Richmond councillor apologizes for suggestion of ‘preferential treatment’

Richmond News

Richmond City Coun. Carol Day apologized at Monday’s council meeting after suggesting a fellow councillor’s husband got “preferential treatment” in a development application.

A proposed large industrial development in east Richmond whose applicant, Terry McPhail, is the husband of Coun. Linda McPhail, was on the table at the council meeting for first reading.

(Coun. McPhail recused herself from the meeting during the discussion.)

Day was critical of the project on Graybar Road, highlighting tree issues and the potential loss of marine businesses, but when she pointed her criticism to the developer’s “connections to the city,” Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie called her remarks “inappropriate” and told her to retract her statements. …

“I would call upon Councillor Day to remove or retract those remarks,” Brodie said.

When Day tried to explain herself, Brodie said he didn’t want her to “go into more details.”

“You have impuned the motivation of our city staff and the applicant and, now, maybe you didn’t communicate it the way you meant it,” Brodie added.

“If that was taken the wrong way, I apologize Mayor Brodie,” Day replied. “I would like to say, this is a very complicated project and there are so many pieces of it that I’m uncomfortable with.”

Day went on to say she wanted to refer the proposal back to city staff, saying she’d like something more inline with what currently exists, especially maintaining the marine businesses.

Brodie, however, cut her off again and said he wasn’t looking for “another speech,” adding if she wanted to make a referral, it could be done “in due course.” …

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Canada’s spy agency is briefing local Vancouver-area politicians on foreign interference

Toronto Star

Canada’s spy agency has warned some municipalities in British Columbia to be wary of foreign interference in local elections this fall.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart says the Canadian Security Intelligence Service met with him recently, in what he was told was an unprecedented step, to go over concerns the agency has about the possibility foreign governments could try to affect the outcome of local elections.

“CSIS brought in a fairly high-ranking official as well as their China expert to give me a two-hour briefing on foreign interference in domestic politics,” Stewart told the Star.

“They said they didn’t normally reach out to locally elected officials but felt it was necessary in this case.” …

In Vancouver on Thursday night, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie attended a gala at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver with Chinese officials that was held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to mainland China. Since then the Beijing-backed local government has trampled democracy and human rights in the city and, experts argue, breached the terms of the Sino-British Joint Declaration meant to promise Hong Kong’s freedoms for 50 years.

The City of Richmond said the event was one of many events that “reflect the culture and diversity of Richmond” that the mayor and council attend.

Stewart, meanwhile, said during his meeting with CSIS he outlined ongoing “tensions” with Chinese officials posted in Vancouver. …

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Minoru Centre receives facility award

REMI Network

The City of Richmond has received the 2022 Bill Woycik Outstanding Facility Award from the Recreation Facilities Association of British Columbia (RFABC) for the Minoru Centre for Active Living.

The prestigious award, presented annually, recognizes a new or relatively new recreation, sport or leisure facility that meets a demonstrated community need through innovations in design, energy management, operations, revenue generation and services.

“Since being fully open to the community in 2020, the Minoru Centre for Active Living has become a recreational, social and cultural hub for the community that showcases the city’s commitment to innovation, design and environmental efficiency,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “The Minoru Centre for Active Living serves as an important place where Richmond’s diverse and intergenerational community can come together to be active and create connections.” …

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With e-scooters on the rise in Richmond, safety becomes a priority

Richmond News

With the weather good, gas prices bad and electric cars expensive, more people are opting for e-scooters and e-bikes as a way to get around.

And while that’s a positive thing, safety needs to be a top priority warns the city, adding that riders who violate the rules will be slapped with fines issued by the city’s bylaw officers.

That was one of the messages delivered at an e-scooter safety training session held yesterday with the city, Lime (an e-scooter sharing start-up) HUB Cycling and Richmond RCMP. …

[O]perators need to know how to ride safely before hitting the roads, according to Mayor Malcolm Brodie, who was at the training session.

“We have received comments from the public talking about the dangers of people who chose to ride e-scooters on sidewalks. If you see bicycles or e-scooters on sidewalks, that could be dangerous. We are mindful of that and want to educate people about it,” said Brodie.

