"To advance the vision that will see us living in a vibrant, complete city, one in which residents can live safely, find work without commuting, play on our courts and fields and entertain family and friends in our parks and cultural centres."
Our first responders are critical components of keeping our residents safe in their homes and on our streets.
- I have championed enhanced road and sidewalk improvements across our city with significant success:
over 200 intersections being updated with accessible let downs,
shorter cross walks,
implemented advance walk signals at many intersections
introduced flashing beacons/speed signage
- I’ve supported the hiring, training and equipment needs of our Firefighters to ensure they have the tools to respond to the needs of our growing city. I’ve supported the hiring of RCMP officers dedicated to traffic safety and enforcement to provide actual boots on the ground to serve residents. These are in addition to the additional resources to address person crimes and help make our streets safe.
- I have championed an Improved bike network which includes dedicated greenways and bike lanes including the soon to be constructed separated lanes on Guildford Way.
In cities across MetroVancouver we hear the call for improved infrastructure, and while this means many things to many people, in Coquitlam, we focus on the core services (parks, pipes and paving) that are critical to sustaining and updating our infrastructure. I’ve led the way with colleagues to create a fund of over $21 million of NON TAX Dollars to support our infrastructure needs.
Parks and Facilities – our parks team is the largest in the city and I work collaboratively with colleagues to provide the support for new parks, park maintenance and updates as well as new facilities to support our growing community. Some examples to date:
New parks include Burke Pioneer Park, Harper Park, Sheffield Park and so many more
Enhanced Parks include a 4x increase to Cottonwood Park, Upgrades at Mackin, Town Centre and others.
New Sports fields & courts including the partnership with SD 43 to build a new artificial turf field and bleachers at Centennial secondary. Dedicated pickle ball courts created in Bramble Park and planned tennis expansion in several parks across the city.
Enhanced Facilities include a long-awaited replacement of Place Maillardville resulting in a doubling of space and a first ever city owned gymnasium.
New facilities in planning include an 80,000 sq foot community and aquatic centre in Burke Mountain and a 40,000 sq foot community centre on the Fraser Mills site to be built and funded by the developer
Sewer and water services aren’t sexy, but they are critical and I’ve supported funding that ensures staff have the resources to complete the review and upgrades of all the below surface services that we rely on every day. We are blessed to have the best drinking water in North America, if not the World, and I remain committed to ensuring it gets into your homes consistently and safely.
It’s frustrating to see the roads blocked and traffic congested while the updates are done, but I’ve supported staff in their development of plans to keep all our over 1100 kilometres of roads and laneways in good condition. These updates are coordinated with the pipe services and neighbourhood improvements that see over 2 km of new sidewalks built every year in our city.
Other infrastructure needs that I know form a complete community are school and hospitals and I will continue to work closely with SD 43 to identify and acquire the lands necessary for the Province to build new schools. I will also continue work that I started when with the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation and now in my role with the Fraser Health roundtable to champion expansion and services at our local hospitals.
We see the impacts of our changing climate every single day and in Coquitlam, I am proud that we have taken some significant steps to do our part in mitigating and adapting to these changing conditions.
I have been successful in gaining my colleagues support to have Coquitlam apply to be an early adopter of the province’s mass timber initiative. This type of construction results in safer, quieter, quicker to build wood frame buildings with improved carbon sequestration. Our inclusion in this program resulted in one of our staff being recognized for his work in this area and to date we have seen two building completed and several others in planning.
Better Urban Forests
I have met with local groups and championed initiatives to better manage our urban forests. While we will see some tree removal to enable the construction of our much-needed housing and city growth, I will continue to champion initiatives that see an increase in our tree canopy. This is in part evidenced by our goal of planting 10,000 new trees in 2022.
First Enviromental Sustainability Plan
In 2020, I supported the creation of the first ever Environmental Sustainability Plan in our city’s history. This plan identifies over 100 action items and created the framework to take immediate action on several items. This will be a long work in process, but it ensures that everything that we undertake in the city is viewed through an environmental lens.
Support for our Community
When Covid struck, I prepared a document for staff consideration that after much discussion and amendment, resulted in the development of the Community Support and Recovery Program (CSRP).
This council led and staff managed program set aside up to $5million to provide supports for groups ranging from childcare centres to library and rec centre users through reduced fees or grants. This program replaced for a short period, the Spirit Grant program that supports local organizations through the sharing of casino revenues. I will continue to champion and seek expansion of these types of programs.
In my council role as Library Board Trustee, I advocate for expansion of services in our libraries including new facilities and improvements to funding programs from the province. I have been successful in gaining support of council colleagues across Metro Vancouver and I will continue this advocacy on your behalf.