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Election Qs: Do Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam candidates think First Nations should have right to veto development on their territory?

Each week before Sept. 20, we'll ask local candidates a question on a key topic or issue relevant to the Tri-City region and/or local residents.
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A 600-year-old western cedar log that's been carved into a house post is blessed with traditional Kwikwetlem song.

On Sept. 20, local residents will be voting for a member of parliament in the Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam riding for the 2021 federal election.

Each week leading up to decision day, the Tri-City News will publish answers to topical questions from those vying for a seat in the House of Commons.

Responses from candidates are listed in alphabetical order.


  • Do you believe UNDRIP (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) means that First Nations should have a veto over any economic development activity that happens in their traditional territory?


Katerina Anastasiadis — Conservative 

  • We believe that the right of “free, prior and informed consent” should be upheld by consulting and working with Indigenous-led organizations as partners in economic development within their traditional territory. Facilitating these partnerships will lead to greater economic and employment opportunities for Indigenous communities across Canada.

Kimberly Brundell — People's Party of Canada

  • UNDRIP is not the answer to the issues Indigenous Canadians face as it was created by an unelected UN body far removed from Canada, and in a cookie-cutter fashion is applied to all peoples, this is very problematic as it does not take into account any local or regional issues. This is wrong. Canadians voted for their government and expected a Canadian solution; they did not vote for the UN bureaucracy.

Laura Dupont — NDP

  • What UNDRIP tells us is that economic development projects must have the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding, but does not provide the power to veto. An NDP government will be committed to good faith, consent-based engagement, and negotiations with Indigenous peoples, consistent with the Tsilhqot’in decision. 

Ron McKinnon — Liberal

  • We are committed to working in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples to implement in Canada, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. A re-elected Liberal government will include, in all cabinet ministers' mandate letters, the requirement to implement UNDRIP and ensure their offices and ministries work alongside Indigenous peoples to advance their rights.