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Civic election profile: The Tri-Cities

TRI-CITIES (NEWS1130) – A lot is about to change for the Tri-Cities in the years after the civic election, now that rapid transit is on the way. Candidates in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody are preparing for the arrival of the Evergreen Line.

If you look at the latest poll from Insights West, you probably won’t be expecting any exciting races for the mayors’ chairs. The current mayors all have approval ratings of over 60 per cent. But Richard Delmonte with the Tri-City News isn’t so sure.

In Port Moody, one-term mayor Mike Clay faces off with former city administrator Gaetan Royer and Delmonte thinks he has a shot.

“Mr. Royer has probably quite an election machine running. He’s got the endorsement of Finn Donnelly, federal NDP MP. There’s a lot of talk about the city’s official community plan, which lays out how development around the Evergreen Line will proceed. Incumbent Mayor Mike Clay says this is a major opportunity to revive Moody centre by attracting the right kind of development.”

“The SkyTrain will be a natural draw, if you build properly around the SkyTrain stations to have some live, work, play opportunities there,” he adds.

Over to Port Coquitlam, Delmonte doesn’t expect the city will have a new mayor. “Greg Moore is a very strong incumbent and he’s running against someone who I believe ran for council once before and doesn’t have much of a profile in the community.”

Taxes in Port Coquitlam haven’t been raised in the last few years and two-term mayor Moore says he would continue to look hard at the books if he’s re-elected. A new recreation centre is also in the works.

“It’s not just going to be a rec centre; it’s going to be a community gathering place,” says Delmonte. “And so finding and figuring out what the components of that to make it into a focal point of our community is going to really important. And then we’ve got to get on to actually building it.”

There’s a chance Coquitlam may have a new mayor once the votes are counted. Incumbent Richard Stewart is taking on former mayor Lou Sekora. As with other communities, planning how the Evergreen Line will change the city is the main topic of conversation.

Richard Stewart says he’ll focus on taking a regional approach, if elected again. “The issue really is whether we can move forward with the kind of consensus building that we’ve achieved over the last six years and I think we can.”

News1130 will have a team of reporters covering the BC civic election on Saturday, November 15th. Tune in for full Your Vote 2014 coverage.