Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Island City still “better in every way”

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Richmond News February 2, 2007

…in recent months, Gordon Kibble, who co-chairs the city’s advisory committee on the environment, started noticing a new logo – “Better In Every Way” – appearing on city advertising.

When Kibble started asking who made the change and why, he said he got no answers from city councillors.

“I have never gotten a straight answer as of yet,” he said. “Who decided the slogan needed to be changed and why? And who gets to vote on this?”

Never mind that – who in their right mind would think this is any any way a defensible statement? And better than what … or where?

Let’s just look at some of the ways Richmond is well behind other cities:

  • Traffic – Number 3 Road is proverbial in the region as one of the worst places to find yourself stuck
  • Risk of flooding – the dyke is inadequate even before taking into account the inevitable sea level rise consequent upon global warming
  • Very little affordable housing and no plan to provide more
  • Absolutely zero provision for the homeless
  • Hardly any assistance for those on low incomes other than a food bank which is entirely dependant on charity. The food bank was supposed to be a temporary response to lack of provision by governments at all levels. That was what 20 years ago. It is now a permanent feature and one of the excuses that allows such poor public provision
  • Aircraft noise: no controls over the way YVR can send low flying, heavy aircraft over populated areas
  • A shameful human rights record in the Fire and Public Works Departments

I could go on – but you get the idea. For the longest time I have tried to get organsiations to see that complacency is the greatest barrier to improvement. Win an award, or tell yourself “We’re No 1” and no-one is allowed to point out how you could do better. And Richmond – the City and the place – really needs to do better – than we are doing now!

Written by Stephen Rees

February 2, 2007 at 10:33 pm

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