Skip to content

TC Votes 2022: Meet the Port Coquitlam city council candidates

Get to know the people looking to earn your vote in the upcoming municipal election.
Port Coquitlam City Hall built 1914 Mario Bartel Tri-City News photo
Port Coquitlam city hall.

There are 18 people running for six seats on Port Coquitlam city council from the 2022 municipal election — set for Oct. 15.

The Tri-City News sent questionnaires to each candidate to learn more about who they are, why they are campaigning and what are the issues that matter most to them.

Candidate responses are as follows (listed in alphabetical order):

Dawn Becker

  • Age: Did not answer
  • Years as Port Coquitlam resident: More than 25 years
  • Occupation: Executive and board administration for a pension plan and long-term disability plan
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? Port Coquitlam Community Foundation (board chair); The People’s Pantry Food Recovery Society; Tri-Cities Childhood Research Action Team; Coquitlam River Lions.
  • Website: dawnbecker.ca 
  • Emaildawnbeckerpoco2022@gmail.com
  • Phone: 604-319-4652
  • Twitter: @DawnBecker
  • Facebook: @DawnBeckerPoCo

Why are you running?

"I believe it’s time for change, a fresh perspective on community issues and a new voice on council. As the board chair for the PoCo Community Foundation, and an active community leader and volunteer, as well a regular attendee at council meetings, I have a good understanding of our community, its needs and where opportunities may be found. My experience leading and working with diverse boards and individuals has prepared me well for a council role. I care about my community; I have chosen to live here for 25 years. I bring a new, independent voice to council."

What’s your No. 1 issue and why?

"Continued liveability is important. Port Coquitlam is a community people want to and choose to live in. Seniors have stayed in PoCo after raising their families. Many of those children have now chosen to raise their families here. The essence of PoCo is that sense of community. Balancing that with thoughtful development and growth is critical to our future livability as a community. Housing needs, transportation and traffic, environmental, and commercial and industrial interests all require a balanced approach, informed decision-making and forward thinking."

 

Cindy Carkner

  • Age: Did not answer
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: 30 
  • Occupation: I am an entrepreneur who owned an interior design company in the construction industry for 20 years.
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? During the pandemic, I volunteered with the Open Pantry at Coquitlam Alliance Church.
  • Websitecarknerforcouncil.ca
  • Email: Carknerforcouncil@gmail.com
  • Phone: 604-788-0549
  • LinkTree: @carknerforcouncil  

Why are you running? 

"I have lived, worked and raised my family in PoCo and I want to be a part of the decision-making process that plans a sustainable future for our children. I imagine PoCo with a vibrant city centre with diverse local shops and restaurants that becomes a social destination, community growth in responsible and eco-friendly ways, and a community that values diversity by helping newcomers settle, adapt and thrive. I want a city that invests in things that bring people together, such as sports and the arts, creating connections that transcend differences, encourages conversation and strengthens the character of our city."

What’s your No 1 issue and why? 

"Transportation is a priority in Port Coquitlam. I want to reimagine new and different ways to connect our community, and connect us to other communities, that’s less reliant on cars. What does that look like? It means creating brighter, safer streets and walkways, creating additional bike paths, and creating more sidewalks. It means improving bus service to SkyTrain. On our arterial roads, like Mary Hill Bypass, we have to look at how we can make them safer. For example, we have to reduce the congestion around Mary Hill Bypass, Burke Mountain and Broadway."

 

Ivanka Culjak

IvankaCuljakPortCoquitlamCouncilCandidate2022
Ivanka Culjak is a council candidate for Port Coquitlam in the 2022 civic election. By Submitted
  • Age: Did not answer
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: Seven
  • Occupation: Real estate agent
  • Most recent volunteer work? I volunteered with Action4Canada and helped many people not to lose their jobs due to mandates.
  • Emailivanka11@protonmail.com
  • Facebook: @ElectIvanka 

Why are you running? 

