Paranoia versus vigilance

A comment yesterday on this blog suggests that:

. . . the City has “master plans” for the Garden City Lands in place as we speak, and has another application to submit to the Agricultural Land Commission. Our current Council’s political DNA is all over the latest GCL saga, and they will want to hit the home run soon, before Nov 2011 [the next election month].

Well, no doubt there are two or three Pave Garden City council members who will never let go of their visions of big concrete buildings on the Garden City Lands, but it would seem hard to get a majority. Which council members does the commenter expect to switch from the Save Garden City side to the Pave side?

  • Councillors Harold Steves, Linda Barnes, and Sue Halsey-Brandt all declared their commitment to keeping the lands in the ALR long before public opinion was firmly on the Save side.
  • I don’t recall Coun. Derek Dang ever expressing strong commitment like that, but his vote spoke well at crunch time.
  • Coun. Bill McNulty has unmistakably shown that he supports the goals of the Garden City Lands Coalition Society.
  • Coun. Ken Johnston sent a letter to the commission opposing the 2008 ALR-exclusion application, and he ran for election on his commitment to keeping the lands as “open green space for your children and your grandchildren,” as shown on YouTube.

It may be that the Pave Garden City faction will stop at almost nothing. Certainly, they are politically slick and adept at using the levers of power. Judging from comments at the council meeting of March 8, 2010, they may go back to earlier methods to confuse and mislead the public, and they’ll learn from past bungling. However, I don’t believe there’s an ALR-exclusion “master plan” currently supported by a majority of council. And I do agree that vigilance will be needed.



  1. 1
    Roland Says:

    11th hour epiphanies by elected officials don’t cut it. Some of them are of the view and on record as stating that once we elect them we should hand them the keys to democracy and trust them . Far too many issues are dealt with behind the scenes and we the citizens are the last to know, let alone be consulted.

    Since 2005,as we sat through many meetings, hearings etc, it became clear our City Hall had little if any clue about the ALR. I as a citizen who took the time to educate myself re the ALR, ALC Act, Commission decsions etc. was both suprised and disappointed listening to the “logic” and rationale.

    If some Councillors are on record as wanting to keep the lands in the ALR, why did they pay such a premium for the lands ? That to me is a major red flag.

    Council has still not put the GCL into the Metro Vancouver Green Zone?

    The City has $60 Million invested in land it does not have 100% control of. It is effectively partnered with the ALC on the GCL’s future. It is losing millions in combined interest and property taxes, as well as a defendant in a lawsuit.

    The City should have a plan in place for the GCL…..if it doesn’t I think that is even worse .

    That Council flip-flopped on this to me indicates they could flip flop again on this and other matters. Fool me once shame on me, fool me twice…..

    I don’t call it paranoia, its called forwarned = forearmed based on the past evidence.

    • 2
      Ravi Says:

      These councillors will come and go, and when they are gone, the lands will turn into a developer’s bonanza. Just as we saw a decade long flip flop on gambling and casinos in Richmond. There IS NO other reason for them to want control of the GCL period. Love it or hate it one way or another this deal is done, like the HST, like the massive “Campbell Dam” up north, these things are decided way before we ever have a say and then the elected officials do their duty by putting up the good little fight, in the end… we lose as ALWAYS!!!if they wanted to preserve the GCL we would already have pocket farms, etc on them. Nobody is ever going to agree with $60million of the public’s taxes going to preserve a piece of land for the sake of posterity when we live in the greediest and most corrupt time in Richmond’s history.
      Don’t forget that despite these councillor’s naysaying and waxing on about how they do not approve of any development on the GCL it is actually under THEIR watch that this deal went through. Not to mention that these same councillor’s have also presided over the council through some of Richmond’s worst problems to date.
      Politicians are in place for a reason, to ease the pain and take the brunt for the larger more sinister agenda. Call it Paranoia, but it doesn’t matter it’s already a done deal and NOTHING we can do will stop it. It is only a matter of time.
      I am not happy about it, but it’s reality and it really is a much bigger problem than simply the GCL lands, this is just a symptom of the bigger problem… sadly most people would rather tune out and watch Telly. That’s the point.

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