BC VOTES 2020: A candidate guide for Port Moody-Coquitlam

Here's what provincial candidates have to say about affordable housing, COVID-19 economic recovery and their political views

An election is on in B.C. — are you ready?

Here’s whose names will be on the ballot when you head to the polling station or fill in your mail in ballot. Rick Glumac, BC NDP, who is the incumbent, James Robertson, BC Liberal, John Latimer, BC Green Party, Brandon Fonseca, BC Conservative, and Logan Smith, BC Libertarian.

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The Tri-City News has provided Port Moody-Coquitlam candidates with an opportunity to present their biography and platform to aid voters in making a choice in the upcoming provincial election. Candidates were given 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.

 

BC VOTES 2020: a Port Moody-Coquitlam candidate guide_1

Rick Glumac, BC NDP

Occupation: Incumbent MLA

Brief bio: Rick Glumac served on Port Moody city council for six years before being elected to represent you in Victoria.

As your local MLA, Rick is dedicated to protecting and improving the services you count on. He worked to save the public lands around Eagle Ridge Hospital from being sold off and championed a new urgent primary care centre for our community.

As parliamentary secretary for technology, Rick has worked to grow B.C.’s tech sector. Previously, Rick was a software engineer and computer graphics supervisor, working on popular video games, mobile apps, and animated films like Shrek 2 and Madagascar.

What is your most important issue, platform or idea for voters in this election and why?

The most important challenge we are all facing is the COVID-19 pandemic. To get through this successfully we have to continue the work we've been doing; investing in health care, seniors care, child care, mental health, education and other public services. Investing in people is the key to a strong economic recovery. With my tech background, experience as a parliamentary secretary of technology for B.C. and as Canadian vice-president of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, I am committed to ensuring that we have a strong economic recovery. 

I have already seen progress on many of the recommendations I brought forward through extensive engagement with the business community. We have initiated a $500 million strategic investment fund to help support growing B.C. companies. We are changing the way we are doing government procurement to help support new companies and encourage more innovation. We are investing in rapid re-skilling in areas like digital marketing to help companies adapt to these new challenges. Our $1.5 billion economic recovery plan will propel our province into the future. It was put together with your input and expertise and that is how we will continue to navigate the challenges ahead.

The cost of housing, including rents and condos, is expensive and families are having to move out of the Tri-Cities to make ends meet, What would you do as a Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA to improve housing affordability in the area?

I have been working with the city to explore opportunities for affordable housing partnerships with the province and will continue these efforts if re-elected. We have already built, or are in the process of building, 25,000 affordable homes across the province as part of our 10-year plan to build 114,000 units. But it takes time to build these units. Meanwhile we are also addressing housing affordability on a number of different fronts. In the past, property prices were escalating out of control. We brought in a speculation tax to curb foreign speculation in real estate and now 11,000 formerly empty units are being rented. We put an end to billions of dollars of money laundering in real estate and are ending hidden ownership of property. We are freezing rents until the end of 2021 and capping increases to the rate of inflation after that. We will also be providing a renters rebate of $400/yr for those earning less than $80,000. We have also been addressing high strata insurance increases by closing loopholes and if the rates haven't corrected by the end of next year we'll look at developing a public strata insurance option, similar to Saskatchewan.

Many people have been struggling with the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; what would you advocate as an MLA to help the people of the Port Moody-Coquitlam riding get back on a solid footing, restore their confidence in public health and the economy?

Our government has been navigating these challenges by putting people at the centre of public policy. We will continue to work side by side with the people of BC as we move forward. Our investments in health care and public services, and our people-centred economic recovery plan will get us through this. As your MLA I will continue to be accessible and available to hear your concerns and ideas. I will continue to report back on our progress, either personally, or through social media, videos, town halls and monthly newsletters. It is critically important that people feel connected to their government and to know that they have an ally in Victoria. Whatever challenges we are facing, we are going to get through them together.

About me:

What books are you currently reading? The Future is Faster Than You Think - How Converging Technologies are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives 

What type of music, singer or band do you like to listen to? I've discovered a lot of great music on Spotify. Nick Mulvey, Allan Rayman, Ziggy Alberts, and Sean Koch are some of my recent favourites.

