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Letters: Provincial Bill 44 a 'silent coup' of local governments

Richmond city council will become a 'relic' if they don't stand up to the province, says letter writer
The province is mandating Richmond city council to pass bylaws to significantly densify single-family neighbourhoods.

Dear Editor,

Re: "Richmond city council supports home ownership, not rental, in single-family areas"

Bill 44 is legislation created by the BC NDP government in 2023, allegedly to address housing availability and affordability. 

To achieve this, the NDP government has given local government until June 30, 2024 to draft and approve new OCPs in sync with Bill 44's details.

Effectively, Bill 44 is a silent coup over B.C.'s local governments' previous authority and autonomy.

This leaves many unanswered questions, such as is this "coup" necessary and will it achieve its alleged goals?

Like many such recent housing initiatives, it will likely fail miserably and in its wake create much havoc and turmoil for single-family neighbourhoods throughout B.C., which will become literal and figurative redevelopment warzones (Suggestion: Visit Spires Road's "redevelopment progress").

What is irrefutable is that our NDP government is bullying B.C. local governments with threats to comply with Bill 44. 

However, what are the "possible" penalties? 

Instead, this should create a realization by B.C. local governments that if this matter is not challenged, we can expect even more draconian measures from Victoria, e.g., other remaining local government powers (though planning via OCPs are one of the main historical mandates of local governments). 

Also, where are our three Richmond NDP MLAs - Ms. Greene, Mr. Yao and Mr. Singh? 

Who do they represent?  

In addition, our nine Richmond city councillors and three NDP MLAs were elected by Richmond citizens, not by the current BC NDP government. 

In summary, as it stands, approximately 60 B.C. NDP MLAs and Richmond's nine-member city council are mocking and disrespecting the grassroots and local-level democratic process.

The irony is that Richmond city council itself has often acted on many fronts with its own disrespect for the local grassroots democratic process.

Classic rites of passage include standing up to the given bullies.

Just say "NO" to Victoria. 

Resistance is not futile... it is increasingly required. 

Otherwise, B.C. local governments will increasingly become historical relics, redundant, irrelevant, impotent and obsolete etc. without, ironically, even any "heritage" designation.

Members of the voting public, neither in B.C. nor in Richmond, have ever voted for the aforementioned, nor would a majority of them agree if given the actual awareness of Bill 44 and provided the opportunity to vote accordingly.

R.A. Hoegler


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