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Rob Howard

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Rob Howard

Rob Howard
MLA for Richmond Centre
In office
Preceded by Olga Ilich
Succeeded by Teresa Wat
Personal details
Born Richmond, British Columbia
Political party BC Liberal
Spouse(s) Trudy
Children Jay
Residence Richmond, British Columbia
Occupation Property management

Rob Howard is a 2013 provincial election and was replaced by BC Liberal Teresa Wat.

Prior to his election to the legislature, Howard worked in property management. He served as a City Councillor in the Richmond, British Columbia for seven years. He was first elected to the Richmond, British Columbia City Council in the October 2001 by-election as a member of the Richmond Non-Partisan Association and was re-elected in the November 2002 and 2005 civic elections as a member of the Richmond First Party. He sat on council as an independent starting in 2006. While on council he advocated in favour of casino expansion, locating the Olympic speed-skating oval in Richmond, and developing a convention centre.


Rob Howard was born and raised in Richmond. He graduated from the University of British Columbia where he studied Urban Land Economics. He went on to work at Richmond Savings Credit Union[1] for almost 20 years, and in 1994, started his own business, NCL Real Estate Management, which specialized in Property Development and property management.[2] He is married to Trudy and has one son, Justin (Jay).

Howard volunteered with the Richmond Minor Hockey Association for over 12 years, and was active with Tourism Richmond, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, and the Real Estate Institute of BC. While his mother had served as an Alderwoman on the Richmond City Council, Howard's political career began with a civic bylaw election in October 2001. Howard, belonging to the civic political party Richmond Non-Partisan Association, was elected to one of the three available seats on the Richmond City Council.[3] After less than a year on council, Howard left the Richmond Non-Partisan Association to join a new pro-business political party, Richmond First, which he saw as being less controlling and allowing him to make more independent decisions.[4][5] He was re-elected in the November 2002 civic election, with his Richmond First party taking four of the eight council seats.[6]

On local issues, Howard was an advocate of opening Richmond to gambling facilities, which led to the River Rock Casino Resort.[7][8][9] He was supportive of heritage preservation measures[10] but opposed Richmond's tree preservation bylaw.[11] He was the only one on council who preferred the elevated option for the Canada Line (then known as the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver Line), whereas the other councillors preferred the ground level option or no SkyTrain extension at all.[12] He was an advocate for building a convention centre[13] and the most ardent supporter of removing a 55 acre piece of land from the Agricultural Land Reserve as a possible location for it,[14] though the removal was refused.[15] When the possibility of the city constructing a speed-skating oval associated with the 2010 Winter Olympics came, Howard was a vocal supporter.[16] He travelled to Lillehammer, Norway, in 2004 as part of a committee to investigate similar facilities built for the 1994 Winter Olympics.[17] He also traveled to Pierrefonds, Quebec and Asia as part of the sister city program.[18][19] He was not supportive of proposals to build a new soccer facility[20] or financially contributing to tall ships tourism attractions.[21] Because previous councils had made funding commitments at the expense of the city's reserve funds rather than the tax base,[22] Howard's time on council was marked with consistent property tax increases around 3 to 4% each year.[23][24][25][26] Howard unsuccessfully lobbied other councillors to hire more police officers.[27][28] He became the subject of a lawsuit, along with other Richmond First councillors, alleging a conflict-of-interest occurred after they approved a rezoning allowing a controversial pub.[29]

In the 2005 civic election, he was again elected, though his Richmond First party only won three of the eight seats.[30] He unsuccessfully lobbied his fellow councillors to appoint him to fill one of Richmond's two seats at Metro Vancouver.[31] With not even his own party members supporting him for the Metro Vancouver seat and finding himself being alone in a number of issues, such as supporting the SkyTrain line being elevated, opposing the tree preservation bylaw, and wanting to hire more police officers, Howard left the Richmond First party in February 2006 to be an independent.[32][33]

Provincial politics

Following the announcement by Richmond Centre MLA Olga Ilich that she would not be seeking re-election, Howard announced, in January 2008, that he would seek to replace Ilich as the BC Liberal Party candidate in the next election.[34] As no one else came forward to challenge Howard, he was acclaimed, in November 2008, to be the BC Liberal candidate.[35] In the general election, held in May 2009, he was challenged by a New Democratic Party candidate, notary public Kam Brar,[36] and a Green Party candidate, teacher Michael Wolfe,[37] and Nation Alliance Party candidate, accountant Kang Chen. The riding was considered to be a safe seat for the BC Liberals to win,[38] which the 54 year old Howard did win with over 60% of the vote, with his BC Liberal Party winning a majority government.

