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Civic election profile: Burnaby and New Westminster

BURNABY/NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS1130) – They are two major Metro Vancouver cities, side by side, both of which complain congestion is crippling their communities. We’re turning the civic election spotlight on Burnaby and New Westminster.

Mayors from both communities say traffic is their number one issue.

In Burnaby, incumbent Derek Corrigan aims to reduce congestion — partly through economic development — and is also focusing on jobs closer to home.

“More jobs within our regional town centres… We don’t want them to just be retail centres; we want them to be commercial centres; they have a much broader base. We’re looking also to attract businesses from the downtown core in Vancouver out to an area like Brentwood or Metrotown.

Corrigan is in his fifth term as mayor, and 10th on council. He tells us he’ll also push harder for a new Burnaby hospital.

“I’ve been doing everything I can to work with our provincial government and business community to push this project forward. In fact, this is the big item for the next four years, to try to get those hospital improvements that are so desperately needed in our community.”

Running against him is Daren Hancott with Burnaby First. “The reason I’m doing this is to give people democratic choice in a community that has a democratic deficit and has had one for a very long time.”

‘If we get elected, this is how we’re going to run the city: We’re doing more with less because our money is your money and that’s how you spend it,” he tells us.

Also running for mayor in Burnaby: Helen Hee Soon Chang, Sylvia Gung, and Raj Gupta.

Over in New Westminster, Mayor Wayne Wright is fighting to keep the job he’s held since 2002.

“When you’ve got something that’s not broken and you’re going forward all the time and all the positiveness that is taking place, keep that momentum going — and the person to do that is me,” says Wright.

He touts his record on job creation, adding parks and transportation are a priority. He envisions altered truck routes and a new Pattullo Bridge.

“Transportation will be a big part [of my plan], affordable housing will be another part of it, jobs will be another part of it, and the economy again will be a big part of it. That’s why we’ve done the new office tower and new businesses we’re bringing to the city. Remember, within my terms, we’ve lost four huge mills and that makes it very difficult to catch up but we’re doing that,” adds Wright.

Challenger James Crosty has big plans for traffic.

“I’ve been a long-term advocate of reopening discussions to reconnect McBride Avenue and the Pattullo Bridge corridor with the Stormont Connector at Highway 1 at the Cariboo Interchange. This is a missing link anyone looking at a map will see.”

Crosty plans to reign in spending and create a local commission for women.

Also running in New Westminster: Jonathan Cote and Vladimir Krasnogor.