"I want to make a difference locally and work with all levels of government to ensure that citizens are being heard, their freedoms and security as a person is protected and that they enjoy a safe community to live in. Council needs strong leadership and critical thinking to secure the future of our children and grandchildren. As a former teacher, I’m disappointed to hear from parents how they believe the system is broken and that they are taking their children out of public schools. We need more discussion with parents and they need our help to work with school trustees."

What’s your No 1 issue and why? 

"We are having an emergency housing crisis. I’m very passionate about creating a more affordable housing environment for residents of Port Coquitlam. Affordability can be achieved with increasing supply in the rental and homeownership market and having this supply respond more quickly to greater demand. We also need to make the regulatory systems faster and more efficient to get new housing built. If I’m elected as a councillor I will support the innovative ideas of developers."

 

Steve Darling (incumbent)

  • Age: 51
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: 15 
  • Occupation: News anchor
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? Host Imagine Awards for SHARE Family and Community Services, host BC Children’s Hospital fundraiser, host Michael Cuccione cancer fundraiser.
  • Emailstevedarling4pococouncil@gmail.com
  • Twitter/Facebook: @stevedarling
  • Instagram: stevedarling1

Why are you running? 

"In a world filled with extraordinary experiences, and, as a broadcaster, being a city councillor in Port Coquitlam has been some of the most rewarding work I have ever done. I am looking forward to building on the important work I helped start, such as revitalizing downtown, the Gates Park re-design, traffic calming and safety, over 500 units of affordable housing, implementing our climate action plan all while keeping taxes at one of the lowest rates in Metro Vancouver."

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"I feel I have done a good job at helping to provide much needed amenities on the south side including downtown, the Port Coquitlam Community Centre and Gates Park. If I am granted a second term, I want to put a greater focus on the north side with improvements at Prairie and Coast Meridian and provide for more picnic shelters and amenities for families. I am also looking to get moving on upgrades to the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre."

 

Sarah Harbord

SarahHarbordPortCoquitlamCityCouncilCandidate2022
Sarah Harbord, director of operations at Patina Brewing and member of Downtown PoCo BIA, is running for Port Coquitlam city council. By Sarah Harbord
  • Age: 40 
  • Occupation: Operations director at Patina Brewing  
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? PoCo BIA board, strata council, the Goutsission Family Foundation, Terry Fox Foundation and the PoCo Saints lacrosse league. 
  • Website: sarahharbord.ca
  • Facebook: @SarahHarbord 
  • Twitter: @POCOSarahH
  • Instagram: @sharbord

Why are you running? 

"This question is what most people ask me when they first find out I’m running. I am raising my young family in Port Coquitlam and believe there is a need for that voice on PoCo’s council. I believe municipal government has more impact on our daily lives than at the provincial and/or federal levels. I want to be part of the decision-making process that affects the lives of Port Coquitlam residents. I believe my calm demeanour; as well as my approachability, are key assets in regards to representing Port Coquitlam residents. I want to hear your ideas and help them become realities."

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"I want to be involved in helping find short-term and long-term solutions with complex issues such as affordability and climate change. I am lucky enough to both live and work in our beautiful city. I want to continue my previous work with the BIA and support Port Coquitlam business leaders to continue to grow our local economy. I want to be the residents’ voice, I will communicate clearly and honestly."

 

Derek Jeffrey 

DerekJefferyPortCoquitlamCouncilCandidate2022final
Derek Jeffrey is a council candidate for Port Coquitlam in the 2022 civic election. By Submitted

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"The coming effects of food shortages, and food poverty due to the wrong-headed decisions made by other branches of government will undoubtably need to be solved locally. Preparation and far-sightedness will be the key. We will need to develop short-term mitigating planning, a policy on backyard gardening and poultry, training in foraging and how we might share the riches of this toil. Long-term ideas include a switch to fruit tree stock, even allowing homeowners to fell trees for this need, while transforming our streets and boulevards into tree-lined paradises with homeowners’ help."                              

Why are you running? 

