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Former solicitor general elected to Richmond city council

Heed's running mate Derek Dang wasn't elected to council.
Kash Heed was joined at his victory party with campaign manager Loussine Kadian (left) and his partner Suki Johal.

Former solicitor general and former Vancouver-Fraserview MLA Kash Heed has a new role: Richmond city councillor.

With 10,563 votes, Heed just beat his Richmond Rise running mate Derek Dang by about 257 votes, taking the last spot on council.

Heed, who is a retired police officer, will join another newbie, RITE Richmond candidate Laura Gillanders, on city council along with all six re-elected incumbent councillors and Malcolm Brodie who will serve as mayor for his eighth term.

Heed said it was a “bittersweet” victory given Dang didn’t win.

But, he said, he thinks things will change this term, adding the divisiveness on council has been holding Richmond back.

“I think we’ve reached a council now where I don’t think business is going to be the same any more – it’s going to be a lot different,” Heed said.

Heed would like to see residents and businesses consulted more to guide city council’s policies, rather than city staff saying how things should be run.

“We’re elected by these constituents, we need to listen to them and we need to set policy and expect staff to deliver on that policy,” Heed said.

He thinks this type of leadership is needed not just at the local and provincial level but federally as well, whereby the bureaucracy is taking the lead instead of elected officials.

“That’s not the way it’s supposed to be done,” he said.  An example he cited was the length of time it takes for developments to go through city hall. He would like to see set times for how long developments take to be dealt with.

And if this means hiring more staff to clear “bottlenecks,” that’s what he’d advocate for.

“That’s the only way we’re going to be progressive in Richmond,” Heed added.