For the environment, Fin Donnelly's the best bet in New Westminster–Coquitlam by-election

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      Most politicians say good things about the environment. But only one of them swam the length of the Fraser River twice to raise awareness of salmon populations and was honoured by the Squamish Nation for his efforts with an aboriginal name. Only one in this region has visited more than 100 schools to talk about the environment and been named “environmental educator of the year” by teachers who specialize in this area.

      That politician is Coquitlam councillor Fin Donnelly, the executive director of the Rivershed Society of B.C.

      Donnelly played a key role in Coquitlam's developing an affordable-housing strategy and taking action to tackle homelessness. When he served on the Metro Vancouver board, he introduced a “zero waste” motion, which set the region on a path to diverting a huge amount of garbage out of the waste stream.

      On Monday (November 9) voters in the federal riding of New Westminster–Coquitlam will choose their next member of Parliament. There are four candidates: Donnelly (NDP), Port Moody councillor Diana Dilworth (Conservative), consultant Rebecca Helps (Green), and engineer Ken Beck Lee (Liberal).

      Since 2004, the NDP has won two of the three elections in New Westminster–Coquitlam and narrowly lost the third race. The Conservatives won once and came second in the two other campaigns. This by-election, which was called after NDP MP Dawn Black stepped down to run for the provincial legislature, is shaping up as another race between the NDP and Conservative candidates.

      Dilworth has focused attention on the Conservatives' law-and-order agenda. She has ducked debates like so many other Conservative candidates in the last federal election. As a member of the governing party, she has to answer for the fact that the Evergreen Line still hasn't been built.

      The Liberal candidate, Lee, understands the seriousness of climate change and he impressed some by knocking off Leader Michael Ignatieff's former communications spokesperson in B.C. for the party nomination. But Lee has never been elected to Parliament, and he could probably benefit by gaining elected experience at a lower level of government before trying to enter the big leagues.

      The Green candidate is well-meaning, but she cannot match Donnelly's environmental credentials. He is the best bet to stop the Conservative. He will also put pressure on the Harper government for not seriously addressing global warming. It's a no-brainer. If you know people who live in New Westminster–Coquitlam, please encourage them to get to a polling station on Monday and vote for Fin Donnelly for the good of the planet.



      J Story

      Nov 5, 2009 at 8:09am

      Doubtful. Whatever Donnelly's qualifications, the NDP has vanishing influence at the federal level. Better to elect either Lee or Dilworth and exert local pressure after.

      It is nonsense to suggest that any of the candidates supports measures that would worsen the quality of our air, land and water. The Conservatives are a convenient bogeyman, but in fact are doing as much or better than the Liberals did, and more than either the NDP or Greens will ever be able to, given the current political reality.


      Nov 5, 2009 at 10:48am

      To J Story: Enough already with the "best we can do" mentality. Of course the governing party or official opposition party have more power, but that doesn't mean they do as much as they could or should. Since when are we not supposed to look at other options?

      I think Fin Donnelly will make a fine MP for New Westminster, Coquitlam and Port Moody.


      Nov 5, 2009 at 11:23am

      J Story:

      Whatever Donnelly's qualifications, the NDP has vanishing influence at the federal level. Better to elect either Lee or Dilworth and exert local pressure after.

      I think it's clear that J Story is worried that the NDP's influence is increasing at the federal level, and he doesn't want the November 9th byelections to add to that.

      Story want's voters to stay trapped in the game of Red/Blue duopoly, a game in which the "choices" are purely cosmetic.

      Rod Smelser

      Port Moodyite

      Nov 5, 2009 at 11:24am

      What has turned me off Fin is that he supports the carbon tax! I just can't believe that he proposes to tax working people even more. If one wants to vote for the idiotic carbon tax then just vote for the Dion Libs or the Campbell Libs.

      And the federal NDP also opposed the reduction of the GST from 7% to 5% to further assist working families make ends meat.

      Nope. Time to look closer at all of the candidates.