There's a new contender in the Coquitlam city council race for the 2022 municipal election — set for Oct. 15.
Phil Buchan has decided to take his first shot at a seat around the horseshoe in hopes of providing, what he calls, a public service people can count on.
In a release sent to the Tri-City News, Buchan said Coquitlam has been his home for nine years alongside his wife and dog, during which he's spent many hours as a community volunteer with environment groups, the local Legion and sports.
Buchan added housing is a noted concern of his, believing barriers should be removed for those in need of affordable and accessible homes.
"I will work with provincial and federal governments, non-profits and developers to insure the rights of homeowners and renters are met through safe, affordable and appropriate housing," he said.
"I will advocate for including a higher percentage of below market housing and rentals in all new developments than is presently required. When changes to our housing situation are required, every Coquitlam citizen deserves the opportunity to stay in their community, close to their friends, family and the services they count on."
As a volunteer hockey coach, Buchan claims Coquitlam sports facilities should also be "maintained and expanded" and provide more space for artistic and cultural additions "that reflect the diversity of the community."
He said he's "determined to increase funding for educational programs and activities to fight against all forms of racism and discrimination occurring in our city," while also taking more steps for truth and reconciliation with local Indigenous communities.
Buchan holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Calgary.
His profile states, prior to returning to Canada, he spent 18 years teaching English in Japan and served as his school's teacher's union president for two of them.
Other council candidates who have declared their intention to run to the Tri-City News are Matt Djonlic, Ali Tootian, Harvey Su, Rob Bottos, Ben Craig, Benjamin Perry, Robert Mazzarolo, Paul Lambert and incumbents Coun. Craig Hodge, Coun. Dennis Marsden, Coun. Steve Kim, Coun. Trish Mandewo and Coun. Teri Towner.
For more information on Buchan and his platform, you can visit his campaign website.
As well, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has scheduled a series of all-candidates debates for local 2022 civic elections.
Coquitlam mayor and council nominees will get the chance to speak to the issues that matter to them, and take questions from the public, at the Evergreen Cultural Centre on Sept. 22.