"The singular focus on mandates and lockdowns over the last two years has put undue hardship on businesses and individuals, whose businesses were put on the brink of insolvency and employees’ income was lost, resulting in unneeded stress and suffering. Government should be the realm which limits these hazards and mitigates their harms if they do occur against their best efforts, rather than be their cause and exacerbation. Local government should be a breakwater and firewall against the usurpation of individual rights."

 

Mithila Karnik

  • Age: 36 
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: Four
  • Occupation: Admissions advisor at Vancouver Film School and business owner.
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? Adopt-a-Spot clean-ups.
  • Website: mithilakarnik.ca
  • Facebook/Instagram: @karnikforcouncillor

Why are you running? 

"As much as I am in love with Port Coquitlam’s amenities, infrastructure development, natural beauty and access to sports and activities, I need to work toward making the city a truly resilient urban city. Resilience comes from working closely with the most diverse, most vulnerable of residents and giving them the knowledge, expertise and peer-to-peer intervention to navigate their new, intimidating environments. Resilience comes from acknowledging the commitment, bravery and abilities a woman of colour can bring to the city council, and recognizing the need to give the right representation in local governance all the support that is needed."

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"Community engagement at a micro level is tantamount to overall progress and economic development and it can be achieved through peer to peer programs created to support families of colour and help them navigate new environments, leveraging specific skills and abilities toward apprenticeship programs with local businesses, recognizing the diversity of arts and culture inherent within Port Coquitlam and making it front and centre in the downtown core, giving youngsters the ability to harness the power of technology early on and explore careers within gaming, animation and moving Port Coquitlam toward being an inclusive tech hub."

 

Nancy McCurrach (incumbent)

Why are you running? 

"I have made a difference in my first term in regards to gender equity and was honoured to be the recipient of the United Way of the Lower Mainland Community Service Award for work done in our city and nationally. Our council is the envy of many because of the results we have delivered. I am not afraid to be that solo vote opposed to a motion. I have more work to do supporting local businesses, the arts, sports, revitalizing the downtown and have climate action ideas. I am a dedicated city councillor endorsed by Mayor Brad West."

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"On the doorsteps the majority of residents have expressed concerns in regards to transportation. Traffic calming measures on many streets and in front of schools and parks have made a difference, yet more work needs to be done. I will continue to advocate for all modes of transportation improvements; improved road safety solutions in high-traffic areas: school zones, Prairie, Coast Meridian, Pitt River; Prairie traffic volume needs to be decreased with building the Fremont connector, more multi-use paths with safer bike connections between the north and south side, along with the SkyTrain extension, and the West Coast Express expansion, all with the urge to encourage more electric vehicles, and walking when possible."

 

Erik Minty

  • Age: 50
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: 25
  • Occupation: Startup tech entrepreneur, with prior careers as computer systems engineer, project manager and management consultant.
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? Currently I am serving on the board of directors for West Coast Climate Action Network, am a local campaign organizer with Force of Nature and serve on my strata council. This past summer I helped coordinate the adult drop-in soccer program in our community; in past years I served on the PoCo FC executive as referee coordinator and built the youth referee mentoring program. I’ve also served as a youth soccer coach, hockey coach and scout leader; and periodically offer my time for trail and shoreline cleanup and invasive species removal. 
  • Website: minty4poco.ca
  • Email: erik@minty4poco.ca
  • Twitter: @MintyErik
  • Instagram: @erik.minty.poco
  • LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/erikminty

Why are you running? 

"Years of volunteer public service have shown me how important it is to take responsibility for your community. I am concerned about the recent trend away from public consultation and the sharp increase in long-term debt. We need transparency and public consultation on capital projects and allocation of taxpayer dollars. Previously, there were committees that allowed residents to participate in the decision making process. The elimination of these committees has led to decision-making becoming too centralized. Port Coquitlam has a lot to be proud of, and we need stronger oversight on council to ensure limited resources are being prioritized effectively and that we proceed with the long term in mind." 

