

These are some questions about local government Richmond youth might have – and the third annual eight-week youth civic engagement program could provide these answers. …

“It is an excellent opportunity for youth to learn about how the city works and to develop important skills to contribute to their civic, local government and community interests, and perhaps choose one of the many career paths in local government,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “We are looking forward to welcoming the registrants and offering this program for a third time.” …

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Construction to begin this year on $4B project including Massey Tunnel, Steveston interchange

CBC News

Construction to improve traffic between Delta and Richmond remains on track to start this year, the B.C. government said Friday — part of a major project that includes replacing the 62-year-old George Massey Tunnel.

At a press conference, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Rob Fleming said his government selected a “preferred proponent” last week to design and build the Steveston interchange, a key part of improvements to Highway 99. …

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said the project’s environmental assessment could take a significant amount of time.

“It would be inconceivable to have this new facility and not allow for the pedestrians and the cyclist who want to use the alternative forms of transportation,” Brodie said. …

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Highway 99 corridor improvements welcome news for Delta and Richmond commuters

Richmond News

Much-needed and overdue improvements of the Highway 99 corridor between Delta and Richmond are on the way and ultimately will lead to the replacement of the 63-year-old George Massey Tunnel.

That’s the message Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Rob Fleming and other elected officials delivered Friday morning from beneath the Oak Street Bridge in Richmond with the Highway 99 Tunnel Program now underway. …

“What we’re talking about here on Highway 99, is a matter of the quality of life, the quality of life of the people in Richmond is the people who have to commute on the corridor. It’s also a matter of efficient transportation on this route,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. …

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Peace out, plastics: A new single-use bylaw is about to take effect in Richmond

Daily Hive

Following the lead of the two biggest municipalities in BC, Richmond is bringing in its own plastic ban later this month.

The City of Richmond says the Single-Use Plastic and Other Items Bylaw No. 10000 will come into effect on Sunday, March 27. …

“Reducing reliance on single-use plastic is integral to our City’s goals for a circular economy, and it’s also part of a global effort to protect the environment,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “We can all make a difference by choosing reusable options and supporting our local businesses as they transition to acceptable alternatives. It is estimated that Bylaw 10000 will eliminate 35 million pieces of the banned items annually from disposal in Richmond.” …

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Richmond council debates minister’s stance on housing

Richmond News

What would David Eby say?

There was a difference of opinion between Richmond city council members at Monday night’s council meeting on what the provincial minister responsible for housing would think about the pace and type of development in the city.

At the meeting, Coun. Carol Day wanted to send two development proposals – one in Hamilton and one on Spires Road –  to ask developers to create “better” and high-density development.

Day said the proposed townhomes in Hamilton are “very tall and very skinny,” and she opposed having 59 per cent of the units with tandem parking – that is, fitting two cars in one after the other instead of side-by-side.

“I think it’s tomorrow’s ghetto,” Day said about the Hamilton project.

But Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said referring the Hamilton project back to staff could cause up to a year in delay in the project that’s been in the works since 2019.

In fact, he said, one idea being floated around, to speed up the supply of housing to combat the housing crisis, is to give “automatic” approval to projects that comply with the city’s Official Community Plan (OCP), like the proposed development on Smith Crescent in Hamilton.

“I think this epitomizes the problem that the province has talked about and if Minister Eby were here, I believe he would tell us to get on with it,” Brodie told the rest of council. …

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