Burnaby mayoral race gets more interesting as Greens throw support behind retired firefighter Mike Hurley

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      For years, Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan has been a powerhouse on the regional political scene.

      One of the leaders in the fight against the Kinder Morgan pipeline project, Corrigan also chairs the TransLink Mayors' Council.

      But after cruising to five straight mayoral victories and 15 years before that on council, he could face his toughest election fight on October 20.

      Retired firefighter Mike Hurley has announced that he's running as an independent.

      Hurley was the local firefighters union president for eight years and was also president of the B.C. Professional Firefighters for eight years.

      And on Friday (July 13), Hurley was endorsed by punk rocker Joe Keithley, who bowed out of the race as the Green mayoral candidate.

      “I am stepping aside, as I believe to the best way to make positive change in Burnaby is to defeat Derek Corrigan and elect a new mayor," Keithley said in a news release. "I believe that Mike Hurley is the best candidate to achieve that. I recently met with Mike and we both realized that our goals for Burnaby were really not that far apart."

      Keithley has now decided to run for council.

      The Greens will announce their entire council slate on July 29.

      They've promised a moratorium on demolitions of purpose-built rental buildings, a property-tax freeze, a pay cut for the mayor, and term limits for the mayor and council.

      Last month, Hurley was endorsed by the New Westminster & District Labour Council, which had always supported Corrigan's mayoral ambitions in the past.

      Incumbent councillors on Corrigan's Burnaby Citizens Association slate also didn't receive endorsements, even though several have deep ties to the labour movement.

      This occurred even though Corrigan's party has not contracted out work and Corrigan's efforts to sharply increase bus service in phase two of the regional transportation plan.

      Former B.C. NDP president and Coun. Sav Dhaliwal and Mayor Derek Corrigan—both vehement opponents of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project—did not receive endorsements from the New Westminster & District. Labour Council.
      Charlie Smith

      The left, however, isn't happy with the lack of social services provided to the homeless by the City of Burnaby in comparison to those offered in neighbouring New Westminster and Vancouver.

      There's also anger over old purpose-built apartment buildings being demolished in Metrotown to make room for expensive condos.

      Meanwhile, Corrigan's consistent opposition to the pipeline has rankled some unions, which likely played a role in him not securing an endorsement from organized labour in the upcoming election.