10/15/2014 03:23 EDT | Updated 10/15/2014 03:59 EDT

Chinese Signs In Richmond Remain Hot Button Issue Ahead Of Election

HuffPost B.C./CP

Two municipal candidates in Richmond, B.C. are promising to tackle the city's controversial Chinese-language signs.

Carol Day and Michael Wolfe, city council candidates with the RITE Richmond party, announced last week that if elected, they will push staff to come up with ways to resolve the ongoing issue.

"We are pledging that we will address the Chinese-only signs issue and work to implement a plan that will bring people of various ethnic backgrounds together," Day said in a news release.

Last year, two Richmond residents presented a petition that had over 1,000 signatures to city council in hopes of limiting the amount of Chinese on business signs. But council struck down the proposal, saying it was up to business owners to decide what was displayed on their signs.

Veteran city councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt, who is not seeking re-election, dismissed the proposal at the time but has since had a change of heart, she told The Richmond News.

“The time has come to say that you’re part of Richmond and part of Canada,” she said. “It’s one thing for businesses to advertise only in Chinese, but on development signs that are supposed to inform me of what’s going on in my neighbourhood?”

Halsey-Brandt used to think she could let the situation "ride itself out," she told the Richmond Review, but now feels it must be addressed and challenges the incoming council to do so.

Of the Vancouver suburb's 200,000 residents, over 60 per cent are immigrants — the highest rate in any city in Canada.

Richmond voters head to the polls on Nov. 15.

With previous files

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