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"If half the city is under water, traffic circle design will be the least of our worries. Critical flood risk mitigation activity has been ignored and is an increasing concern. We are surrounded by three rivers, one of which is tidal, and live on top of naturally poor drainage. A sharp rise in ocean levels of one metre or more, increasingly likely within the decade, along with heavier seasonal rainfall due to warmer ocean temperatures, puts us at severe risk of widespread flooding. We need to urgently prioritize working with senior levels of government to secure the funding necessary to mitigate this risk."

 

Kevin Misera 

  • Age: 35
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: 29 
  • Occupation: Account manager at Vancity Credit Union
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? Acted as a financial agent for the 2019 federal election
  • Email: kcmisera@gmail.com
  • LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/kevin-misera-bba-fin 

Why are you running? 

"It is getting increasingly expensive to live in our community. Many are finding it difficult just to make ends meet. Therefore, prudent planning and responsible use of budgets is critical now more than ever. I believe my finance experience and business background would make me a prime candidate for the city councillor position."

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"I believe the most pressing issue currently facing us is affordable housing. Housing is a basic necessity and a foundation for living an enjoyable and productive life. When people cannot adequately afford shelter it leads to other issues such as increased crime and poor mental health, which negatively affects our community and decreases economic productivity. There is an issue when working people and pensioners that have paid into the system can barely afford shelter costs. Solving this issue is critical." 

 

Darin Nielsen

DarinNielsenPortCoquitlamCouncilCandidate2022final
Darin Nielsen is a council candidate for Port Coquitlam in the 2022 civic election. By Submitted
  • Age: 57
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: 35
  • Occupation: School District 43/CUPE 561 treasurer
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? “Greener City” – planting trees and removing invasive weeds earlier in the year.
  • Website: Darinnielsen.ca
  • Email: darinn@telus.net
  • Phone: 604-671-4580

Why are you running? 

"I live in this wonderful community I care about, and that I thought I could contribute, that I could make a difference. In past campaigns, I advocated for installing flashing beacons at crosswalks, traffic calming in school and park zones, extra recycling at Christmas, large item pickup; fenced tot lot, Adopt-A-Spot program, low taxes and more. My common-sense leadership with my strong voice on behalf of residents will ensure their concerns are addressed to get the job done. I want to contribute to make Port Coquitlam the best and safest city we are proud to call home."

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"Community safety is top priority of Port Coquitlam that residents I have spoken with. The concerns include the completion of installing flashing beacons at crosswalks to prevent another death! The other single biggest neighbourhood concern I have been hearing from residents is speeding and reckless driving along residential side streets. The demand for speed humps to calm the neighbourhood is very high amongst residents. Another safety concern is school zones need to still be made safer with speed humps at each end of the zone, and for schools with playgrounds to be designated playground zones for added safety for children."

 

Darrell Penner (incumbent)

DarrellPennerPortCoquitlamCouncilCandidate2022final
Incumbent Darrell Penner is a council candidate for Port Coquitlam in the 2022 civic election. By Submitted
  • Age: Did not answer 
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: 52 
  • Occupation: Retired
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? 23 years as a city councillor. I believe I am the longest continuously serving councillor in Port Coquitlam history.
  • Website: Penner4Poco.ca
  • Email: penner4poco@gmail.com
  • Phone: 604-916-0459 

Why are you running? 

"I have been a long-time resident of our wonderful community. Growing up here, went to school, got married, raised our family and started our family business Meridian Meats and Seafood in Port Coquitlam. So I not only have a real sense of what our community is about but also what we need. Therefore ensuring that our policies, projects and developments will be in the best interest of Port Coquitlam. Controlling taxes is paramount. We are the third lowest taxed community in all of Metro Vancouver — this is not by luck."

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"I think it’s a little simplistic to say just a number one. Depending on who you are, your demographic residents have varied perspectives on this. Affordable housing, homelessness are very much at the forefront. But the downloading of services and costs from the federal and provincial governments have profound effects on our municipal taxes. Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and protecting our environment so that we can ensure our future generations have a planet to live on. These are just — I believe — some or the number one issues."

