Community Services Committee Meeting Minutes - May 9, 2000





Tuesday, May 9th, 2000


W.H. Anderson Room

Richmond City Hall


Councillor Harold Steves, Chair

Councillor Derek Dang, Vice-Chair

Councillor Malcolm Brodie

Councillor Ken Johnston

Councillor Linda Barnes

Mayor Greg Halsey-Brandt (4:10 p.m.)

Also Present:

Councillor Lyn Greenhill (4:12 p.m.)

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.




That the minutes of the meeting of the Community Services Committee held on Tuesday, April 26th, 2000, be adopted as circulated.




(Report: May 3/00, File No.: 8060-20-7133, 8060-20-7134) (REDMS No. 150882, 151604, 151131)

Chief Public Health Inspector Kelvin Higo reviewed the proposed bylaw amendment with Committee members. In response to questions, he provided the following information:


with respect to smoking in bingo halls, because many Richmond churches operated bingo halls, he would not be opposed to establishing smoking rooms for this pastime


if a commercial bingo hall was to locate in the City, the owner would be required to obtain an amendment to the bylaw in order to operate


with respect to permitting smoking rooms in restaurants, Mr. Higo indicated that he would support this provision


the City of Vancouver regulations were very similar to those of the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) with respect to permitting ‘smoking rooms’, however, Mr. Higo commented that Richmond should follow the WCB regulations to limit any confusion which might result; he suggested that a restriction could be added to prohibit under-age children from these rooms.

(Mayor Halsey-Brandt entered the meeting at 4:10 p.m., and Councillor Greenhill at 4:12 p.m. during the above discussion.)

Concern was expressed about clause (b) of section 6.3.1 of Bylaw 7133, and how this requirement ‘a smoking room must be physically separated from the remainder of the premises and contained within four walls, a ceiling and a tight fitting door’ would impact on pubs which had outdoor patio areas. In response, Mr. Higo advised that the proposed bylaw was not intended to regulate outdoor smoking areas, and that as long as there was free movement of air, and the area in question was open, employees would be permitted to serve any patrons sitting in such area. He indicated that the proposed requirements were only intended to regulate indoor smoking.

In response to further questions about the smoking room requirements, Mr. Higo advised that current liquor laws required that the interior of a smoking room must be visible to the outside. He added that liquor regulations would govern some of the issues relating to smoking rooms. He also noted that ‘private social functions’ which had been exempted in the previous bylaw were now ‘non-smoking’ events.

Mr. Joseph Choy, the owner of Richmond Snooker City, voiced concern about the implementation of the proposed regulations because of the financial impact which they would have on his business. He suggested that no further action should be taken until such time as the WCB regulations were again in effect.

A brief discussion ensued with the delegation, during which Mr. Higo explained that the only part of the WCB regulations which were declared invalid dealt with smoking in public areas. He stated that under the current regulations smoking was still not permitted in any workplace, however he added that enforcement was not being pursued actively at this time.

Mr. Habib Samari, the owner and operator of Oscar Billiards at No. 4 Road and Steveston Highway, expressed concern about the proposed regulations. He explained that in his business, it was difficult to monitor patrons when they left their tables to go outside the premises to smoke. Mr. Samari also voiced concern about (a) the potential loss of business if smoking was prohibited, (b) the requirement to provide a smoking room as his facility did not contain sufficient space to construct such a room, and (c) the impact that such a requirement would have on small businesses such as his own.

In response to questions about the timing of the implementation of the smoking regulations now by the City or in October by the WCB and his compliance with these regulations, Mr. Samari suggested that no action should be taken until such time as the WCB regulations were re-instated.

The operator of the Top 10 Pool Hall commented on the difficulties which his company was experiencing with the City and the WCB, and he expressed concern about the restricted hours of operation for pool halls. He noted that 100% of his customers and employees were smokers, and he questioned how his business was going to survive. He closed by expressing the belief that pool and billiard hall operators were being treated unfairly.

