This website is primarily devoted to major political issues in Richmond BC, my community, that interested me from 2015 to 2021. Discussion of the issues and ideas about how to deal with them are entirely from my own point of view. Others have seen the issues differently and their views have prevailed.

Richmond offers a remarkable combination of natural beauty, climate, country farmland and small city living close to Vancouver and convenient for travel up and down the west coast.

Issues I Worked On

There is an acute shortage of market rental housing units in Richmond's City Centre and Council only makes token efforts to do something about it. Young people brought up in Richmond can’t afford to live here. Neither can many first responders, hospital staff and City employees providing essential services.

A dramatic increase in new professionally managed rental housing will increase supply to meet demand, lower operating costs and bring down rents. Council should require substantial rental housing in major new housing developments like Polygon Talisman Park and Lansdowne Centre.

Read more here.

Covid has taught us that supply chains are easily disrupted. Global warming will increase the growing season in BC while disrupting agriculture in California and Mexico where much of the produce that we consume is currently grown. We must begin growing more of our food locally. Transporting food long distances creates significant greenhouse gas emissions, another reason to grow our food close to where it is consumed.

Our supermarkets are importing food rather than buying food produced locally. One reason is significantly higher labour costs here. More important, our inefficient food processing and marketing system makes it difficult to provide a reliable and consistent product in sufficient quantities and at a reasonable price throughout the year. There are steps Council can take now to turn that situation around.

Read more here.

In this time of financial hardship due to Covid, property tax increases should be kept close to the rate of inflation which is forecast to be 1.6 – 2% in 2021. Council has approved a tax increase totalling 5.68%. An increase of 1% is for future large capital projects when the City’s Uncommitted Capital Reserves already stand at $166.5 million. An increase of almost 2% is for an additional 16 RCMP officers, 11 RCMP municipal employees and 12 firefighters.

Of the 31 municipalities served by the RCMP, Richmond has the lowest case load per officer and the fourth lowest crime rate. Richmond’s cost per capita for police services is higher than 40% of the other municipalities. The consultant’s report which recommended the additional firefighters said that they will not be needed until 2027. Postponing these items would reduce the 2021 tax increase from 5.68% to 2.69%, a far more reasonable figure in the present circumstances.

Read more here.

Large trees provide shade to cope with global warming, oxygen production, carbon storage, bird and animal habitat, and natural beauty that makes Richmond a better place to live. Removing a large 30cm tree requires at least one replacement 6 cm tree. Unfortunately, that tree will provide no meaningful shade and carbon storage and no bird will build a nest in it. It takes on average 35 years to grow to the size of the removed tree.

There should be a $5,000 application fee for the removal of healthy large trees of which $4,000 will be refunded if the application is refused. The retained $1,000 covers the staff time involved. The additional $4,000 covers the loss of benefits from the removed tree and should be used to help offset the cost of an additional City arborist to review tree removal applications.

Read more here.

Non-farmers have been buying up Richmond farmland in order to build mega mansions that make it difficult to farm the land. Farmland prices are beyond what any farmer can afford.

Read more here.

Both immigration and housing prices have increased dramatically. Foreign language signage has been an issue. These have resulted in inter-cultural isolation and mistrust.

Read more here.

Rezoning of the vacant main floor space in the six waterfront Onni buildings in Steveston has dragged on for years becoming a major saga. Community opinion has been sharply divided.

Read more here.

About Me

  • Retired McGill University senior administrator, researcher and Adjunct Professor;
  • Founder and Coordinator of the Richmond Rental Housing Advocacy Group which is leading the campaign to require substantial rental housing in the huge Polygon Talisman Park and Lansdowne Centre developments;
  • FarmWatch member in the campaign to stop the building of mega mansions on Richmond farmland;
  • A leader of the campaign for fair rezoning of the Onni Imperial Landing waterfront buildings to provide for local needs and an adequate community amenity contribution;
  • Founder and Coordinator of Plug-in Richmond working in collaboration with the City of Richmond and the BC Government to promote the use of electric vehicles;
  • Past Treasurer of The Richmond Museum Society working to preserve Richmond's heritage;
  • Richmond BlockWatch Block Captain working to protect the local community;
  • Former Director of the McGill department responsible for the use of technologies in teaching;
  • Author of virtual reality simulations used to teach negotiation skills to MBA students and performance skills to music students;
  • A founder of the former international film magazine Take One.
  • More

Community Activist

Steveston Meeting

Speaking at a community meeting in Steveston.

Canada Day

Driving one of the first Tesla Model 3 electric vehicles in the 2018 Canada Day parade.

Plug-in Richmond

Plug-in Richmond

Founder and coordinator of Plug-in Richmond which provides information for drivers interested in switching to an electric vehicle.

Working with the City of Richmond, Emotive BC and the Richmond School District on teaching materials about electric vehicles to be used in Richmond schools.