Richmond councillor serves five decades, congratulated for longevity

50 years on city council

Harold Steves may have served more time as a city councillor than any other politician in B.C.

Steves was congratulated at Monday’s Richmond council meeting for 50 years of service.

He was elected to council in 1968, but left in 1973 to serve for one term as the NDP MLA.

Mayor Malcolm Brodie thanked Steves for his years of service, explaining Steves was a “young school teacher” when he was first elected as a Richmond “alderman,” as councillors were referred to then, and went on to a “long and industrious career.”

Steves was the MLA for Steveston in the mid-seventies when the NDP were in power.

“During (this) time, he was instrumental in a number of initiatives, the most prominent and that has been long-lasting is the Agricultural Land Reserve, but I emphasize there were a whole number of initiatives that Coun. Steves was part of,” Brodie said.

Steves said he’s had people ask him how he’s lasted 50 years, and his reply has been: “Don’t expect things to happen instantly – some things take a long time.”

An example of a long-term project is the Terra Nova Slough, which will soon be opened for spawning salmon, Steves said. This was something that was first discussed in 1968.

“Sometimes it takes 50 years – so, that’s why I’m still here,” he said.

Brodie also pointed out Steves was involved in getting the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will soon be upgraded from a primary plant to a tertiary plant but will have many issues that will have to be dealt with municipally and provincially.

“We’ll draw on your long experience on that one as just one example,” Brodie said.

Steves isn’t planning to run again for council. The next municipal election is in 2022.

More BC News