As the Open skies agreements with Asian nations.[39][40][41] He also advocated for the Harmonized Sales Tax.[42][43] Howard remained loyal to Premier Campbell, praising his October 2010 announcement of using the remainder of the budget to cut income tax by 15%, two weeks before the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services was to deliver its report on public consultation for budget priorities.[44][45] After Campbell resigned, and the tax cut undone, the 2011 BC Liberal leadership election ensued. Along with Richmond's other two MLAs, John Yap and Linda Reid, Howard endorsed Kevin Falcon to be the new party leader, citing Falcon's willingness to listen to all arguments and saying "I think he can bring a new dynamic, a youthful energy to the discussion; he's a great speaker, a great debater."[46] Christy Clark eventually won the leadership and became premier but, like Campbell, did not include Howard in the executive council.[47] In March 2012, Premier Clark promoted Howard to a parliamentary secretary position under the Ministry of Transportation and directed to focus on air services agreements[48] where he served until September. In early 2013, Howard was selected by BC Liberal caucus chair, Gordon Hogg, to assist with the party's investigation into the party's alleged use of government resources and employees in partisan promotional efforts in certain ethnic communities.[49]

Following a summer of deliberations on his future, Howard cited "personal reasons" including a desire to spend more time with his wife, in his September 2012 announcement that he would not be seeking re-election in the up-coming May 2013 provincial general election.[50] This decision was a surprise to his party because his Richmond Centre riding was considered a [54]

Electoral history

B.C. General Election 2009 Richmond Centre[55]
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Rob Howard 10,483 61.51% $112,387
     New Democrat Kam Brar 4,949 29.04% $16,638
Green Michael Wolfe 1,213 7.12% $350
     Nation Alliance Kang Chen 399 2.33% $258
Total Valid Votes 17,044 100%
Total Rejected Ballots 166 0.96%
Turnout 17,210 40.97%