*See the BC NDP's full platform here.

 

BC VOTES 2020: a Port Moody-Coquitlam candidate guide_3

James Robertson, BC Liberal Party

Occupation: Shift supervisor at Port of Vancouver

Brief bio: I am a father of three living in Port Moody. I spent 15 years serving in the Canadian Navy and Special Forces before retiring from military life. Now, I work as a shift supervisor right here at the Port. I volunteer with the Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society to protect our waterways and pass them on to our children. I understand the struggles that the average family in Port Moody-Coquitlam is going through, because I'm going through them too. I'm running to create more hope and opportunity in our community.

What is your most important issue, platform or idea for voters in this election and why? 

The BC Liberals have proposed a one year elimination of the PST, $10 a day daycare, a tax cut for small businesses and an elimination of the ICBC monopoly. All of these are important steps to take to provide relief to families and businesses struggling to make it through the year. For me, though, the most important platform I am proposing is simple: to take governance seriously. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis are not the time to be playing politics and favouring some groups over others. The NDP broke an agreement to hold this election so they could take advantage of the moment for political gain. 

Relief for businesses has been put on hold until the election is over, our plan for safe school attendance has no one overseeing it, and affordable housing and childcare is unavailable to most of our community. We need a government that takes these issues seriously and doesn't see them as pieces in a political chess game. 

My most important platform is to fight for Port Moody-Coquitlam and all of British Columbia in a no nonsense, pragmatic way that puts their needs before my own.

The cost of housing, including rents and condos, is expensive and families are having to move out of the Tri-Cities to make ends meet, What would you do as a Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA to improve housing affordability in the area?

My family and I live in a 40-year-old two-bedroom townhouse just off of St. John Street. We know how hard it is to make a mortgage payment and to pay rent that keeps going up.

The simple answer is, we need more housing. We need more affordable housing, along with that we need more community infrastructure.

We need more daycares, community centres and schools - not just re-announcing them.

We have 60,000 people moving to British Columbia every year, and all of us need an affordable place to live, and over the last 3 years has housing become more affordable?

John Horgan and the BC NDP have promised new rental housing, but rents have gone up an average of $170 per month since 2017. Only 161 units rentals for the middle class. In 2016, the last year of the BC Liberal government, we created over 2,800 new affordable housing units alone.

I know that we need to do better. I'll work together with the municipalities and the federal government to get more purpose-built rental housing, streamline the approval process, increase the supply of housing options for low and low-to-moderate-income households.

Many people have been struggling with the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; what would you advocate as an MLA to help the people of the Port Moody-Coquitlam riding get back on a solid footing, restore their confidence in public health and the economy?

Businesses and residents of the Tri-Cities need help now. Assistance that is bound up in complex bureaucracy, endless consultations, or only for special groups is no help to anyone. Businesses need help retraining and adjusting to this new normal. Residents need to make sure that they keep their jobs and can continue to support their families.

Besides the BC Liberals proposals for a one year elimination of the PST, $10 a day daycare, tax cut for small businesses what the residents of Port Moody-Coquitlam can rely on is me being there for them, in person. I don’t want to just be a distant MLA who is only focused on the party agenda. I want to be a resource to my constituents who can come to me and my office with all manner of issues. If I can’t help you with an issue, I will do my best to find someone who can.

About me: 

What books are you currently reading? The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times by Jonathan Sacks

What type of music, singer or band do you like to listen to? I’m a huge lover of music and listen to everything, so it’s hard to categorize. Music plays a big part in my family with my wife being the most gifted since she went to university on an opera scholarship.

*See the BC Liberal's full platform here.

 

BC VOTES 2020: a Port Moody-Coquitlam candidate guide_4

John Latimer, BC Green Party

Occupation: Mechanical engineer

Brief bio: Born the son of a nurse, John learned from a young age the importance of hard work while taking care of others in the community.

John is a professional mechanical engineer who has worked in western Canadian industry for the past 15 years. His experience and a vision for sustainability led John to start a regional green company Northern Climate Pathways that has a focus on carbon literacy and product carbon footprint labeling. 

He is pro-green business, and believes the technologies needed to combat climate change are an opportunity. John is married and lives in Port Coquitlam.

