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Profiles: Get to know the Port Moody-Coquitlam 2021 federal election candidates

For this piece, we asked those running about their connection to the riding, their history in politics and why they want to represent constituents in Ottawa.
Port Moody-Coquitlam riding candidates 2021 reverse
[From left to right in reverse alphabetical order] Port Moody-Coquitlam candidates for the 2021 federal election: Bonita Zarrillo (NDP), incumbent Nelly Shin (Conservative), Desta McPherson (People's Party of Canada), and Will Davis (Liberal).

Well, hopefully you've read Tuesday's (Aug. 24) recap and now, it's time to meet the candidates!

On Sept. 20, local residents will be voting for a member of parliament (MP) in the Port Moody-Coquitlam riding for the 2021 federal election, which as of this publication (Aug. 26), consists of four people vying for a seat in the House of Commons.

The deadline to submit a nomination form is Aug. 30.

Everyone running in this riding was acclaimed well before the writ was dropped on Aug. 15 in anticipation of a snap election for the fall.

The Tri-City News has reached out to all the candidates with a get-to-know-you questionnaire.

Here are their answers (listed in alphabetical order by last name). They were invited to provide as much detail as they'd like to: 


Party: Liberal

Age: 52 

Current job: Small business owner

How long have you been a party member? Most recently since 2018. I was not a member while I was working in broadcasting, but I was a long-time member prior to that as well. 

Do you live in the riding? Yes, for nearly 20 years. Formerly in Port Moody on Heritage Mountain, and now by Mundy Park in Coquitlam.

Why are you running?

I’m running to serve this community. I’ve lived here for nearly 20 years, and have raised my five children here. I know this riding well, having coached more than 30 local sports teams and been an active member of three parental advisory committees.

As a broadcaster and then as a small business owner, I’ve always focused on supporting and amplifying the voices of under-represented communities - from B.C. artists to new Canadians, and to seniors. 

As your MP, I’m going to work hard to deliver the things that matter most to our community. Affordable housing, so that everyone has a safe place to call home; bold action on climate change, so that we leave a healthy environment for our children; and investments in infrastructure and clean economic growth, so we grow our community in a way that lifts everyone up.

What federal experience do you have? For incumbents, what were your previous committee appointments?

I ran in 2019 as the Liberal candidate for New Westminster-Burnaby. 

Who endorses you?

Davis did not respond to this question.


Party: People's Party of Canada

As of this publication, McPherson has yet to respond to our questions.

We will update this profile when information becomes available.  


Party: Conservative (incumbent)

Age: 49 

Current job: I am honoured to be representing the people of Port Moody-Coquitlam as their Member of Parliament.

How long have you been a party member? I have been a card-carrying member of the Conservative Party for six years.

Do you live in the riding? Yes, I am proud to call Port Moody home.

Why are you running?

I am running because I’m committed to continuing my work for my community as an MP. I’ve been proud to stand up for our residents and believe that with my experience, I’m the best person to see our community prosper. I believe in our Conservative plan to secure the future and am committed to seeing Canada get back on the right track under a Conservative government.

What federal experience do you have? For incumbents, what were your previous committee appointments? 

I was proud to serve as the deputy shadow minister of Canadian Heritage, and a member of the Standing Committee for the Status of Women.

Who endorses you?

Everyday, I am speaking with constituents and business owners to hear about what issues they and their families are facing. I am focused on listening to those families and business owners, and making sure I do everything I can to be a strong representative for them.


Party: NDP

Age: 55  

Current job: Coquitlam city councillor 

How long have you been a party member? Eight years 

Do you live in the riding? Yes 

Why are you running? 

As I’m talking with people in our community, I’m hearing a lot of stories about how hard life is getting for them. Clearly, the pandemic has been a big part of that. But there’s also this feeling that the way things have been under a string of Liberal and Conservative governments just isn’t working for people. And the pandemic has made that more clear. 

We need an economy that works for everyone. We need to move forward on priorities that put people first. 

And while Justin Trudeau has made a lot of promises on issues like housing, long-term care and climate action, he just hasn’t followed through on any of them. 

Just look at climate change as an example. Justin Trudeau promised to bring down emissions. Instead, he’s increased emissions, he’s increased subsidies to Big Oil and other fossil fuel corporations, and he bought a toxic pipeline in our backyard. 

That’s just not working for people in our communities. 

I want to work with Jagmeet Singh to fight for the issues that matter here at home. So we can get real climate action, we can build more affordable housing so people can stay in our communities, and we can get profit out of long-term care so seniors can get the best care possible. 

And so we do — finally — build that economy that works for everyone. 

What federal experience do you have? For incumbents, what were your previous committee appointments?

Long history of working at all levels of government across Canada, including being a member on the board of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in my role as a city councillor. Candidate in the 2019 federal election in Port Moody – Coquitlam.  

Who endorses you? 

  • Fin Donnelly, former MP for Port Moody-Coquitlam 
  • Amy Lubik, Port Moody city councillor 
  • Chief Ed Hall, Kwikwetlem First Nation
  • Chris Wilson, Coquitlam city councillor