 

Paige Petriw

  • Age: 33
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: Six
  • Occupation: Founder and CEO of Spotlight Events
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? Member of the Mayor’s Citizen Advisory Roundtable.
  • Website: paigepetriw.com
  • Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/YouTube: @paigepetriw

Why are you running? 

"Diversity in age and demographic on city council is imperative to represent the many different viewpoints of residents and business owners in Port Coquitlam. In modern history, this diversity has been lacking. My goal is to bring a fresh voice, new perspective and renewed energy to the council table. Millennial women — specifically business owners, mothers and leaders — have a powerful voice in our community. The perspective we bring to the table is substantial, and our stake in this community’s future is deep-rooted. It’s time that voice be represented on Port Coquitlam’s city council."

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"Accessibility and affordability are two intertwined issues that are extremely important as our community grows. Without having affordable housing, commercial spaces, programs and services, our city becomes less accessible to families living off a modest or limited income. In addition to financial accessibility, our council must also work to identify accessibility gaps of all types, including developmental, neurological, physical, racial, and others. Accessibility considerations and accommodations must be integrated into all city projects and initiatives to ensure our community is welcoming and inclusive for all its residents."

 

Glenn Pollock (incumbent)

  • Age: 64
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: 41 
  • Occupation: Constituency assistant to Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? Have served the last 14 years as a member of Port Coquitlam city council. Also serve on the board of the People’s Pantry, the board of Poco Saints Junior Lacrosse as well as other boards and committees as appointed by Mayor West including the Metro Vancouver Housing Committee.
  • Email: glenn_pollock@shaw.ca
  • Phone: 604-771-4415
  • Facebook: @Re-electGlennPollock
  • Twitter: @pocoglenn

Why are you running? 

"I’m running for re-election because first and foremost I love the job and think I’m good at it. We as a group accomplished a lot this term not the least of which was completing our new community centre on time and on budget. I think we also were and continue to be very fiscally responsible. There’s a lot more to be done such as completing the climate action plan as well as upgrades to a number of things in the city like Leigh Square, Veterans Park and the Coquitlam River Bridge. I also accomplished a lot individually. I started the People’s Pantry Food Recovery Society, helped establish a rent bank to help struggling people and families."

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"There are so many things that need to be addressed, climate action, community safety… the list goes on. The thing I’m most passionate about though is affordable housing. I’m personally responsible for about 140 units of the just under 500 units of truly affordable housing that are coming to the city. I think we need to continue to push forward on this and also branch out by offering more housing options for residents. I think we also need to include Affordable Home Ownership which has happened in other communities. Our recently completed Housing Needs Assessment showed us that we should be building around 500 new units per year to meet the Regional Growth Strategy."

 

Justin A. Smith

  • Age: 24
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: 21
  • Occupation: Campaign strategist at New/Mode
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? Volunteer to help run and set up Port Coquitlam’s youth open mic night. Supervisor voting officer for Election BC during the last provincial election.
  • WebsiteJustinalexandersmith.ca
  • Emailsjustin0326@gmail.com
  • Facebook: facebook.com/justin4poco
  • Twitter: @Justin4poco
  • Instagram: @Justinalexandersmith

Why are you running for public office?

"I’m running to give you a seat at the table and find collaborative solutions to Port Coquitlam’s toughest problems. Throughout my life in PoCo, I’ve been inspired at what people can accomplish when we work together. We have incredible people with amazing ideas. I want to use my position as councillor to give you a platform and a voice. We can find solutions to housing affordability and environmental sustainability while improving political engagement by sitting down and working together."

What’s your No. 1 issue and why?

"My number one issue is Housing Affordability. We need to ensure people can afford to live in our beautiful city. Whether it be your kids leaving the nest, seniors looking to downsize, or a young family wanting to start a life in Port Coquitlam, strong action on affordable housing will allow us to keep families together. By putting people first, we can create housing that works for the residents of Port Coquitlam while maintaining our city’s unique character."