What is your most important issue, platform or idea for voters in this election and why?

As your BC Green Party candidate, I support:

• The BC Green plan for a clean economy with its goal of being carbon neutral by 2045. This is not only the best plan to combat climate change of any party, but this plan will help everyone transition to a modern sustainable economy.

• Sustainable job creation. I am a pro-green business, and I will help attract green investment to the area to help combat climate change, and to create sustainable jobs.

• Protection of green spaces and old growth forests.

• A renters’ housing grant for low and moderate income earners who pay more than 30% of their income to rent to improve affordability.

• Covering 25% of rent for qualifying small businesses and retooling the provincial grant program to immediately get money to small tourism operators to help with the current recession.

• Inclusion and equity initiatives that will enable B.C. residents of all backgrounds to feel valued and to value each other in an inclusive society. I support full reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, based on respect, inclusion, and mutual support.

• Greater transparency and improved management for crown corporations.

The cost of housing, including rents and condos, is expensive and families are having to move out of the Tri-Cities to make ends meet, What would you do as a Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA to improve housing affordability in the area. 

Housing in B.C. is nowhere near affordable, especially for young people who have been shut out of the housing market and who have struggled to find reasonably priced homes to rent. That’s why BC Greens are setting a goal that by 2030, everyone in BC has a home that they can afford and that meets their needs. 

I support the BC Greens and their commitment to support renters who are struggling with the sky-rocketing costs of rent through a renters’ housing grant that would:

• Be targeted at low and moderate income earners who are paying more than 30% of their income in rent.

• Be means-tested and be aimed at closing the gap between what’s affordable and what people are actually paying in rent. 

Many people have been struggling with the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; what would you advocate as an MLA to help the people of the Port Moody-Coquitlam riding get back on a solid footing, restore their confidence in public health and the economy?

British Columbians are still struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic. Small business and tourism make up the backbone of our provincial economy, and people who work in tourism and small business are among the people who have been hit the hardest economically. 

I support the BC Green plan for supporting small business and tourism which would start by: 

• Covering 25% of rent for qualifying small businesses.

• Retooling the provincial grant program to get money to small tourism operators immediately.

About me:

What books are you currently reading? The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville, by Shelby Foote

This book is an excellent account of the early phase of the US Civil War, and is one of the best historical non-fiction books ever written in my opinion. 

What type of music, singer or band do you like to listen to? I listen to a wide variety of music, but I am listening to the Tragically Hip at the moment.

*See the BC Green's full platform here.

 

BC VOTES 2020: a Port Moody-Coquitlam candidate guide_0

Logan Smith, BC Libertarian Party

Brief Bio: Hi my name is Logan Smith. I grew up in Port Moody and Coquitlam. My mother worked at Royal Columbian Hospital as a cleaner and my father worked for Waste Management cleaning up the cities. I grew up with parents cleaning up this province and I wish to serve you by cleaning up the mess the governments’ of yesterday and today have made.

What is your most important issue, platform or idea for voters in this election and why?

The biggest issue the people of B.C. is to get back to normal and to be able to meet the economic challenges we are to face moving forward. This is to be done by getting government out of our lives.

The cost of housing, including rents and condos, is expensive and families are having to move out of the Tri-Cities to make ends meet, What would you do as a Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA to improve housing affordability in the area. 

I too had to move out of the Tri-Cities as things become more expensive, housing the most. It’s simple economics of supply not meeting demand and what supply there is made more expensive with senseless regulation and taxes.

The BC Libertarian Party looks to get ride of the senseless regulation and taxes. Also work with municipalities to relaxes zoning bylaws.

Many people have been struggling with the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; what would you advocate as an MLA to help the people of the Port Moody-Coquitlam riding get back on a solid footing, restore their confidence in public health and the economy? 

Our party’s number one issue is to get back to normal. We have seen a rise in overdoes deaths and suicides as a result of the lockdowns, with no plan on ending it. We will end the state of emergency and open this province with each individual playing their part in keeping them selfies and the community as a whole safe.

About me:

What books are you currently reading? I just finished Anatomy of the State by Murray Rothbard. Highly recommend!

What music do you like to listen to?  I mostly listen to Rock, but anything good for while I go on a run.

