Richmond MLA candidates and Garden City Lands

There was significant discussion about agriculture at the Richmond all-candidates meeting of May 8, 2013 organized by the Touchstone Family Association. A large audience listened to 14 candidates for MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) in the 2013 B.C. provincial election in the ridings of  Richmond Centre, Richmond East and Richmond Steveston.

Michael Wolfe, who is vice president of the Garden City Conservation Society, was the most specific, explaining the value for agriculture that he hopes to achieve with the Garden City Lands by bringing the provincial government together with Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Sustainainable Agriculture Program, Richmond School Board agriculture courses and the City of Richmond. I believe that is an appropriate and promising way to proceed.

Richard Lee and Carol Day, who both used the Garden City Lands to illustrate their support for agriculture, expressed strong agreement with Michael Wolfe’s proposed approach. While Michael is the foremost expert on the ecology of the Garden City Lands, Richard and Carol are also active and committed members of the conservation society with firsthand knowledge of the Lands from eco-tours. (Apart from Michael, who guides the tours, Carol and Richard are the only ones of the MLA candidates who have participated.)

Garden City Conservation Society logo, Richmond, BCCarol  has always provided Garden City Lands Coalition (and Garden City Conservation) signage and bumper stickers (like the one shown here) and dynamically led special events, and she has served as a director of the society. Richard  has been very conscious of the importance of the lands for the people of the City Centre Area, whom he has served for years as a director of the City Centre Community Association.

Linda Reid was a principled early supporter of conserving the Garden City Lands at a time when the other Richmond MLAs were tacitly not supportive, and she expressed that support in clear public ways. At the all-candidates meeting, Linda stated that she is “all about agriculture,” and that seems true.

There was unanimous support for the Agricultural Land Commission from Gian Sihota and Jerome Dickey and everyone else who managed to mention to talk on the topic.

The only current candidate who has caused concern with regard to the Garden City Lands issue is John Yap, who in July 2009 refused to publicly support climate action by means of the peat bog of the Garden City Lands even though he had the title of Minister of State for Climate Action. There are details in the “Climate action news release” article on this blog.

Five candidates—Lawrence Chen, Chanel Donovan, Gary Law, Lloyd Chen, and Mike Donovan—were absent from the meeting.


There was no discussion of transportation at the meeting, which had a theme of social services. The omission was surprising because  major social service groups like the Richmond Poverty Response Committee and Richmond Food Bank proactively promote transportation planning from a social-service perspective. I passed in a question about immediate action related to the Massey Tunnel, but it was not put to the candidates.


Personally, I also thought Nathaniel Lim and Scott Stewart showed they could make good Richmond MLAs. Teresa Wat seemed nice enough, but I would have liked to hear more knowledge of Richmond in her answers.

I arrived at the meeting still trying to choose from among four candidates, and my choice became clear by the end of the evening.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s