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Richmond Centre candidates: In their own words

Richmond Centre candidates in the federal election were asked to submit a personal profile to the News. They are here in alphabetical order. (The PPC candidate didn't send in a profile.) 
Laura Gillanders (Green), James Hinton (PPC), Wilson Miao (Liberal), Sandra Nixon (NDP), Alice Wong (Conservative)

Laura Gillanders

Party:  Green Party of Canada

Occupation: Accountant/business owner

Bio: Laura Gillanders is a well-known advocate who successfully campaigned to save some of Richmond’s most productive farmland.

CFO of a construction company, and an urban farmer who balances the demands of motherhood and work, and a third-generation Richmond resident, Laura has championed community initiatives including defending Richmond schools slated for closure in 2016.

Her top priority — healthy, thriving communities — galvanized Laura into speaking out against empty homes, and for stronger protection of Richmond trees.

Laura chairs the City of Richmond Food Security and Agricultural Advisory Committee and is spokesperson and co-ordinator of Richmond FarmWatch. She lives and works in Richmond with her husband and children.

Top priorities for Richmond: 

Housing — tackling speculation in the market and increasing supply of market rental and affordable housing options.

Climate Crisis — bold action on climate change and updated legislation to protect the Fraser River, estuaries, fisheries, and farmland.

Past outstanding achievement: Laura lobbied the BC Greens, BC NDP, and Richmond Council against the sprawling mega mansions on prime farmland. Her leadership and perseverance resulted in house size limits both at the bylaw level in Richmond and legislated throughout the province.

Wilson Miao

Party: Liberal Party of Canada

Occupation: Media communications

Bio: Wilson has lived in Richmond for over 20 years and is proud to call Richmond his home. He immigrated to Canada with his parents from Hong Kong as a young child, and grew up right here in Richmond Centre.

Wilson is an active local volunteer and member of the Richmond business community. After obtaining a business degree from Simon Fraser University, he worked in corporate marketing and real estate. Wilson has also dedicated himself to senior living projects to enhance the well-being and quality of life for seniors.

As the Communications and Marketing Director for a local media platform, Miao strives to amplify stories from residents, leaders, and business owners. With extensive experience in the business sector, Wilson is ready to support British Columbian small and medium-sized businesses, driving job creation and economic growth for a sustainable and inclusive recovery.

A fluent speaker in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese, Wilson is looking forward to connecting with Richmond voters in the coming weeks to learn about their priorities and represent their voice in Ottawa. 

Top priorities for Richmond: Seniors care, youth support, climate actions, and community safety.

Past outstanding achievement: “I have realized that the meaning of my life should be free from self-centred values — it’s not about me winning, but other people in my community growing.

This is why I have put my name forward for this election to make real changes in my community.”

Sandra Nixon

Party: NDP (New Democratic Party)

Occupation: Church minister

Bio: Sandra is a principled and experienced community leader, working with organizations and groups to bring about positive social change.

She’s lived and raised a family in Richmond for the past 20 years, and has served on the Richmond School Board since 2014.

In her diverse roles, Sandra has been an active community advocate on poverty, housing, the environment, mental health, anti-racism, indigenous reconciliation and LGBT+ rights.

Sandra is not afraid of tough conversations.

She is committed to being a strong and fresh voice for Richmond, working to ensure the government follows through on taking the climate emergency seriously, and delivering better support for workers, students, seniors in long-term care, housing/affordability, pharmacare, and access to more health, dental and mental health services.

Top priorities for Richmond:

1) A fair pandemic recovery that supports individuals, families and small business — while ensuring determined action to tackle the climate emergency.

2) Fostering inclusivity, addressing racism and other forms of hate in our community

Past outstanding achievement: Supporting students and the community to successfully advocate for a school district SOGI (Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity) policy.

Alice Wong

Party: Conservative Party of Canada

Occupation: Educator

Bio: Alice Wong is an educator, entrepreneur and active community leader. She is the incumbent member of Parliament for Richmond Centre and is running with the Conservative Party.

First elected in 2008, Alice Wong has represented Richmond for the past 13 years, having been successfully re-elected in 2011, 2015, and 2019. During these years she has served as the Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism, member of the cabinet as Minister of State (Seniors), shadow cabinet minister for Small Business and as shadow cabinet minister for Seniors.

If re-elected, one of Alice’s priorities is improving the physical and mental health of Richmondites through the pandemic.

Alice emigrated from Hong Kong in 1980, and in 1983 became a Canadian citizen.

A lifelong learner, she obtained her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of British Columbia in 1993. She then worked at Kwantlen Polytechnic University until 2006 as faculty and Manager of International Programs.

Alice’s service to her community also includes volunteer work serving marginalized youth and women. She has coached and mentored women to be more financially independent through learning new job skills.

She has also educated newcomers about Canada, appearing on an English television teaching series and guest hosting on local radio and TV programs.

Alice and her husband Enoch Wong have been married for over 40 years.