Steveston’s councillors re-elected

Harold Steves, Linda Barnes and De Whalen. - Matthew Hoekstra photo
Harold Steves, Linda Barnes and De Whalen.
— image credit: Matthew Hoekstra photo

Family and friends surrounded Linda Barnes at the Steveston Hotel Saturday night, as the 61-year-old won her fifth straight term as city councillor.

With the celebration came an explanation to Barnes’ young grandson on what it all meant in terms he could understand—parks and swings.

“That’s just a part of what we do,” she told the crowd. “Politics should be a part of what we all think about and what we all do.”

Barnes, who ran under the Richmond Citizens Association banner, finished fifth in voting. Fellow RCA member Harold Steves also won re-election, finishing sixth. First-time candidate De Whalen also ran with the group, but failed to earn a seat with a 14th place finish.

Results of the election, which saw Richmond First increase its seats to four, didn’t come as a surprise to either Barnes or Steves, both Steveston residents.

Few issues gained traction in the campaign, except a criticism that city hall had become too corporate. Steves, 74, said that wasn’t an issue for voters, noting all incumbents were elected.

“I’m well known as a critic of city hall, and I went down in the vote and the ones that aren’t critics of city hall went up,” said Steves, who topped the polls in the previous election.

Steves will enter his 42nd year on city council. He expects the future of the Garden City lands to be finally decided in the new council’s three-year term, and his slate now has a key ally in its goal of seeing the land tilled.

“With Chak (Au) there, we now have solid support for urban agriculture and a farm school at the Garden City lands,” he said.

Said Barnes: “I’m excited about some new people being involved. I believe we’ll be able to work well with them.”

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