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GROUP HOMES IN RICHMOND, BC David W. Edgington Department of Geography University of British Columbia.

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Presentation on theme: "GROUP HOMES IN RICHMOND, BC David W. Edgington Department of Geography University of British Columbia."— Presentation transcript:

1 GROUP HOMES IN RICHMOND, BC David W. Edgington Department of Geography University of British Columbia

2 1) Research Objectives 2) Literature Review 3) The Group Homes Task Force 4) Conclusions

3 Ethnoburbs Immigrants residents are more actively involved in mainstream politics and community affairs than the residents of ghettos and enclaves Immigrants residents are more actively involved in mainstream politics and community affairs than the residents of ghettos and enclaves The `ethnoburb model challenges the dominant view that suburban assimilation is inevitable and the best solution for ethnic minorities [Wei Li, 2006 From Enclave to Ethnoburb, forthcoming] The `ethnoburb model challenges the dominant view that suburban assimilation is inevitable and the best solution for ethnic minorities [Wei Li, 2006 From Enclave to Ethnoburb, forthcoming]

4 Multicultural Planning: For planners, the practical imperative is no longer whether planning ought to be culturally sensitive, but how? For planners, the practical imperative is no longer whether planning ought to be culturally sensitive, but how? How do planners accommodate one groups view of the physical environment when it conflicts with that of another group? How do planners accommodate one groups view of the physical environment when it conflicts with that of another group? More importantly, the question remains whether….planning can be sensitive to diverse cultures and yet maintain a unified public realm? More importantly, the question remains whether….planning can be sensitive to diverse cultures and yet maintain a unified public realm? [Michael Burayidi, Urban Planning in a Multicultural Society, 2000]

5 Group Homes: Offer an important service to substance dependent individuals and others needing special care Offer an important service to substance dependent individuals and others needing special care Chinese traditional attitudes to drug addicts Chinese traditional attitudes to drug addicts Canadian society and inclusiveness Canadian society and inclusiveness

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7 Maps of Richmond

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10 GROUP HOMES IN RICHMOND: I Turning Point >>>>>> Setting up the Task Force Adams Place, a group home for male recovery from drug and alcohol addiction Adams Place, a group home for male recovery from drug and alcohol addiction 1999 forced to relocate; chose a 6,000 sq ft house in up-scale Odlin Road, Richmond; Turning Point Recovery Home (10 beds) 1999 forced to relocate; chose a 6,000 sq ft house in up-scale Odlin Road, Richmond; Turning Point Recovery Home (10 beds) seeks approval from Vancouver/Richmond Health Board and Richmond City Council seeks approval from Vancouver/Richmond Health Board and Richmond City Council pickets and public protests by local residents, mainly members of the Chinese community pickets and public protests by local residents, mainly members of the Chinese community

11 GROUP HOMES IN RICHMOND: I March Planning Committee of Councl considers a made-in-Richmond by-law to allow 7-10 person group homes without a public hearing process March Planning Committee of Councl considers a made-in-Richmond by-law to allow 7-10 person group homes without a public hearing process 2-day hearing: 00 of residents turn out; of those who spoke, the overwhelming majority felt they wanted a say on where the group homes should be allowed to set up (preferably outside residential neighbourhoods) and how they should be run 2-day hearing: 00 of residents turn out; of those who spoke, the overwhelming majority felt they wanted a say on where the group homes should be allowed to set up (preferably outside residential neighbourhoods) and how they should be run by-law or not?? (drug rehabilitation vs battered womens shelters, hospice homes, etc) by-law or not?? (drug rehabilitation vs battered womens shelters, hospice homes, etc)

12 INCLUSION OR EXCLUSION Against: Against: –It is unfair to the children of Richmond since they will be exposed to foreseeable danger, said Philip Tang, one of the speakers on Tuesday. –Were concerned about the drug dealers coming into our area, said Julie Lin. How can we protect our children? Our families? –They should move out of residential areas, said Julies father, Simon Lin. They can be set up in restricted areas where they are not harmful (quotes from the Richmond News, 11 March 2001)

