Vetting the M.P. candidates | Richmond Riding

I want to keep the Garden City Lands green for ALR-appropriate uses that benefit the community, and I’ve been thinking about how much help can be expected from each Richmond Riding MP candidate if elected to Parliament. Here is my informed opinion.

Note: The indented quotations are from the candidates’ own words in the Oct. 8 Richmond News.

 

Raymond Chan, Liberal

Raymond Chan took credit for the Garden City Lands agreement on the home page of his website for two years.  If the Lands are not saved, he will have contributed to that setback for the environment and food security. At the Sept. 29 all-candidates meeting, he did briefly state that he will accept the people’s wishes if the community wants to keep the Lands green, but he is not likely to transform into a strong “Save Garden City” advocate. (However, times change and people change.)

 

Dale Jackaman, New Democratic

Dale Jackaman has been a supporter of saving the Garden City Lands in response to both of the  applications to exclude them. With his long-standing interest and his attendance at the public hearings in March, he must be knowledgeable about the issue. However, at the Sept. 29 all-candidates meeting it was as though he didn’t really want to be there.  If Dale actually wants to be the MP, he could be a good advocate for the Garden City Lands.

 

Michael Wolfe, Green

Just down No. 4 Road I witness the Garden City lands nearly every day, a place that connects our glacial past with our concerning future. Conserving biodiversity is the best economic deal humanity has ever had placed before it since the invention of agriculture.

More than any other candidate, Michael Wolfe has been active in working to save the Garden City Lands. Besides his campaign emphasis on the issue, the ways include making presentations to council, leading eco-tours and volunteer clean-up crews, cataloguing the plant and animal life, and promoting the “Save Garden City” message at the Garden City Lands open houses and community events. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Since Michael is running in two elections at once, an additional effective way to support him would be in his fight for a seat on city council. As an MP or city councillor, he would be a good advocate for the Garden City Lands.

 

Alice Wong, Conservative

The economy has to be balanced with environmental concerns. In Richmond, I have been a major proponent of supporting greenspace for the Garden City Lands, a view shared by many. I do not want to see the lands removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve. I do not want to see any high density development on the lands, and I do not think Richmond’s character will be enhanced with another 10,000 cars on the streets.

Alice Wong has said she cares deeply about the Garden City Lands, and her actions consistently back that up. Alice attended almost all of the lengthy public hearings in March, she promoted the Kwantlen urban agriculture education proposal at a press conference, and she has campaigned on the Garden City Lands issue. In the Richmond News, she even mentioned taking the opportunity to speak to Prime Minister Stephen Harper about it when he made a campaign stop in Richmond last Thursday. Alice has been clear that she would make a priority of working for a new Richmond-friendly arrangement for the Garden City Lands. As an MP, Alice would be a good advocate.

 

Independents

There are two independent candidates, Wei Ping Chen and Dobie To. They seem to have no publicized views about the Garden City Lands.

 

My choice as best for the Garden City Lands

So which candidate would make the best Member of Parliament for the Richmond Riding? It was looking like a tie between two excellent candidates— Alice Wong and Michael Wolfe.  Then Michael told the media that he wants Alice Wong to replace Raymond Chan.  That (thank you, Michael!) makes my choice easier:

·        Alice Wong for Member of Parliament

·        Michael Wolfe for Richmond City Councillor

 

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