*See the BC Libertarian's full platform here.

 

BC VOTES 2020: a Port Moody-Coquitlam candidate guide_2

Brandon Fonseca, BC Conservative Party

Occupation: SFU student

Brief bio: I have been a resident of the Tri-Cities my whole life, and received my high-school diploma at Port Moody’s Heritage Woods Secondary. I am currently completing a Molecular Biology and Biochemistry degree at Simon Fraser University. As part of my degree, I am doing research in a laboratory at SFU that is trying to understand the biology of Snow Algae and how it is tied to glacial recession in BC’s coastal mountains. I also volunteered as a first aid attendant for the Port Moody branch of St. John’s Ambulance at numerous Port Moody events. 

What is your most important issue, platform or idea for voters in this election and why?

I believe in my party’s commitment to eliminating the carbon tax, this measure will benefit all British Columbians and stimulate the provincial economy. The provincial carbon tax was implemented back in 2008 by the Liberal Party of BC as a way to lower green house gas (GHG) emissions. They claimed at the time that the tax would be revenue neutral and would not exceed $30 per tonne of CO2. Fast forward to today, and the NDP has raised that number to $40 per tonne and the tax is no longer revenue neutral. This carbon tax has also failed to lower GHGs, according to the provincial government’s own numbers. During the period of 2007 to 2018, total GHG emissions in B.C. rose from 63,401 kilo-tonnes of CO2 per year to 67,924 kilo-tonnes of CO2 per year. Thats an increase of 7% to annual GHG emissions since 2007, demonstrating that this tax is not reducing carbon consumption. Our party believes there are other more efficient way of reducing GHGs, without hurting BC consumers and businesses. 

The cost of housing, including rents and condos, is expensive and families are having to move out of the Tri-Cities to make ends meet, What would you do as a Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA to improve housing affordability in the area. 

The Conservative Party of BC believes that the best way to reduce the cost of housing in B.C. is by increasing the supply of homes available to purchase. We will accomplish this by freeing up 1% of crown land for residential development. This will provide vast tracts of land for private development. As a fiscally conservative party we understand that the free market and private industry can deliver new housing at a faster rate, more efficiently and for a better value compared to government housing projects. We will also incentivize banks and other lending institutions to finance affordable housing projects, so that there is sufficient capital to complete these developments. Finally we are committed to raising the threshold to qualify for Property-Transfer-Tax exemption for first time home-buyers. The current level that Property-Transfer-Tax kicks in is far too low, and we will set the new threshold at a point that better reflects the actual fair market value of homes in Port Moody-Coquitlam. 

Many people have been struggling with the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; what would you advocate as an MLA to help the people of the Port Moody-Coquitlam riding get back on a solid footing, restore their confidence in public health and the economy? 

I believe that in the current COVID-19 pandemic one of the key elements of formulating good policy is establishing a dialogue with local businesses. The ingenuity and adaptability of local businesses in setting up their own COVID-19 safety protocols and measures has truly been astounding. It goes to show how hardy our local business community is to changing situations and adversity. That is why on day one of taking office, I will bring local business leaders to the discussion table and allow them to directly tell us what they need to operate and succeed. We will institute responsible COVID-19 safety policies that utilizes the best advice of our medical professionals and public health officials. On top of this, the Conservative Party of BC will immediately suspend the carbon tax, reducing the cost of shipped goods, heating and commuting. We will also bring in a tourism tax credit that will reduce the cost for BC residents to visit B.C.’s numerous vacation locations. This will greatly stimulate our badly hit tourism industry.   

About Me: 

What books are you currently reading? I am currently reading a book by Collin Imber titled “The Ottoman Empire 1300-1650, the Structure of Power”. The text explores the various government structures, cultural practices and lifestyles of the numerous Sultans within the Ottoman Empire from 1300-1650. 

Favourite music: Music wise I am a huge fan of the band “Panic at the Disco”, my favourite classical music composer is Fredric Chopin. And occasionally I do enjoy a small helping of Dub Step. 

*See the BC Conservatived full platform here.

Watch the candidates debate:

See our candidate guides for the Tri-Cities other three ridings: Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, Coquitlam-Maillardville 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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