MP candidates, please bring something positive

Former MP Joe Peschisolido, who is a candidate in the coming federal election, has sent a number of letters to the Richmond newspapers criticizing the current MP, Alice Wong, for her handling of the Garden City Lands issue.

The Richmond Review published a letter from me on the topic in Thursday’s paper but not online. I’m providing it below, with comments at the end.

RE: Ex-MP had wrong approach on Garden City lands, by Carol Day.

Both MP Alice Wong and Joe Peschisolido have expressed clear support for keeping the Garden City lands green in the ALR for agricultural, ecological, and open-land park uses for community wellness. Both also agree that the basic Garden City Lands agreement, the 2005 memorandum of understanding, was bad for Richmond.

With that context in mind, I’ve reviewed an old 14-page legal opinion to the Garden City Lands Coalition Society that analyzes the agreement in depth. In effect, the analysis supports Carol Day’s view about how a Richmond MP could best help with the mess.

What appears to have thrown Joe Peschisolido off on one point is that most memorandums of understanding are less binding. Although the City of Richmond’s two development partners could easily get out of the Garden City lands one, the city was entangled beyond rescue until a later stage.

The community mainly needed Richmond’s MPs to work behind the scenes with the federal government so it would be ready to act in an eventual window of opportunity. However, as Carol Day says, the city’s purchase of the lands has changed that.

True, the city still has a toe caught in the bad agreement because it left itself open to a Musqueam lawsuit, but that’s not very relevant to our MPs’ new role. We will want them, along with our MLAs, to help the city obtain funding from federal and provincial programs to further the agricultural, ecological, and open-land park values.

By the time the lawsuit was sprung, Alice Wong’s staff had already done a program scan and shared it with me. My feeling is that Joe Peschisolido as MP would have done something along those lines too.

As a federal election nears, we are fortunate to have candidates with a shared respect for the natural treasure of our Garden City lands and a shared will to nurture it.


In today’s Richmond Review, another letter from Joe Peschisolido continues the political tactic. For balance, here is the one short response from Alice Wong, which was to an earlier letter in the series from Joe Peschisolido.

Unfortunately, what’s happening is confusing a complex issue that I’ve tried hard to make understandable. Politically, I don’t even see how the ongoing tactic is helping the chances of anyone except perhaps the New Democrat and Green candidates. So far it appears that all the candidates in the Richmond riding will be supporters of saving the Garden City Lands, and a useful election discussion on the issue would focus on positive ways for the federal government to help in the future.



  1. 1
    Daniel Leung Says:

    “By the time the lawsuit was sprung, Alice Wong’s staff had already done a program scan and shared it with me. My feeling is that Joe Peschisolido as MP would have done something along those lines too.”

    I don’t know what Joe Peschisolido as MP has done positively, but I know what he had done during the battles of Save Garden City Lands :
    He never state his viewpoints or plans to save GCL;
    Never meet with the Ministry, MP, MLA, and City Council for solutions;
    Never show up in the public hearing nights to hear from the citizens’ voices;
    Never join the eco-tour on Garden City Lands to understand the use of the lands;
    Never come to the GCL booths on Earth Day and Farmer Market to encourage the Coalition.

    BUT, I witness Dr Alice Wong MP had done all of the above positively and effectively. Mr. Peschisolido where are you hidden in the last 4 years?

  2. 2
    al Says:

    OMG Jumpin Joe;

    Rumour has it you are a lawyer ?

    The GCL matter lay dormant after the ALC denied the 2nd ALR exclusion attempt. The Federal Gov’t under Chretien , hence the CLC , ( aka under a Liberal administration ) ignored the legal precedent established when Federal lands are deemed surplus must ” consult” with the appropriate First Nations groups the surplus lands fall within their traditional territory.

    The GCL could have sat there for years, both the Musqueam and CLC paying approx $35,000 in annual property taxes,….and the City had the upper hand as to highest and best use.

    The City of Richmond for some reason paid $ 50 million over market price for land that was not only put into the ALR, but has , upon appeal, twice certified as ALR.

    Why would the Feds , via the CLC give back the $29 Million ?.
    This was a busines deal, the CLC was set up as a business .

    Will the CLC then go to other parts of Canada and return funds to jurisdictions it has done business in or with ?
    The Federal Liberals could have arranged a deal that the Musqueam’s share was bought out and the City gifted the 100% UNencumbered = clear title to Richmond.

    Keep in mind the CLC had to agree to the sale price, and obviously they felt the future was clear aka take the money the City offered and run, especially given it ended up an embarrassing mess for all concerned.

    The entire deal will go down as worse than the NYC Manhattan sale.
    The Federal Gov’t has no say in the matter, it is currently a matter involving the Musqueam versus a Local Gov’t…..PERIOD

    Jumpin Joe , if all you have to offer is ” water under the bridge” , and apologist for you latest political party, simply go back to private practice .

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