One of the first shots has been fired in the race for office in November’s civic election in Richmond.
Richmond First has published a hard-hitting brochure warning of a city gripped by crime and under lock and key. The publication shows a picture of a door handle swathed in locks, chains and alarm pads.
It poses the question “Is this the Richmond you want?” and says the party will work to “protect your family.”
There are also calls for more police on the streets of Richmond, references to gang violence and the upcoming Canada Line as a potential crime train.
One of the party’s current serving councillors, Derek Dang, admitted he, too, initially had reservations about the brochure’s shock tactics.
“I had a concern when I first saw the brochure cover myself,” Dang said. “But we wanted something that grabs people’s attention and I certainly think it does that.
“I can understand people thinking we’re using fear tactics, but if you read the content you’ll see what we’re trying to say.”
Dang said his party is not trying to scare people, but, instead, letting them know that they’re not “nodding off” about crime in Richmond.
“The police are doing a great job but we need to show them some support,” Dang said. “Richmond is still a good place to live but like any city, there are still bad guys out there.”
His colleague, Coun. Bill McNulty, agreed, saying “crime was still the number one issue in Richmond.”
McNulty also repeated his call for turnstiles to be installed when the Canada Line opens up next year.
Richmond First’s brochure has enraged political opponents and was slammed as shameful by Coun. Evelina Halsey-Brandt.
“How pathetic that they have to resort to fear mongering,” she said. “This is just working on people’s fears for political gain, it’s so sad. This is not the true picture of Richmond and alarming families is not the answer.”
Coun. Linda Barnes branded the brochure as a bit over the top.
“It’s a bit overkill,” she said. “(Dang) has been very vocal, to be honest, about public safety but I’d agree this is scaremongering.