The Richmond News September 17, 2010 A11
Beware of builders bearing gifts about getting the money from future developers. To fill in, the city contemplated paying out an extra $3.75 million of our taxes to the farm sector over a ten-year period, simulating the interest that the hoped-for $10 million might have generated. Meanwhile the “agricultural endowment fund” idea evolved to favour “bona fide farmers.” The smaller growers, vital for local food security, didn’t seem to count. Thankfully, Richmond’s Agricultural Advisory Committee never endorsed the “fund.” In February 2009, the “fund” happily died with the ALR application. In April 2010, the “fund” came back to haunt us
when the band sued the city. The band’s statement of claim says the Garden City lands application “confirmed that Musqueam and the CLC had agreed to contribute $10 million towards an agricultural endowment fund to provide substantial benefits to agriculture.” The city has finally hired top lawyers, and this “fund” mess illustrates the need for them. While hampering our legal struggle, the ghostly “fund” does teach a timely lesson: when rezoning applications get linked to donations, the payoff can be nothing but trouble. Jim Wright Richmond
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Holy cow, Harold! Are there no more heroes? connection to the community and deep affinity to the land, that you’d be the one man we could always count on to stand up to the bulldozer and blow it back with blustery indignation. Alas, it’s now 2010, and clearly you’ve lost your stomach for the fight. Worse — much worse — it seems you’ve changed sides. I was shocked when I read you were selling (Editor’s note: a small section of) your family farm on the dyke to developers, and was even willing to suspend disbelief when you claimed
your family had made the decision and there was nothing you could do about it. But now, as you tell those who stood with you for decades that they should put up or shut up, and get used to multi-storey towers casting a shadow on the village named after your family, I can no longer excuse your current stance as being the exception. Cozying up to developers is clearly now the rule. If the towers do go up, and they’ll have to pour concrete over hundreds of residents for that to ever happen, the
complex should forever more be referred to as the Harold Steves Towers. There are no heroes. Chris Parry Richmond
The Editor, Holy cow, Harold Steves! How quickly you’ve turned from the hero of the little man to the developer’s best friend. For years we’ve cheered as you railed against developers looking to steal Steveston’s soul and turn farmland into heavy machinery parking lots. Over the years, many have come to your deep freeze looking for clean, healthy, local meat. Others filled the ballot box with your name, reasoning that with your ancestral
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The Editor, The Onni sales pitch for towers on the Steveston waterfront includes a large donation to a community centre. We all like gifts, but a rezoning request should be judged on its own merits. Something similar happened with the application for provincial rezoning of the Garden City lands from ALR status in 2008. Canada Lands Company CLC and the Musqueam Indian Band were said to be endowing a Richmond agricultural endowment fund with $10 million. In reality, my thorough searches uncovered no money and no agreement — just a CLC note of support for the fund idea. I also found city staff thought
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Richmond News September 17 2010