FV: Could you give a brief introduction of yourself?
Bill: I’ve been around Richmond for 47 years. I’ve been on the council for 25 years. I’m working very hard in the community and building community. I welcome people from overseas. I work very hard promoting harmony and inclusion in the community. I work extremely hard to get to know the Chinese community. I believe I’m always available to the Chinese community.
FV: Could you also talk a little bit more about your family?
Bill: Sure. My wife was a registered nurse. My two children live in Richmond. They own their own homes and they continue to do their careers. And my wife spend her time gardening now after she’s retired.
FV: So what do you think are the issues and improvements could be done for Richmond?
Bill: The number one issue in this election is community safety. We need a hundred more police officers and that will only take us up to the level of Burnaby. We are hiring 40 right now. The safety for every family is most important.As well we need to hire some fire rescue people so the medical calls can be looked after and the health problems can be looked after. Safety is the number one thing in Richmond no matter what people said.
FV: So beside safety, is there some other issue?
Housing and affordability. We have young people here we want to provide rental accommodation, we want people to be able to buy and live here. We also want them to work here. I have been pro business for a long time. And I continue to support small business we call them Mom and Pop shops, the little businesses the employ one two three four people. And to me that’s the most important thing because Richmond has hundreds of small restaurants, we must support them all and to keep them going. The livability here in the community, is very very important.
Transportation is another issue. The LRT is already too small for people. We need to get people from A to B and people love to drive their cars. We want them to be able to continue to drive their cars. People feel secure in their cars. And we want people to be able to go to work or go to play or whatever they want to do in their cars.
But one of the problem I put it in here, is we have a harmony problem. we have a jealousy problem. It’s because people come from overseas and their middle class, from China HK Taiwan, is higher than the Canadian middle class. They have more money, so they are able to buy things. People are jealous because of that. I am not jealous.
Harmony is a two way street. That’s why I work really hard to reach out to people. That’s why I go to all the events. I’m invited to dinner every Friday night, two or three or four dinner a night. I go to each one because every person is important. That’s why I have a Chinese name. We are brothers and sisters, friends and neighbours. And that’s how we live. That’s it.
FV: So if you got re-elected, what would be your solutions to the issues you just mentioned?
Bill: First of all, we will keep the taxes low. But we will also start hiring police officers in the plan of next couple of years to get to a hundred officers. I will definitely work on that. And I will continue reaching out in harmony with people. Supporting people like Ivan Pak for school board. I’m glad to see other members of the community coming forward in the political process. And I will help them. I encourage people not to be afraid but to come forward.
FV: So will you also talk about SOGI issue in our community?
Bill: I was a former educator, a school teacher. The SOGI issue should have been handled differently by the province, the provincial government, whether you are for or against it. When you have an issue as sensitive as that to everybody. Not just to the Asia community, we are all one community. It should have taken longer to discuss and layout. And it did not. The NDP government has made lots of mistakes. It’s not a good government. They throw it at the school board. Just said ok now it’s your ball, you deal with it. And that is not the way you deal with it. That’s one thing because as an observer, because I’m not involved anymore.
I would encourage people to go slow and to understand and to work with it and then implement it final. But that is just my opinion. Because it doesn’t involve me, I can’t vote on it one way or the other. But I think that something very important.
FV: Then what do you think about the homeless issue, or say the TMH issue in Richmond?
Bill: Now, I want to get the record straight. Many people involved felt I changed my opinion. I did not. I am in favour of finding permanent residences for the homeless. Again, the NDP throw 7 million dollars providing shelter in Richmond for the homeless.
The city had no choice if they wanted to take the 7 million dollars. And the only piece of the property the City has was the one on Elmbridge. It is not my favourite place to go. With 7300, I said, I did not favour and I still do not favour. However, it’s the only place the city has if we wish to implement it. And in my opinion, this is a temporary move. This is not a permanent move.
But we still need a permanent place in Richmond or a number of permanent sites the staffs are looking at right now. It should take time to find them. I was at concern about Raincity, the care taker. I did not like the way they assure us that they will be able to handle it properly. But again, in my opinion, this is only temporary. And we will keep looking. You can only put 40 in there. You can’t put 120. We have about 140 homeless people. There’s no place to go. They have to go somewhere else. So let’s build something properly. Let’s do it right. And I don’t like the way the NDP government throws money at them expecting the issue be solved.
FV: I see, and thank you for taking our interview. Good luck for your election.