  1. ^ "Richmond Savings Credit Union".  
  2. ^ "Councillor pledges to see major projects through". The Review ( 
  3. ^ Zacharias, Yvonne (October 15, 2001). "Mayor-elect Malcolm Brodie the victor in Richmond's byelection dust-up".  
  4. ^ Beutel, Trudi (May 26, 2002). "New civic slate officially launched". Richmond News ( 
  5. ^ Luba, Frank (October 15, 2002). "Why your vote counts in Richmond's election".  
  6. ^ "Local Election Results 2002".  
  7. ^ Beutel, Trudi (April 10, 2002). "Council makes move to allow slots". Richmond News ( 
  8. ^ Beutel, Trudi (October 12, 2002). "Let the gaming begin: Great Canadian bets $9 million on becoming only full-service casino". Richmond News ( 
  9. ^ Hansen, Darah (March 19, 2003). "Casino finally beats the odds". Richmond News ( 
  10. ^ "Councillor wants fund to preserve city's heritage". The Review ( 
  11. ^ "Tree bylaw approved". The Review ( 
  12. ^ Beutel, Trudi (March 13, 2004). "Minority wins with city". Richmond News ( 
  13. ^ "All I want for New Year's is a trade and convention centre". Richmond News ( 
  14. ^ "Trade centre backers look to investors Proposed Garden City lands exhibition facility would be as large as B.C. Place". The Review ( 
  15. ^ "Panel urged to reject bid for Garden City lands Councillor says commission staff are outside jurisdiction as decision looms". The Review ( 
  16. ^ Hansen, Darah (July 17, 2004). "Oval battle brews: Richmond's proposal for Olympic skating oval riles Mayor Derek Corrigan". Burnaby Now ( 
  17. ^ Hansen, Darah (July 17, 2004). "Costs no concern in race for oval". Richmond News ( 
  18. ^ "City seeks ties with China". The Review ( 
  19. ^ "Politicians make trip to China". The Review ( 
  20. ^ Bennett, Nelson (July 13, 2005). "Soccer fans pitch $6M plan". Richmond News ( 
  21. ^ "Council sinks tall ship purchase". The Review ( 
  22. ^ Beutel, Trudi (October 23, 2002). "City's reserve 'underfunded' by $82 million". Richmond News ( 
  23. ^ Hopkins, Michelle (April 17, 2002). "Council approves financial plan". Richmond News ( 
  24. ^ Hansen, Darah (March 5, 2003). "Taxes to rise 4.3 per cent". Richmond News ( 
  25. ^ Hansen, Darah (March 31, 2004). "Tax hike set at 3.74%". Richmond News ( 
  26. ^ Bennett, Nelson (December 14, 2007). "Taxes going up 4%". Richmond News ( 
  27. ^ Bennett, Nelson (January 31, 2006). "More police officers wouldn't cost a thing, Howard says". Richmond News ( 
  28. ^ "Request for five extra police officers turned down". The Review ( 
  29. ^ Bennett, Nelson (April 4, 2006). "Staff actions prompted lawsuit". Richmond News ( 
  30. ^ "Full election results". The Review ( 
  31. ^ "First mate snubbed for GVRD Richmond First insiders point to a bumpy election campaign". The Review ( 
  32. ^ "Councillor breaks from Richmond First Divisive campaign partly to blame for Rob Howard's departure". The Review ( 
  33. ^ Bennett, Nelson (February 24, 2006). "Howard quits Richmond First to sit as independent". Richmond News ( 
  34. ^ Bennett, Nelson (January 8, 2008). "Howard throws hat into provincial ring". Richmond News ( 
  35. ^ Bennett, Nelson (November 21, 2008). "Liberal candidates acclaimed". Richmond News ( 
  36. ^ "NDP picks candidate for Richmond Centre". The Review ( 
  37. ^ "Candidates off to the races". The Review ( 
  38. ^ "Howard to be acclaimed as Liberal candidate". The Review ( 
  39. ^ Fortems, Cam (September 8, 2010). "Liberals push Ottawa on flight rules". Kamloops Daily News ( 
  40. ^ Bennett, Nelson (October 20, 2010). "Chamber pushes for Open Sky agreements". Richmond News ( 
  41. ^ Hendry, Aleisha (November 1, 2010). "Lobbying for freedom of flight". Alaska Highway News ( 
  42. ^ Bennett, Nelson (August 19, 2009). "Anti-tax rally attracts 300". Richmond News ( 
  43. ^ Howard, Rob; Linda Reid; John Yap (May 7, 2010). "We've told the HST truth". Richmond News ( 
  44. ^ Lyon, Christine (October 29, 2010). "MLAs praise personal income tax cut". The Review ( 
  45. ^ Bennett, Nelson (November 5, 2010). "Campbell good for Richmond: Howard". Richmond News ( 
  46. ^ Lyon, Christine (December 1, 2010). "Richmond MLAs back Falcon for premier". The Review ( 
  47. ^ Clugston, Bhreandain (March 14, 2011). "John Yap dropped from Christy Clark's new cabinet". The Review ( 
  48. ^ Hoekstra, Gordon (March 25, 2012). "MLA John Yap named head of multiculturalism during day of cabinet shakeups". Retrieved March 26, 2012. 
  49. ^ Shaw, Rob (March 7, 2013). "B.C. Liberal caucus chief to probe ethnic plan; Hogg says investigation will run parallel to that of deputy minister". Times - Colonist ( 
  50. ^ "Liberal MLA Rob Howard won't seek re-election". The Review ( 
  51. ^ Campbell, Alan (September 5, 2012). "Rob Howard opts out of next election; MLA says he has other things to cross off his 'bucket list'". Richmond News ( 
  52. ^ a b c van den Hemel, Martin (January 23, 2013). "Teresa Wat eyes Richmond Centre". The Review ( 
  53. ^ Campbell, Alan; Yvonne Robertson (January 30, 2013). "Law goes it alone, NDP launch East bid; Election heats up with Mountie, transit operator". Richmond News ( 
  54. ^ Cassidy, Olivier (October 25, 2013). "Ex-MLA pilots bid to ease restrictive air policies".  
  55. ^ "Statement of Votes - 39th Provincial General Election:Richmond Centre".  

External links

  • Members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Richmond Centre
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