It was moved and seconded

That each of the following bylaws be introduced and given first, second and third readings:


Public Health Protection Bylaw No. 6989, Amendment Bylaw No 7133; and


Municipal Ticket Authorization Bylaw 7027, Amendment Bylaw No. 7134.

The question on the motion was not called, as the following amendment was introduced:

It was moved and seconded

That Bylaw No. 7133 be amended to require that smoking rooms only be used to provide an area for people to smoke and not be permitted to contain any equipment, such as tables, chairs, and pool/billiard tables.

Prior to the question being called, discussion ensued amongst Committee members and the delegation on the issue of whether (i) smoking rooms should be allowed, and (ii) tables, chairs and other equipment, such as pool tables, should be permitted in these rooms. Concern was expressed that the requirement, if approved, would impact the rights of an individual to decide where he or she wished to smoke while having a drink or participating in a recreational activity, and the opinion was expressed that this person should have the ability to make their own decision (as proposed in the bylaw now being considered by the Committee).

The question on the motion was then called, and it was DEFEATED.

OPPOSED: Mayor Halsey-Brandt

Cllr. Barnes



The question on the main motion was then called, and it was CARRIED.



(Report: May 1/00, File No.: 0060-20-RGTH1-01) (REDMS No. 150866)

The Producer and General Manager of the Gateway Theatre, Simon Johnston, advised that following his appointment in January of this year, he reviewed the many aspects of the organization, including ticket sales, promotional practices, staffing, and whether improvements were needed to the Theatre’s computer system.

Mr. Johnston spoke at length on a number of projects which the Theatre hoped to initiate, such as implementing programs which would allow theatre goers to obtain tickets to upcoming events on-line; allow volunteers to register for placement in various events; and allow promotion of the Theatre in the United States. He advised during his presentation that activity at the Theatre had increased from 200 to 300 uses per year, however staff requirements had never been addressed. Mr. Johnston stated that approval of the request for an additional $50,000 would provide the Theatre with an opportunity to hire an additional receptionist, as well as to address the inequities in salaries based on seniority, and to offer some of the staff members full-time employment and year-round employment, rather than 8 month contracts.

During the discussion which ensued, and in response to questions, Mr. Johnston provided the following information:


the $50,000 if approved, would be divided between almost equally between salaries and promotion, advertising, etc.


all of the events taking place at the Theatre would be promoted on the Internet.

It was moved and seconded


That the Administrative Operational changes proposed for the Gateway Theatre, be endorsed.


That the expenditure of the $50,000 additional funding included in the Year 2000 Operating budget, which was specifically allocated to the Gateway Theatre, be approved.

Prior to the question being called, Councillor Brodie, as Council’s liaison representative to the Board of the Gateway Theatre, advised that the proposed request was justifiable, as the initiatives being proposed were long over due and would enhance the operation of the Theatre.

The question on the motion was then called, and it was CARRIED.



(Report: May 1/00, File No.: 5375-02) (REDMS No. 150857)

Insp. Al Speevak, of the Richmond Detachment of the RCMP, reviewed the monthly report with Committee members. During the discussion which ensued and in response to questions, he provided information on such issues as:


the rationale for the decline in Federal statistics while Provincial statistics had increased in the ‘Total Offences by Crime Category’ and ‘Clearance Rates by Crime Categories’,


the increase in ‘Public Order Incidents - Hit/Run Prov’ and why this increase had occurred


with reference to a statement in the ‘B & E Squad’ component of the report about the lack of assistance from an individual’s parents about this person’s whereabouts, whether there was any recourse against the parents for not providing this information


the increase in crime statistics for 2000 over 1999, and at what point the RCMP would become concerned about this increase (advice was given that the Detachment were monitoring the situation as up until now, the manpower had not been available to do more).

It was moved and seconded

That the RCMP Monthly Report for the month of March, 2000 (attached to the report dated May 1st, 2000 from the General Manager, Finance & Corporate Services), be received for information.




