I am committed to the well-being of youth, seniors and families. I support initiatives and policies that promote accessible, quality recreation programs, support for team sports, cycling infrastructure, library services, youth programs, arts centres and festivals.
I believe that a municipality should provide a wide offering of programs and activities that promote and encourage active participation for all ages and ability levels – ranging from set programs to drop-in classes. I am also a fan of “Try it” events so residents can be exposed to new activities. Over 70,000 participants registered in Coquitlam recreation programs in 2017! I will continue to support all of this!
I want increased opportunities for our children to be active – unstructured activities such as what is offered in adventure playgrounds, (for more info: https://www.teritowner.ca/toggle/adventure-playground/ ) pop-up play, impromptu gatherings, connected, social neighbourhoods. I will keep advocating for cycling infrastructure (multi-use paths, dockless bike sharing, more bike racks) and maximizing indoor and outdoor facility use.
I believe that a connected community is a strong, healthy community and will continue to support initiatives that provide opportunities for impromptu gatherings and social connectivity amongst residents: grants for block parties, Neighbourhood Nights, Lights at Lafarge, Summer Concerts and the like. Coquitlam has seen much success with the Block Party program and I hear from residents regularly how much they benefited from their neighbourhood block party: new friendships, increased safety and awareness – and fun!
The Coquitlam Crunch has up to 50,000 visitors each month in the summer! This amenity is free of charge and is very much loved! I was pleased to support the twinning of the stairs and I also support future improvement with respect to washrooms, water fountains, parking and expanding the trails.
The Burquitlam YMCA project is underway (a significant partnership) and so is a replacement for Place Maillardville. I was one of the Councillors who pushed for a recreation centre on Burke Mountain to be built – sooner. The shared use with SD43 at the recently-opened Smiling Creek Elementary school brings a variety of programs to northeast Coquitlam.
Over my term on Council, dozens of parks were built or revitalized – including the Southwest Park Blitz, the Foster Ave tennis facility was renovated, Porier Rec Centre made changes to enhance the usage of space, the Poirier Forum was open – just to name some.
Mental health challenges need more attention – more funding, more support, more treatment. I will continue to advocate to the Province for more mental health-related resources in Coquitlam.
Another way for a city to be healthy and active is to promote and celebrate volunteer opportunities. I am out at least once a week with different volunteer groups for a variety of causes and I truly believe that having access to rewarding volunteer activities helps with connectedness, social isolation and of course helps build a caring, connected community. I especially love it when I see how involved our seniors can be in our community – through volunteerism. It’s win/win/win.