13 INCLUSION OR EXCLUSION For: For: –I can tell you, people with mental handicaps, physical handicaps, people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction or mental illness, will not hurt you or your family, I can say that from my own experience, said Brian Wardley, a member of the Richmond community health committee. –If those concerned with group homes spent some time visiting or volunteering in one, youll find the (residents) are good human beings, just like you and me, Wardley said. (quotes from the Richmond News, 11 March 2001)

14 GROUP HOMES IN RICHMOND: II The Task Force March 2001: Group Homes Task Force Appointed March 2001: Group Homes Task Force Appointed Composition: Composition: –3 members, Association of Richmond Homeowners –2 members, Richmond Community Services Advisory Council –1 member, Vancouver/Richmond Health Board –4 members, chosen at random from the ratepayers list

15 GROUP HOMES IN RICHMOND: II 14 x meetings held between May – October, x meetings held between May – October, 2001 consultants appointed by city planning staff (including Chinese media PR consultant) consultants appointed by city planning staff (including Chinese media PR consultant) $100,000 budget $100,000 budget

16 GROUP HOMES IN RICHMOND: II Task Force heard presentations from Group Home operators and residents, social planners, neighbours of Turning Point Task Force heard presentations from Group Home operators and residents, social planners, neighbours of Turning Point it found that 32 residential groups were already set up in the City (but that only 1 involved drug/alcohol recovery) it found that 32 residential groups were already set up in the City (but that only 1 involved drug/alcohol recovery) found out that HK and China still have a punitive model of addressing drug addiction, rather than one focused on rehabilitation and education found out that HK and China still have a punitive model of addressing drug addiction, rather than one focused on rehabilitation and education

17 GROUP HOMES IN RICHMOND: III Politics June Betrayal!!! June Betrayal!!! –John Wong [Association of Richmond Homeowners] quits the Task Force in frustration that the group was operating on a city-driven agenda –2 weeks later he is back on the Task Force after the Citys Policy Planner [T. Crowe] is re-assigned and the Citys Urban Development Manager [D. McCllelan] steps down as Task Force Chair.

18 GROUP HOMES IN RICHMOND: III October City By-election (issues are: Group Homes; Traffic; and Gambling) October City By-election (issues are: Group Homes; Traffic; and Gambling) –eight Chinese Canadians out of 29 hopefuls on the election ballot –three run under a new Richmond Canadian Voters (RCV) Party –none with a Chinese name or background was successful in landing a seat on council –33.39% of Chinese-Canadian voters cast a ballot in the by-election, –c.f % for the population-at-large [Civic Education Society]

19 2001 Civic By-election

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21 GROUP HOMES IN RICHMOND: IV The End? September Information brochure produced by Task Force/City Staff/Consultant - bilingual version too September Information brochure produced by Task Force/City Staff/Consultant - bilingual version too 6 x community meetings 6 x community meetings

22 GROUP HOMES IN RICHMOND: IV October Final Report and Recommendations given to Council October Final Report and Recommendations given to Council –Group Homes (7-10 bed facility) be allowed `as of right in residential areas, but with notification for new applications to neighbours within five-house radius –Overall process managed by the City and Richmond Health Services –Recommends establishment of a Cultural Relations Advisory Committee –John Wong refuses to sign-off

23 GROUP HOMES IN RICHMOND: IV November Council wants more control over drug/alcohol recovery homes and seeks legal advice November Council wants more control over drug/alcohol recovery homes and seeks legal advice December BC Provincial Government changes Community Care Act to withdraw licensing requirement from 7-10 bed facilities December BC Provincial Government changes Community Care Act to withdraw licensing requirement from 7-10 bed facilities Therefore no longer any requirement for Group Homes (7-10 bed facility) to be provincially (or municipally) licensed Therefore no longer any requirement for Group Homes (7-10 bed facility) to be provincially (or municipally) licensed……..stalemate

24 CONCLUSIONS Richmond City Council took a leadership role Richmond City Council took a leadership role Increasing Chinese/HK political participation Increasing Chinese/HK political participation What prospects for municipal `learning? What prospects for municipal `learning?

25 Thank You!


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