BC VOTES 2020: A candidate guide for Coquitlam-Maillardville

Meet the candidates in Coquitlam-Maillardville vying for your vote in the 2020 provincial election.

Local candidates and provincial party leaders are in their final week of campaigning ahead of the Oct. 24 election. Public health restrictions because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic have ensured this has been an election unlike any other, with public rallies and door-knocking replaced virtual meetings, phone calls and email blasts.

Coquitlam-Maillardville has three candidates vying for your vote. They are: BC NDP incumbent Selina Robinson, BC Liberal Will Davis and BC Green Nicola Spurling.

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The Tri-City News provided each with an opportunity to present their biography and platform to help voters make their choice. Each was provided with a couple of questions and word limits to follow.

Need more? Check out the candidates for yourself in the full-length debates at the bottom of this page and read our coverage here.

 

 

Selina Robinson

Selina Robinson, BC NDP

Occupation: Incumbent MLA

Brief bio: Selina Robinson was elected as the MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville in 2013 and re-elected in 2017. She most recently served as the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Selina has been actively engaged in the Coquitlam community since moving there in 1994.

As a former Coquitlam city councillor, Selina advocated for the rights of taxpayers, fought to protect the health of children and families by introducing a local ban on cosmetic pesticides and worked to improve access for people with disabilities as chair of the Coquitlam Universal Access-Ability Advisory Committee.

Prior to being elected, Selina had a home-based family therapy practice and was the Director of Development for SHARE Family and Community Services.

What is your most important issue, platform or idea you'd like to express to voters, and why?

Citizens need a government that is there for them when they need it. 

The COVID pandemic showed us the vital role government plays in caring for people and keeping them safe. 

When the pandemic started John Horgan moved swiftly to make sure that our health care response could meet the challenges of this unprecedented time. We put plans in place to prepare for the worst. We addressed significant gaps in seniors care, gaps that were the result of the BC Liberals’ privatization of this health care sector. We are fixing these gaps by hiring 7000 more workers and making their pandemic pay permanent so that these front-line workers who care for our seniors no longer have to work at more than one facility to make financial ends meet. 

Meeting the needs of parents working in our healthcare system showed us the critical importance that childcare plays in our economy and our healthcare system. We started to build an affordable, accessible childcare system in 2017, delivering over 300 spaces for families in the Tri-Cities. 

We need to keep the momentum going and continue to deliver these vital services. We can’t afford to go backward on the progress we have made.

The cost of housing, including rents and condo, has been a source of anxiety for families in the Tri-Cities for years, even forcing some to move away to make ends meet. How would you work to improve housing affordability in Coquitlam-Maillardville?

Under the BC Liberals, the cost of housing ballooned out of control for over a decade. 

To address this growing problem the BC NDP engaged with developers, local governments, First Nations, land economists, community housing providers, academics and housing advocates to develop a plan to address this problem from all sides. 

We are working to stabilize the market, crack down on tax fraud and loopholes, improve security for renters, and develop partnerships to build the affordable homes that people need. We are two years into the ten-year plan, and we are starting to see some of the fruit of our hard work. 

We will continue to work with the mayor and council to make sure their Housing Needs Assessment, which is required by legislation, guides their land use decision-making. This work will allow us to streamline the development approval process so homes can be built faster. 

We will continue to partner with nonprofits, faith-based groups, and other landowners to deliver social and middle-income housing here in Coquitlam-Maillardville. We already have 600 units of subsidized housing underway in the Tri-Cities – we look forward to building more.

Many people are struggling with the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social effects are likely to be felt for years to come; how will you be able to help the residents of Coquitlam-Maillardville get back on a solid footing and restore their confidence in public health and the economy?

Residents of Coquitlam-Maillardville deserve better healthcare, now more than ever. 

My priority is to make sure we have the healthcare resources to get us through this pandemic. It is why we are hiring 7000 more people to fight COVID-19. We need to continue to make sure that our frontline workers have the tools, resources and supports so that they can provide services we rely on. 

That is why making sure we continue to build out our childcare plan is critical so that people from our community can work.

People are the economy and by helping people succeed, we can build a recovery for everyone. 

We are investing $8 billion to support people and kickstart the economy. We have a 15% tax credit for hiring new employees and a PST rebate on machinery and equipment so people can invest in their business. We are providing grants to support 15,000 hard hit small and medium sized businesses and grants for people to get trained in high-demand fields. 

We are putting people at the centre of our recovery.

*See the BC NDP's full platform here.

 

Will Davis

Will Davis, BC Liberals

Brief bio: I am a long time resident of Maillardville originally from Quebec and fluently bilingual. I have been a successful small business owner, broadcaster, artist and not-for-profit executive, since March I have been an advocate for better standards of care and support of the long-term care sector, especially for our frontline heroes that provide care for our vulnerable seniors.

I am the father of 5 children. My wife Wendy, is a kindergarten teacher. I am actively involved with local community organizations; Coach Tri-City ball hockey and basketball teams. Currently, I am the Chair of the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) for 3 Maillardville schools – Rochester Elementary, Maillard Middle and Dr. Charles Best Secondary. 

What is your most important issue, platform or idea you'd like to express to voters, and why?

My biggest issue is the shameless power-grab that the NDP are making in the middle of a pandemic. First slowing down the government to prepare to run a campaign, then announcing a snap election.

The BC Liberals plan to:

Eliminate PST for a year - help small businesses and families save everyday

End the ICBC monopoly - give consumer choices to find cheaper rates.

Help seniors stay in their homes longer - up to $7,000/year tax credit to help with at home care

Get local traffic moving - relieve congestion and complete the Brunette overpass.

Eliminate small business tax - get our economy moving now.

