Mayor’s Address focuses on Richmond’s sustainable future
17 February 2022
Taking action and investing wisely today to ensure a brighter tomorrow is the key to a sustainable future Mayor Malcolm Brodie told Richmond business leaders in his annual address.
Speaking at the annual Richmond Chamber of Commerce event, Mayor Brodie focused on the importance of sustainability and the need to look at the theme as far more than the environment and combatting climate change.
“Sustainability includes the development of policies, services and supports that ensure we maintain a high quality of life and a strong economy for present and future generations,” said Mayor Brodie during his annual address, presented online for the second year in keeping with COVID-19 protocols. “It involves many diverse areas such as ensuring safety for residents and businesses, providing adequate infrastructure, supporting the local economy as well as protecting our diverse culture.”
Over the past year, Mayor Brodie said the City and Council took numerous steps to encourage sustainable approaches in areas ranging from community safety and the environment, to infrastructure and fostering a strong local economy.
Among the examples shared were:
- Completion of Richmond’s Safe Community Strategy by funding an additional 16 RCMP officers and 12 firefighters in 2021.
- Opening of the new City Centre Community Police Office at Gilbert and Granville Avenues to improve police response times and enhance service delivery.
- Being among the first communities in BC to mandate mask wearing in City-owned spaces and making COVID-19 vaccination a requirement for City staff.
- Adopting the Single-Use Plastics Bylaw to help remove as many as 35 million foam food service containers, plastic straws and plastic checkout bags from garbage in Richmond every year – almost 660 tonnes of unnecessary and environmentally unsafe garbage.
- Investments of over $120 million in flood infrastructure such as the 39 pump stations and 49 kilometres of dikes to protect citizens from adverse weather events such as last November’s devastating atmospheric river.
- Protecting vital agricultural land for farming through adoption of a new soil deposit and removal bylaw that will help strengthen the economic viability of food production and improve irrigation/drainage infrastructure.
- Keeping the community active and healthy by implementing procedures for safe access to recreation facilities and programs during the pandemic. Over 80,000 people registered for in-person programs, with almost 700,000 drop-in admissions and membership scans and a participation rate that is almost 90% of pre-pandemic levels.
Mayor Brodie also outlined initiatives to promote the local economy and support businesses as they emerge in the post-pandemic environment. “Home to nearly 14,000 businesses, the number of new business licenses issued in 2021 increased by 15% from 2020,” he said. “This signals continuing economic recovery from the severe impacts of the pandemic and provides increased optimism for the future.”
He added that Richmond issued permits for 587 residential, 333 commercial and 217 industrial buildings in 2021 – a 23 per cent increase from the previous year. “With $719 million in new construction value, this remained higher than Richmond’s 10-year average,” said Mayor Brodie. “Council has also approved many key projects including the replacement of Steveston Community Centre and Branch Library, the Capstan Canada Line station and the redevelopment of the 50-acre Lansdowne Centre site. All will enhance and strengthen our community for future generations.”
As 2022 begins, Mayor Brodie told the online audience that he is looking forward with cautious optimism and touched on several community-focused projects in the works. These include the finalization of design for the Community Centre North in the Capstan Village neighbourhood, start of construction of the affordable housing complex on City-owned land on No. 2 Road, and completion of the Bowling Green Community Activity Centre and the new City Animal Shelter.
“Richmond has always been a civic leader by enacting bold, innovative, sustainable programs and strategies,” said Mayor Brodie. “City Council is building a safe and resilient city for generations to come.”
A full copy and video of the Mayor’s 2022 Annual Address is online via https://bit.ly/mayorsaddress2022 (case sensitive URL).