Low taxes, superb services

Richmond is an extraordinary city in an unsurpassed location. Nature has given us a great deal. The determination and resilience of our residents has made the absolute most of these geographic benefits.

The combination of natural gifts and entrepreneurial innovation are a magic recipe. But success also depends on sound, sensible policies from the level of government that is closest to ordinary citizens.

Since 1993, I have been a city councillor who makes decisions based on the best available information, with input from the citizens affected and with an eye – always – to what is best for employers and employees in the city.

Our human diversity is one of our greatest assets and I have championed a harmonious multicultural community always. Diversity of people means diversity of perspective and ideas and that spells innovation.

With my votes on council, I have helped steer Richmond in a direction where low taxes and a competitive business environment take nothing away from the exemplary services our city delivers to all residents.

Through sound fiscal guidance and prudent stewardship, we have balanced spending on public facilities and services that are second to none in the region with tax policies and incentives that encourage growth.

The equation is this: What strengthens businesses helps employees, who spur consumer spending locally and continue enhancing our collective prosperity.

As we recover from the pandemic, the most dramatic social and economic cataclysm of our generation, the sound financial footing we have built in the city will be a foundation for even greater growth and achievement.

I am sometimes called a “booster” – and it’s a term I wear proudly. I am eternally confident in the ability of Richmond residents, businesses, nonprofits and every segment that makes up this great community to unite against any challenge and come out better than before.

This confidence is not that of a starry-eyed dreamer or a naïve neophyte. (I’ve been around too long for those descriptors!) It is the confidence of a devoted community servant who has been a firm hand at city council for almost three decades, helping to guide the city’s common sense financial strategies. I know that our approach works because I’ve seen the results.

One of the keys to continued economic growth and prosperity for all residents is an environment that is free from needless controversy and political posturing. Most decisions at the local level are not – or should not be – partisan issues. Occasionally, someone will try to score points on a contentious issue, but my approach has always been to find the best solution for the most number of residents. That is rarely, if ever, a “right” solution or a “left” solution. It is, almost invariably, a sensible solution.

That is what Richmond residents have come to expect from me at the council table. For almost three decades, I have been working to keep taxes low and civic services among the best in Canada. That’s the result of common sense, conciliatory approach and honest-to-goodness hard work.