Ted Townsend Reveals Much

The City, through spokesperson Ted Townsend, is suddenly singing a different tune about how the Garden City lands will eventually be divided if the agreements aren’t terminated. He is quoted in a Jan. 19 Richmond Review article, “Feds should take land back: Cummins,” with this comment on MP John Cummins’ recent letter about the Lands:

“There’s never been a vision to just draw a line down the middle of the land.”

Oh?! Council and the newspapers certainly seem to have been given that impression, and it would have been helpful if whoever didn’t have that vision had shared their non-vision months ago, when nonsense was being spouted ad nauseam even after the public pointed out what the two Garden City lands agreements actually say.

Furthermore, the City continues to give false impressions about how much land the City would get, which in all likelihood would be far less than half, and about who would draw the lines, which would be Canada Lands Company in the puppeteer role and the City in the puppet role.

In the Review article, Ted Townsend goes on with this critical comment:

“But to suggest [any land the City gets] may be scattered is misleading.”

Oh?! Both Garden City lands agreements (the Memorandum of Understanding and the Agreement of Purchase and Sale) say that the “Public Lands,” the possible City land, will be scattered throughout the property. How can John Cummins be judged as “misleading” for suggesting that the agreements mean what they say?

Even more revealingly, Review reporter Matt Hoekstra adds this:

Ted Townsend said he expects the development will mirror [a future project that] will incorporate public greenways and view corridors throughout their site.

In other words, Barbara Huisman got it right in her “To be or not to be contiguous” letter in in the Jan. 10 Richmond Review:

. . . the Richmond portion of the land would not be contiguous unless there were many strips of it crossing each other. Even in a grid, our city portion of the land would in fact be spread throughout the high-density development. We would in effect get to pay for the green space for the development so that it can be sold for more money.

Actually, Ms. Huisman got it doubly right, because we would first pay to buy that green space from Canada Lands Company and then pay city employees to keep it up. In contrast, if the green space were officially part of the development, then Canada Lands would receive no payment from the City. Moreover, the eventual owners would pay taxes on that land to the City, along with paying their own maintenance costs.

But let’s get back to Ted Townsend. His quotes in the article end like this:

“We’re not envisioning building gated communities where there’s a little green pocket that’s isolated in the middle of it.”

What a patently silly concept! No one else had envisioned it either. When the City is reduced to using a straw man argument like that, the rhetorical ploy speaks volumes.

And so does the newly unveiled City vision of the City parts of the future Garden City lands as public greenways and view corridors in the development lands.

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