NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) – On a civic election night packed with close races, upsets, and power shifts, New Westminster bucked the trend by easily electing incumbent mayor Jonathan X. Cote to a second term.
Not only did Cote easily soar to victory with just under 73 per cent of the unofficial vote, the six councillors affiliated with him were also elected by comfortable margins, including incumbents Patrick Johnstone, Jaimie McEvoy, Chuck Puchmayr, and Mary Trentadue.
If there was a surprise on election night, it was the strong performance of Nadine Nakagawa, the 2017 New West citizen of the year, who earned more votes than any other council candidate.
“That’s almost unheard of in local elections for a brand-new candidate,” says Cote. “She did an amazing job campaigning and she’s an amazing community leader, so we’re really excited to see what she can add to New Westminster city council.”
- Nadine Nakagawa
- Patrick Johnstone
- Mary Trentadue
- Jaimie McEvoy
- Chinu Das
- Chuck Puchmayr
Both Nakagawa and fellow newcomer Chinu Das will add some ethnic diversity to a local government historically devoid of it. Some candidates stated during the campaign that New Westminster had never elected a person of colour to its council.
“We ran a very diverse team of candidates, and for them to exceed expectations and get overwhelming support across the community I think really is reflective of where the community of New Westminster is,” Cote adds.
The Royal City has not been immune from the housing issues plaguing other parts of the region, but Cote and company have better claim to progress on that front than many governments. The city has already developed a Tenant Relocation Policy, meant to ensure renters displaced by redevelopment and demolition are given compensation and assistance in finding a new place to live.
A family-friendly housing policy also requires at least 30 percent of units in new multi-family developments to have two or three bedrooms.
Elected School Board:
- Anita Ansari
- Dee Beattie
- Gurveen Dhaliwal
- Mark Gifford
- Maya Russell
- Danielle Connelly
- Mary Lalji
Cote intends to stay the course over the next four years.
“A couple weeks from now, we’re going to get back to work and continue to do the work we’ve been doing the number of years,” he says.
Several big-money infrastructure projects are scheduled to proceed in New Westminster during Cote’s second term, including the $1.3 billion Pattullo Bridge Replacement.