(Memo: May 3/00; File No.: 5350-01) (REDMS No. 151241, 148580)

Insp. Al Speevak reviewed in detail, the material which had been circulated with the agenda package.

(Councillor Dang left the meeting at 5:12 p.m. during the review, and did not return.)

In response to questions, Insp. Speevak reported that:


he was aware of only one incident where a landlord had been totally uncooperative with the police in dealing with a marijuana grow operation was found in his rental building


landlords were being encouraged to make an inspection of their property within 48 hours of a new tenant moving into the dwelling (with the appropriate notice being given)


the majority of landlords were surprised to some degree to learn that ‘grow operations’ had been found on the premises of their rental properties


the Richmond Detachment had recognized the problem and had been dealing with the problem since 1999, and had initiated its own investigation with available resources, as and when other priorities allowed.

Reference was made to the recent press conference on this matter, and advice was given that the press conference had been initiated by the Mayor’s Office to alert landlords to the situation. In response, the Mayor spoke about the steps being taken to increase the public’s awareness of this problem, such as sending a notice out with the City property tax bill and holding a meeting on May 16th, 2000 to address the matter further.

The Chair thanked Insp. Speevak for his presentation.

(The Mayor left the meeting at 5:20 p.m., and did not return.)



(Report: Apr. 14/00, File No.: 2325-20-015) (REDMS No. 144597)

51 7.


(Report: Apr. 27/00, File No.: 2325-20-025) (REDMS No. 146692)

The Director, Parks, Dave Semple, accompanied by the Manager, Facilities Planning & Construction, David Naysmith, reviewed the report on the fieldhouse at London/Steveston Park with Committee members.

Considerable discussion then ensued among Committee members and staff on the proposed cost of the fieldhouse facility, during which questions were raised about:


how the caretaker at London/Steveston Park and the people operating the concession stand would access the building;


how and when the facility would be connected to the storm and sanitary sewer systems; and how required minor landscaping would be funded;


the allocation of funding and proposed funding sources;


the intention to use the design for the Garry Point washroom to construct the proposed fieldhouse;


whether the proposed cost of $467,539 for the fieldhouse was justified, especially in light of the concerns expressed by the public about the cost of the Garry Point facility;


why a breakdown of each of the cost components had not been included in the report;


the overhead costs applied by the City to the project.

(Councillor Johnston left the meeting during the discussion at 5:35 p.m., and did not return.)

During the discussion, concern was voiced about the appearance of the fieldhouse, and the suggestion was made that the building should be one storey in height and rectangular in shape.

As a result of the discussion, the following referral motion was introduced:

It was moved and seconded

That the reports (dated April 14th and April 27th, 2000 respectively, from the Director, Parks), regarding the fieldhouse facilities at London/Steveston Park and at Palmer/Garden City Park, be referred to staff for the preparation of a report to the next Committee meeting on the breakdown of costs associated with each project.

Prior to the question being called, staff were also requested to provide statistics on the incidents of vandalism which have occurred at the Palmer/Garden City park site, to determine whether a caretaker’s suite was required.

The question on the motion was then called, and it was CARRIED.




The Manager, Recreation & Cultural Services, Kate Sparrow, reported that 3 employees, Margaret Dragu, Bonnie Beaman, and Raymond Choww had been recognized for their leadership capabilities by the National Fitness Leadership Council.


The new Fire Chief, Jim Hancock provided a status report on the activities which he had undertaken since he had commenced his employment with the City on April 3rd, 2000, which included touring the fire stations and meeting staff; implementing initiatives with the Deputy Chiefs to provide appropriate leadership for the department in an effort to build teamwork; reviewing the status of existing equipment, and becoming involved with labour negotiations.



That the meeting adjourn (5:50 p.m.).




Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Community Services Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Tuesday, May 9th, 2000.



Councillor Harold Steves


Fran J. Ashton

Executive Assistant