Implement $10/day child care - help those in need to real and affordable child care

Tackle housing affordability - balanced approach to help renters and homeowners

The cost of housing, including rents and condo, has been a source of anxiety for families in the Tri-Cities for years, even forcing some to move away to make ends meet. How would you work to improve housing affordability in Coquitlam-Maillardville?

Housing affordability continues to be a major concern for British Columbians. As we begin our recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, Andrew Wilkinson has called on the government to take immediate action to help those in need of housing:

One-year suspension of new fees and taxes that add costs/delays to projects

Incentivize local governments to approve more rental units per year

Make public hearings more accessible to communities

Make broader use of the Certified Professionals Program

Encourage pre-zoning with density bonuses 

Enable landlords to apply directly for financial supports during COVID-19

Extend property tax reductions and deadline extensions to housing developments

Implement rebates to encourage reinvestment in aging rental housing

BC’s strata insurance market is in crisis — many have seen premium increases of over 300%. That’s why we’re proposing immediate actions that would help British Columbians struggling with affordability:

Extend the Property Tax Deferment Program

Pause the 4.4% Insurance Premium Tax to defer up to $2,400 for a year

Annual contributions be made to a strata's Consolidation Revenue Fund

Mandatory education and training program for strata council members

Review the B.C. Building Code and implement new safety requirements

Require the B.C. Financial Services Authority to make insurance information public

Many people are struggling with the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social effects are likely to be felt for years to come; how will you be able to help the residents of Coquitlam-Maillardville get back on a solid footing and restore their confidence in public health and the economy?

A BC Liberal government will officially end the ICBC monopoly by opening up the automobile insurance market to competition from the private market so drivers can shop for the best possible rate.

The BC Liberals will implement a $1 billion plan to bring $10-a-day child care to low-income families and affordable child care for families who need it most. Families with annual household incomes of up to $65,000 will have access to $10-a-day child care with stepped rates for families with incomes up to $125,000.

A BC Liberal government will immediately eliminate the two per cent small business income tax in a move to give more help to businesses, workers, and families at a time when it is needed most.

We must ensure our seniors are safe and protected from future health crises:

Launch a thorough review of LTC to find improvements

Allocate funding to create new training spaces for health care assistants

Improve the credential recognition process for international professionals

Purchase PPE for care workers, staff, and all essential frontline workers in LTC

Establish a fund with federal partners to replace or refurbish older facilities

Review funding sources for private and public home care and assisted living

Provide a timeframe and clear guidelines for in-person visits from family members

*See the BC Liberal's full platform here.

 

Nicola Spurling

Nicola Spurling, BC Green Party

Brief bio: Nicola Spurling is a public figure, a small business owner, a political commentator, an LGBTQ2+ advocate and an affordable housing advocate.

With experience in project management, construction, sales, economics, research and marketing, Nicola brings a unique variety of skills to the table. 

She has served as the Lower Mainland representative for the BC Green Party and a panelist on CBC's The Early Edition since 2017, is a director on the Vancouver Pride board, and is president and founder of Tri-Cities Pride.

What is your most important issue, platform or idea you'd like to express to voters, and why?

For too long we've accepted only having two parties to vote for - the BC Liberals or the BC NDP. With both parties upholding the status quo, it's time for change. 

Nicola Spurling is running to be your MLA because she wants to be the change that British Columbia so desperately needs to address the current pandemic, human rights, climate change, affordability, education and the economy. She has a proven track record of creating political change at a municipal, provincial and federal level. 

In this difficult time, Nicola’s top priorities are keeping our community safe, protecting people’s jobs, investing in education and addressing the high cost of living and housing. 

The BC Green Party has a full platform with plans to address these issues and many more. For information on that platform, please visit bcgreens.ca/platform and to learn more about Nicola Spurling, please visit nicolaspurling.me/coquitlam-maillardville.

The cost of housing, including rents and condo, has been a source of anxiety for families in the Tri-Cities for years, even forcing some to move away to make ends meet. How would you work to improve housing affordability in Coquitlam-Maillardville?

The BC Green Party’s plan is to expand diverse forms of housing. This includes taking a housing first approach and accelerating investment in affordable, supportive and social housing on a priority basis.  We will expand supports for co-op housing, work with Coquitlam council to expand the “missing middle,” in the form of types of housing that are underrepresented in Coquitlam-Maillardville. We will establish a capital fund for the acquisition and maintenance of affordable rental housing by nonprofits, close the bare trust loophole and close loopholes in the speculation tax.

BC Greens will introduce a rental supplement in the form of a means-tested grant that applies to low and moderate income earners who are paying more than 30% of their income in rent.  BC Greens will also convene a taskforce to deal with the rising cost of strata insurance and develop solutions based on a BC Financial Services Authority investigation.

Many people are struggling with the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social effects are likely to be felt for years to come; how will you be able to help the residents of Coquitlam-Maillardville get back on a solid footing and restore their confidence in public health and the economy?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how precarious our economy is and has reinforced how important job security is. 

As the world shifts away from fossil fuel dependency and toward automation, the economy of the future will look very different from the economy we know today. 

The people of Coquitlam-Maillardville need supports today, but these supports can't just be short-term band-aid solutions, they have to carry us forward into a prosperous future. 

BC Greens plan to put in place supports that create security for vulnerable people, such as basic income. We plan to invest in industries of the future, such as tech and renewables, including a $500 million fund to support sustainable jobs.  

BC Greens also plan to invest in education that allows people to retrain for new jobs as the economy and industries shift with the times and ensures a just transition.

*See the BC Green's full platform here.

Watch the candidates debate:

See our candidate guides for the Tri-Cities other three ridings: Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, Port Moody-Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam.

For more on local and provincial election coverage, visit the Tri-City News B.C. Votes election hub

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