 

Dean Washington (incumbent)

DeanWashingtonPortCoquitlamCouncilCandidate2022final
Incumbent Dean Washington is a council candidate for Port Coquitlam in the 2022 civic election. By Submitted
  • Age: 57
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: 55
  • Occupation: Owner and President of GRiP Tire Stores and RPM Media Publishing, three-term city councillor
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? Lead volunteer/chairperson of the Downtown Port Coquitlam Car Show & Cruise. Port Coquitlam Foundation board member. 
  • Email: washingtond@portcoquitlam.ca
  • Facebook: @rpmcanada

Why are you running? 

"I’m running to continue my work with Mayor Brad West as council’s designate for finance and budget that I have had the honour of overseeing the past 10 years. Responsible management of taxpayer dollars is council’s first and foremost priority. I will also continue to be a strong voice advocating the city focus on providing excellent customer service and the back to basics philosophy of providing strong core municipal services with a focus on overall cleanliness and community safety." 

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"Revitalization of downtown Port Coquitlam. As the councillor who oversees the exciting transformation of our downtown I see the positive effects from what has transpired to date and look forward to delivering an overall vibrancy to the downtown with new a bowling alley, restaurants, retailers and professional services in a walkable area that will create a safe and fun go to spot for our residents."

 

Jami Watson

  • Age: 44
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: Recently moved to Walnut Grove (Langley) due to affordability issues.  
  • Occupation: Costco Wholesale
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work? The Port Coquitlam Accessibility, Equality and Inclusion Committee in 2021.
  • Emailjamilynnwatson4@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @jamiwatsonforcitycouncil 
  • Twitter: @jamibee4
  • Facebook/TikTok: @JamiWatson

Why are you running? 

"During the pandemic when I was working the frontlines at Costco. I learned the importance of collaboration and embracing new ideas especially during challenging times. Inflation, housing crisis, overdoses pandemic and climate change are some of the things our communities are facing. I want to belong to a team with the mayor, city council and community members to find ways to face these challenges. As a woman living with a disability, I want to bring my perspective and ideas to the table. Diversity on council is essential in creating an inclusive city for all."

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"My number one issue is accessibility particularly when it comes to housing. My children go to school in Port Coquitlam, I work in Port Coquitlam and our sports are in Port Coquitlam. Yet I could never afford to buy or rent in my own city. That is the case with a lot of people. I recently heard a story of a family of four with two kids living in a one bedroom apartment. That is one story of too many. Yes there are rentals but who can afford $2,300 a month for a two bedroom apartment? We all deserve to have a roof over our heads, a living wage, food in our cupboards and opportunities that improve our quality of life."

 

Jenny Zhou

  • Age: Did not answer
  • Years as a Port Coquitlam resident: Six
  • Occupation: Caregiver
  • Most recent civic/volunteer work: Action4Canada 
  • Email: zhou_jenny@hotmail.com
  • Linktree: @zhouforcouncil
  • Telegram: @walkinthetruth

Why are you running? 

"There is a silent percentage of the population who have had no representation at all in the different levels of government since the beginning of the lockdowns. These are small businesses who have been forced to close, and people who still care about individual rights and freedoms and are questioning the narrative. They are our neighbours, co-workers, friends, and family members, and yet they are being vilified, belittled or dismissed, by our government leaders at all levels as a “fringe minority with unacceptable views.” I am running to give these people a voice in this civic election."

What’s your No. 1 issue and why? 

"Over the past year, I’ve noticed a growing division in our community that is unprecedented over the Covid-19 measures. This division has not been mended even with the temporary removal of the mandates. Those who felt the pain inflicted by these measures have lost their confidence in government at all levels. To restore trust and unity, decision makers must return to a fundamental set of values that we can all identify with as Canadians in the decision making process, which includes equality, respect, inclusivity and liberty!"

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks