Vetting the M.P. candidates | Delta-Richmond East

Four people are applying for the job of member of parliament for Delta-Richmond East. I want the successful applicant to be someone who is ready, willing, and able to keep the Garden City Lands green for ALR-appropriate uses that benefit the community. Here is my informed opinion about them.

Note: The indented quotations are from the Candidates’ Own words in the Oct. 10 Richmond News.


Szilvia Barna, New Democratic Party

I will protect the Garden City Lands and the Agricultural Land Reserve, which was created by the NDP to ensure we would be self-sufficient food producers.

Early in her candidacy, Szilvia Barna took the time to learn about the Garden City Lands issue from Coun. Harold Steves, her fellow New Democrat. Since then, she has made a point of expressing her “Save Garden City” commitment. One can tell from all-candidates meetings that Szilvia is smart and tenacious. As a Member of Parliament, Szilvia would be a good advocate for the Garden City Lands.


John Cummins, Conservative Party

I have long fought to work out a better deal in securing the federally-owned Garden City lands for the benefit of the Richmond community. Hopefully, the Provincial Agricultural Commission will soon decide to continue protecting these valuable agricultural lands.

We can then look for ways for the federal government to re-deploy the lands in a way that would complement the goals in Richmond of permanent open space in the city’s downtown and productive urban agricultural activity to strengthen local food security. I intend to continue pushing the federal government for such long-term uses on the Garden City lands, governed with true local input, producing local economic and other quality of life benefits.

John Cummins’ Richmond News statement (above) about his ongoing role is correct. That role has included helping to make the “Save Garden City” case to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Foods, who was supportive (to the extent that protocol permitted) in the minister’s letter to the Garden City Lands Coalition and similar letters to individuals. Leading environmental advocate Donna Passmore of the Farmland Defence League has strongly encouraged voting for John because of his courageous environmental work even though she frequently opposes the Conservative government. If re-elected as an MP, he would continue to be a good advocate with the federal government for the Garden City Lands.

Matthew Laine, Green

Matthew Laine is a pleasant and enthusiastic young man with the repeatedly expressed goal of changing the world. He is basically supportive of the Garden City Lands and everything else green, although he does not yet appear knowledgeable about the issue. As an MP, Matthew would no doubt aim to be a good advocate.


Dana Miller, Liberal

Dana Miller has expressed the view that the Garden City Lands are not part of the jurisdiction of the MP for Delta-Richmond East,* but she has indicated that she would work on this issue if elected. At all-candidates meetings, she grew in political skill to complement her analytical approach and determination, and that combination of qualities would help her to deal with the complex Garden City Lands issue. As an MP, Dana would probably be a good advocate for the Garden City Lands.

* Note: The Lands happen to be within the Richmond riding boundary, but they are on the edge of the Delta-Richmond East riding. Furthermore, no one’s constituents live on the property. What matters is that the Lands are important to all Richmond residents, regardless of where an electoral official happened to draw the boundary between ridings. Garden City Lands Coalition people have assumed they can reasonably expect both of Richmond’s MPs to work for their Richmond constituents on this matter. After all, it is of great environmental and food-security importance to all Richmond citizens as well as to a much wider community.


This writer’s choice as best for the Garden City Lands

John Cummins, with unique savvy and a history of dedication, ranks first in a strong field.

Szilvia Barna is a solid second, with  Dana Miller close behind and Matthew Laine showing longer-term promise.



  1. 1
    Adam Miller Says:

    John Cummins’ advocacy is a strange thing.
    He apparently advocates against port expansion, yet it was found out, that his biggest campaign contributor was indeed the port itself.
    His voice does not resonate with Harper. Based on your endorsement, We can all look forward to new condominium complexes in the Garden City Lands soon.

  2. 2
    Dana L. Miller Says:

    I read the content of your postings on each 2008 federal election candidate and was shocked by your lack of research and Conservative bias.

    Your endorsement for John Cummins, a 14-year backbencher Conservative, that has had zero accomplishments and no persuasion with his leader or caucus on any issue, is illogical.

    This group did not do the required research and failed to serve the environmental needs of constituents, particularly in Delta-Richmond East.

    During Richmond all candidate debate in 2004, Conservative John Cummins responded “more (military) tanks” should be put on the Garden City Lands, when asked about saving the lands. This 2006 to 2009 Conservative government has been one of the most regressive environmentally. Canada has a blemish internationally due to the Conservative governent environmental failures. The Conservatives were sued nationally for breaking the Kyoto law.

    I find your enorsement of John Cummins without merit, logic and your endorsement is environmentally destructive. Had this Garden City Lands group done their research they would have posted more facts versus Conservative politically biased opinion.

    I was the 2004 Green Party of Canada candidate for Delta-Richmond East. I have a long history of environmental advocacy. I am the sole researcher, writer and co-presenter of the UNESCO nomination and designation for Burns Bog policy document that was included in the Liberal Party of Canada 2008 platform. In 2007, I consulted with First Nations, Mayor and Council members. I sought information from the BC First Nation land negotiators. I toured the site with Michael Wolfe. I requested your plan designs for review.

    During the 2008 election debates, I repeatedly requested Michael Wolfe and Matthew Laine to question John Cummins on the lack of Conservative environmental protection policies. Little did I know that Michael Wolfe and Matthew Laine were actually supporting Conservative candidates and that is why they failed to question in debate. The Green candidate’s actions leave me little room to trust their ability to protect our environment.

    (Aside: The 2008 Delta-Richmond East NDP candidate’s husband Adam Miller can be found posting and writing letters to editors on her behalf. I gather they find it politically helpful that they have different last names.)

    It is my sincere hope that bloggers and website authors do their research more diligently in the future to serve Canadians.


    Dana L. Miller

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