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Help John Roston Run for Richmond BC City Council!
$7,685 raised
96% of $8k goal
37 contributors
0 days left
Ended Oct 22, 2018

I am a retired McGill University senior administrator and researcher who moved to Richmond BC in 2007 and became interested in major local issues and what Richmond City Council has been doing about them. My motivation in suggesting low cost innovative solutions at City Council meetings and in letters to the editor has been to bring about change, not get elected to Council. However, the current councillors have ignored my solutions, rejected them because they haven’t been tried elsewhere or said the problems don’t exist.

I was surprised when a diverse group of Richmond citizens said they liked my ideas and started a petition to convince me to run for City Council. I was doubtful at first, but we seem to have an oversupply of well known candidates who, with a couple of exceptions, only show up at election time. They speak sincerely about the problems, but don’t offer innovative ideas on how to solve them. Some of the issues are outlined below and explored in more detail on my website.

As an independent candidate, I do not have the resources available to the candidates nominated by the local political parties. If you are a British Columbia resident and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you can help even the playing field by making a donation to my campaign. It will be used for advertising materials to inform Richmond residents about the issues and my ideas.

More 2 & 3 bedroom rental housing for families & millennials, not small condos for investors. The Richmond housing crisis is the result of housing being used as an investment rather than shelter. Investment demand has driven up prices and reduced the stock of multi-bedroom rental housing. The City could demand that 80% of the units be multi-bedroom in the large developments now being planned.

More support for young farmers starting out, not mega mansions taking farmland out of production. Non-farmers have been buying up Richmond farmland in order to build mega mansions that make it difficult to farm the land. Farmland prices have skyrocketed beyond what any farmer can afford. Richmond City Council has refused to lower the maximum farmland house size below 10,764 sq.ft.

More intercultural mutual respect, not isolation and mistrust. Both immigration and housing prices have increased dramatically creating a perceived link between the two. Foreign language signage has also been an issue. These have resulted in intercultural isolation and mistrust. While there are a number of agencies in Richmond working effectively to integrate new immigrants, it is difficult to learn a new language and customs, especially for adults. Programs to increase intercultural understanding tend to attract those least in need of sensitization. Fun activities have to be developed that require working as a multicultural team on a common goal using facilitators with language translation skills.

More programs to improve neighbourhood safety and protect property. Business persons and retirees who travel for extended periods as well as new immigrants are frequently the target of residential crime and fraud. It is difficult for police to prevent these crimes. The most effective deterrents are neighbours who know one another and provide advice or raise the alarm when there is suspicious activity. The existing BlockWatch program and new Know Your Neighbour programs require expanded funding to be more effective.

Less waste of taxpayer money on endless reports and hearings due to City Council indecision. When councillors don’t know what to do about major problems, they ask city staff to prepare report after report and have a half dozen highly paid senior staff attend endless meetings. It’s a huge waste of taxpayers’ money because Councillors then do too little or nothing and the problems get worse.

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