One of Canada’s longest running MP’s represents Douglas College New West, while the Coquitlam campus is amid a hotly contested race.
By Craig Allan, Business Manager
In the riding of Burnaby – New Westminster, where the Douglas College New Westminster campus resides, the riding is currently held by NDP MP Peter Julian.
Canada is about halfway through the 2021 Federal Election, which means that all the parties have officially anointed their candidates to eventually be voted on by the public.
In the riding of Burnaby – New Westminster, where the Douglas College New Westminster campus resides, the riding is currently held by NDP MP Peter Julian. Julian has held this riding since its inception, and the riding in the area that preceded it, New Westminster – Burnaby, since 2004. While this does not put Julian anywhere close to the record for longest serving MP, it does make him one of the longest serving MP’s currently sitting in Parliament, with six election wins under his belt.
Looking to unseat the long serving MP is Liberal candidate Rozina Jaffer, a social justice lawyer and social worker. She told the New Westminster Record and Burnaby Now “Canadians want leadership that will keep working to build a Canada that is healthier and safer, cleaner and more competitive, and more inclusive for everyone. I’m looking forward to working hard to earn the support of families throughout New Westminster-Burnaby, one conversation at a time.” She hopes this conversational strategy will help her swing this steady NDP riding to her side.
The Conservatives are also looking to make waves in this typically left leaning riding with their candidate Paige Munro. Munro may look young, but she has already accomplished a number of impressive feats. She was the youngest person ever shortlisted for the Mars One space project and is the youngest Canadian female to ever climb the Matterhorn. She also holds a BA from McGill University and MSc from the University of Edinburgh. She completed a master’s degree in Canadian security and foreign policy during the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars; knowledge that will no doubt serve her well considering the recent withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
The Green Party, has submitted David MacDonald, (sharing the name of long-time politician and Green Party supporter David MacDonald) a founding member of Green Party movements in the Burnaby – New Westminster area, to run for them. MacDonald is running on one sole issue: the environment and climate crisis. He wants Canada to end its fossil fuel usage and focus on establishing renewable sources of energy.
Kevin Heide rounds out the list of candidates. He will be running for the People’s Party of Canada.
The Coquitlam – Port Coquitlam riding, where Douglas College’s David Lam Campus is located has been much closer. Sitting Liberal MP Ron McKinnon is running for a third term, though his previous election wins have not been dominant. His 2015 win was decided by less than 2000 votes, while his 2019 win was settled by less than 400 votes. He has been a long-time member of the Standing Committee of Health and was named chair of the committee in January 2020. McKinnon has also been a staunch advocate for people suffering in the opioid crisis and hopes to continue that work as MP.
Challenging McKinnon for his seat is Conservative candidate Katerina Anastasiadis. Anastasiadis is a former Tri-City resident and currently holds the position of executive director of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. She has also worked in the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and has volunteered for various groups including the Covenant House Vancouver and Vancouver Internal Maritime Centre.
The NDP challenger is Laura Dupont, a Port Coquitlam City Councillor. Dupont’s ascension to the NDP candidacy was not without its challenges, as she is currently censured by the Port Coquitlam municipal government for allegedly leaking confidential documents of a major development project. She challenged the censorship in the BC Supreme Court but lost and is currently trying to move the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. This has brought considerable ire onto Dupont, with the mayor of Port Coquitlam calling Dupont “immature and childish”. This has not deterred Dupont, who received the highest number of votes of any Port Coquitlam councillor with over 6500 votes in the 2018 municipal election. Dupont hopes that her supporters will stand with her again in this federal run. Dupont is fighting for issues like the importance of trees, water governance, climate action, and food security.
Kimberly Brundell rounds out the list of candidates. She will be running for the People’s Party of Canada.
The 2021 Federal Election will take place on September 20. Voting options include early mail in voting options available until September 14, and advanced polling stations set up from September 10 to 13. Voters can also vote at any Elections Canada office.