Mary Woo Sims (NDP)
Mary Woo Sims, the former chief commissioner of the BC Human Rights Commission, is a hero to some in the gay and lesbian community for her record as a defender and promoter of human rights. Sims, a motorcycle-riding lesbian, lost a bid last year to get elected to Coquitlam city council. While working at the commission during the NDP era, she advanced some unusual cases, including a complaint by a Jehovah's Witness that he suffered religious discrimination after his employer required him to put six Christmas poinsettia plants on display.
Sims has offered support to those fighting for a federal apology and direct compensation for the discriminatory $500 head tax that was imposed on Chinese immigrants up until 1923.
The Conservative MP, James Moore, has fought for leaky-condo owners and voted for same-sex marriage. As a result of the latter vote, a Christian on his riding executive decided to run against him as an independent. Moore, 29, is extremely articulate and is probably headed for cabinet if the Conservatives form government. In that position, he might be able to deliver federal funding for a rapid-transit project linking Lougheed Mall with Coquitlam Centre.
Moore sometimes appears to enjoy whipping up his constituents' fear of crime and then promising to provide law-and-order solutions. He isn't nearly as objectionable as most Conservative candidates in the region, though he did vote in favour of a parliamentary motion endorsing the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.
Liberal Jon Kingsbury was the mayor of Coquitlam until last year, when he lost by just 18 votes. As a member of the TransLink board, Kingsbury first voted against and later voted for the Canada Line (RAV) linking Richmond and the airport with downtown Vancouver. Cost overruns on this line might leave TransLink too financially strapped to proceed with plans to develop light rail to the northeast sector, where rapid transit is more desperately needed.