Coquitlam City Counsellor Named as NDP Candidate for New West-Coquitlam.

Coquitlam city councillor Fin Donnelly has been named the NDP candidate for the riding of New Westminster-Coquitlam, beating out New West councillor Lorrie Williams and fellow Coquitlam councillor Barry Lynch at a riding association meeting at Glenbrooke Middle School.  Donnelly, a Hyacks swim club record holder, and longtime environmentalist was supported by NDP party leader

Fin Donnelly, NDP
Fin Donnelly, NDP

Coquitlam city councillor Fin Donnelly has been named the NDP candidate for the riding of New Westminster-Coquitlam, beating out New West councillor Lorrie Williams and fellow Coquitlam councillor Barry Lynch at a riding association meeting at Glenbrooke Middle School.  Donnelly, a Hyacks swim club record holder, and longtime environmentalist was supported by NDP party leader Jack Layton, who visited the riding to show support for the new candidate in the upcoming by-election (to be called before November, 2009).

Donnelly, a Coquitlam native, has ties to New Westminster through his time as a Hyack, his work with environmental groups for stewardship of the Fraser River and other rivers and streams and by proximity while growing up. As the needs of Coquitlam and New Westminster can sometimes appear mutually exclusive, it remains to be seen how Donnelly will connect with New West voters. Royal City constituents in this mixed riding trend towards the NDP but he may need a good showing of New West voters to counter the strong presence of Conservatives in Coquitlam.

Celebrating his candidacy, party faithful, and political watchers met up at the Brooklyn Tap and Grill on Columbia street to meet Fin and Jack. The evening was well attended, filling the interior of the establishment and it featured many of the constituents, party members, organizers and politicians you would expect at an event like this. From New West council, Jamie McEvoy and Johnathan Cote fielded questions from constituents and managed to sneak in a game of pool. Dawn Black attended, as did NDP MP Peter Julian. Donnelly and Layton arrived later in the evening to loud applause. Layton noted in his speech that in the New West-Coquitlam riding, where elections tend to go back and forth, it was important to have “a candidate like Fin”. No word yet on whether “in like Fin” will be a campaign slogan.

This party, at least, has its kit together for the next election. While the Liberal Pary and the Green Party have yet to announce any potential candidates, it is known that they are looking to put names forward. On the Conservative side, former candidate for New West council Lorraine Brett is seeking the nomination as well as Port Moody councillor Diana Dilworth. It was recently announced that former MP Paul Forseth would not be seeking the nomination for the Conservative party, even though he had intended to run.

Personally, I had fun dashing around meeting everyone, eating free hotwings. I am new to this crowd so there was a lot of explaining to do. How many times did I have to spell tenthtothefraser.ca? Conservatives are next. I hope they have free beer.

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Will Tomkinson

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4 comments

  1. I heard that the NDP nomination meeting was attended by just over 100 members. Not a huge turnout. You could say the number of votes needed to win were InFinitively small.

  2. I was going to show up brandishing Jack Layton's substandard communications materials and beg to be removed from his mailing list (I blame The Walrus for the fact that I got onto it in the first place), but thought it wouldn't be politic to do so. Ha ha – just remember, you started the punning. Ooops – I started the laughing at one's own jokes thing. My bad!

  3. Observer – while it's an important comment that nominations are often made by a small group of people, I see this as less the fault of the nominee and more the fault of a lack of participation from the community.

    I've been thinking about this a lot lately – the criminal lack of participation of late in our political process – from the Federal level all the way to civic politics. How can we fix this? How can we even hint at the fault of those who commit themselves to run (all across the spectrum) when approximately half of us refuse to participate in the political process?

  4. I have had a confirmation that almost 250 people were at the nomination meeting, far greater than most contested nominations in our area. This comes from Rick Carswell and MP Peter Julian.

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