He also noted that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a top priority for city council, and the e-bike and e-scooter sharing program has become one of the options to contribute to that goal. …

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Demand for air conditioners in Richmond heats up as mercury expected to rise

Richmond News

The demand to get air conditioners installed is skyrocketing in Richmond – especially as the temperature is expected to rise dramatically this weekend.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Metro Vancouver, forecasting above-average temperatures this weekend in the first hot stretch of the year on the south coast.

Daytime highs are expected to rise into the low 30s inland with overnight lows dipping down to the mid-teens. …

Meanwhile, the city’s cooling centres, public libraries and community centres will be open during regular hours for people who want to drop in to cool off, Mayor Malcolm Brodie told the Richmond News.

And, if the temperature keeps rising, the hours of these public facilities will be extended and the number of cooling places increased, Brodie added. …

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Art exhibition at Richmond Centre celebrates Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage

Richmond News

Contemporary artworks reinterpreted from traditional materials and artworks from Hong Kong are currently being showcased in Richmond Centre as part of an event celebrating the 25thanniversary of the hand over of Hong Kong to the Chinese government.

“Beyond Borders: Traces of Hong Kong Stories” showcases four out of 480 Hong Kong intangible cultural heritage (ICH) items. Featured artworks were created using techniques for making galvanized iron products, bamboo steamers, cheongsams, and Chinese flower buttons.

The exhibition, which runs until July 3, aims to “promote cultural exchanges through exhibiting more contemporary ICH artworks to (the) Canadian community, while sharing how ICH can integrate into people’s daily lives,” according to the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Toronto (HKETO), one of the presenters of the exhibit.

Mayor Malcolm Brodie, city councillors and MP Parm Bains joined the Consul General of the Chinese government, Xiaoling Tong, on a tour of the exhibit at Wednesday’s launch. …

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Don’t make developers guess where ‘goalposts’ are: Coun. Alexa Loo

Richmond News

A Richmond councillor cautioned against making housing developers guess where the “goalposts” are when they’re in the middle of planning a project.

Pakland Properties was asking city council to approve subdividing a property in south Richmond that currently has a duplex, in order to build two single-family homes with secondary suites in each.

The project, at Williams Road and Fourth Avenue close to Manoah Steves elementary, was the subject of a public hearing Monday night. …

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said the fact the development will have two single-family homes with secondary suites sounded “pretty affordable” to him.

He pointed out Day’s proposal to rework the project was contrary to the OCP, and he questioned how a developer could anticipate council wanting something that goes against current rules.

“I don’t think it falls into any category that is reasonable,” he added. …

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Alexandra Park opens in City of Richmond

Design Quarterly

The City of Richmond has officially opened its new Alexandra Park within the Cambie neighbourhood.

“Dynamic parks such as this, which provide amenities for residents to play sports, enjoy a new playground, walk their dogs or simply enjoy nature right here in the city centre are key to making Richmond the most livable and appealing community in Canada” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “The main objectives of the Alexandra Neighbourhood Park design were to preserve the natural character of the existing site, meeting community needs for active recreational opportunities and addressing sustainability and environmental features”. …

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Three Richmond Citizens’ Association candidates running for city council

Richmond News

Three left-leaning candidates have announced they’re running for Richmond city council in October’s municipal election.

Jack Trovato, who has run previously for council and federally for the NDP, has thrown his hat in the ring as a Richmond Citizens’ Association (RCA) candidate, along with Mark Lee – who ran in the 2021 by-election to replace Kelly Greene – and Keefer Pelech, who has worked for Greene in her role as an MLA. …

The municipal election will be held on Oct. 15, and most current councillors as well as the current mayor, Malcolm Brodie, have said they’re running for re-election. …

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Richmond’s Minoru Centre for Active Living gets provincial award

Richmond News

The City of Richmond’s Minoru Centre for Active Living received the 2022 Bill Woycik Outstanding Facility Award from the Recreation Facilities Association of British Columbia (RFABC).

The Centre, at 7191 Granville Avenue, houses one of the province’s premier aquatic facilities, a seniors centre, an event centre and an 8,500 square foot fitness centre. …

Mayor Malcolm Brodie said the facility has been serving as a community hub that showcases the city’s commitment to innovation, design and environmental efficiency since it was fully opened to the community in 2020. …

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