By Dylan Hackett, News Editor
Last week I spoke with BCNDP hopeful for the riding of Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, Barry Lynch. Below is an excerpt of the conversation and choice quotes from the candidate about his political history and campaign.
In late 2012, Barrie Lynch announced that he intended to transition from municipal politics, after being a city councillor in Coquitlam for nine years, into provincial politics. One of four nominees to run under the NDP banner in the upcoming May election, Barrie hopes that being a long-time resident of the riding and his broad history of careers—such as working as a paramedic, auxiliary police officer, and in trade unions—will make him the top choice for the few hundred BCNDP members making up the electorate of the riding association nomination meeting on March 3.
OP: What is your assessment of Douglas Horne, the current Coquitlam-Burke Mountain MLA, and his performance?
BL: Doug came in with no political experience, so I think he had a steep curve. I think that when Ian Black [former MLA] was around, he had a mentor. I know they had their offices together. I would be a different style. I’m definitely out in the community more. I think he should have a higher profile out in the community. I would like to hear him speak out about more issues… He was very close to Gordon Campbell and the philosophies that Campbell had. They’re different than my philosophies.
What about Christy Clark’s performance thus far?
Clark was my MLA. She’s a very capable person, but our philosophies aren’t aligned. I am somewhat surprised that she hasn’t performed at a higher level—you never know until someone is in that position. She came in after Campbell and after you have a party that is so blatant about things like the HST, where they say they’re not going to do it and then they do it right away, selling off properties the provincial government owns—saying one thing and doing another. It’s pretty hard to build up credibility. She came in at a time when the credibility of the Liberals is low and she hasn’t been able to do anything to change that.
On municipal politics.
Coquitlam is the only place I’ve been involved in politics. Last election I was of the opinion that there needed to be a change of the mayoral seat. I ran against the mayor and I didn’t beat him, obviously, because I’m not the mayor, but it’s an interesting process. I wish the outcome had ended differently but I still believe it was the right decision to run at the time.
On nominee Joe Keithley.
Joe Keithley announced [his intentions to run] just before I did. He wanted to run in Burnaby, which makes total sense. A strong thing for me is the fact that I live in this riding. I live in New Horizons. I have since 1980. I think people who live in the community, who’ve grown up in the community, who are active in the community just have a better understanding of what it’s all about. I couldn’t imagine me saying ‘I’m going to go run in Burnaby’ because I don’t know a whole lot about that area.
I think [the Evergreen Line] needs to go all the way out into the [Fraser] Valley. You want to encourage people to get out of their vehicles more than force them out. Tolling is forcing people out. You make them pay more to drive but if they’re provided with an alternative, that’s an issue with supply. I think a lot of people, if they had a convenient bus service or train service, would like to use that instead of driving their cars all the time. People are becoming more environmentally sensitive.