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Port Coquitlam politicians will soon need 12 years to qualify for 'freedom' award

A proposed policy change is up for consideration tonight, Sept. 12, that would tack another term for Port Coquitlam's former civic elected officials to be eligible.
Former Port Coquitlam councillor Mike Forrest and his wife, Karen, at a spring 2019 city presentation where he received the Freedom of the Municipality honour.

Council members in Port Coquitlam will need to serve a dozen years in office before being considered for its "Freedom" honour.

That's the proposed policy change that council will consider tonight, Sept. 12, to tack another term (four years) to be eligible.

Under the current Freedom of the Municipality award, which was adopted a decade ago, a former mayor or councillor may qualify for the city's highest honour after only two terms (eight years).

"It shouldn't be handed out willy nilly," Mayor Brad West said at last week's committee of council meeting.

Besides the policy amendment, council is also expected to officially change the name of the honour to "Freedom of the City" to align with other B.C. jurisdictions.

The award aims to recognize PoCo council members for their outstanding contributions to the community and gives the recipient the right to vote in Port Coquitlam elections whether they still live in the city or not.

They also get a plaque and free recreation passes to any civic facility.

Under Section 158 of the provincial Community Charter, the honour must be a unanimous vote by city council.

Previous council honourees of the Freedom of the Municipality Award are: 

  • Mike Bowen
  • Arlene Crowe
  • Mike Farnworth
  • Mike Forrest
  • Marg Gordon
  • John Keryluk
  • George Laking
  • Greg Moore
  • Phillip Ranger
  • Ron Talbot
  • Michael Thompson
  • Michael Wright