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Election Qs: Do Port Moody-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.
Kwikwetlem Chief Ed Hall housing development blessing - Aug. 10, 2021
Kwikwetlem First Nation Chief Ed Hall stands at the podium during a blessing ceremony for a 14-unit housing development by the Coquitlam River on Aug. 10, 2021.

On Sept. 20, local residents will be voting for a member of parliament in the Port Moody-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?


Will Davis — Liberal

  • No relationship is more important to Canada than our relationship with Indigenous Peoples. The Liberal government introduced and passed legislation that enshrined UNDRIP in Canadian law. We are committed to working with Indigenous Peoples to implement UNDRIP in Canada, and will continue to consult with impacted communities, stakeholders and partners. 

Desta McPherson  People's Party of Canada

  • As of this publication (Sept. 9), McPherson has yet to respond to our question. We will update this article when information becomes available.

Nelly Shin — Conservative

  • I look forward to continuing to build a relationship of trust and collaboration with our local Kwikwetlem First Nation as we travel on our journey of reconciliation. Canada’s Conservatives will respect and uphold important Indigenous rights and support communities that wish to become partners in good projects that meet high environmental standards.

Bonita Zarrillo  NDP

  • For too long, consultation with First Nations on economic development projects took place after project planning had already concluded. The reference in UNDRIP to free, prior and informed consent speaks to the prioritization of consensus building based on good-faith consultation from day one, but UNDRIP does not provide veto power.