Teri Towner | Community Builder | Inspirational Speaker | Coquitlam City Councillor

A Welcoming, Connected Community

I want Coquitlam to continue to be a welcoming and inclusive city for all.

Although I could provide numerous examples how I am passionate about building community, creating connectedness and opportunities to be welcoming, I will only outline a few.  I truly believe that it is the PEOPLE in our city that are the most important and that everyone who wants to be here, feels they belong.

I support a range of housing from our 3030 Gordon Emergency Shelter all the way to single family estate homes.  (although I desperately wish we didn’t NEED homeless shelters. . .  .) We have to offer the entire spectrum of housing to ensure anyone who wants to live in Coquitlam, can. 

I want our city, at the grassroots level, to be more connected. We do seem to have a connected, involved community but I believe we can do more.  I support more initiatives such as the Block Parties grant, the weekly “Neighbourhood Nights”, the “Welcome to Coquitlam” event and the various programs that provide outreach to residents.   

Over the years I have been invited to numerous block parties and impromptu street hockey games and gatherings.  I strongly believe we need to encourage more opportunities for this type of impromptu play and connection.  It’s these types of grassroots activities that truly build a sense of community. 

At the 2016 Welcome to Coquitlam event

I think making residents aware of “Good Neighbour” initiatives also helps.  For example: the Snow Angel program that encourages residents to help clear the sidewalks for elderly, disabled or ill neighbours.  Also, why not assist your neighbour take his/her waste collection carts to/from the curb?  All these initiatives, which can be promoted by the City – and ultimately your municipal leaders – can do wonders for building a connected, caring community.

I attend and embrace all the multi-cultural events and festivals that take place in our city:  Festival du Bois, Nowruz Festival, Chinese New Year, the BC Highland Games, Swiss National Day, the Iranian Fire Festival, Diwali-related events, Eid and more.  I love that our city is so celebratory about our diversity!

Through my work as co-founder and chair of the TriCities Friends of Refugees Task Group I had the opportunity to hear this young Syrian boy’s speech.  After asking for his permission, I shared his speech with the TriCity News so TCN readers could enjoy his sentiments, learn his story and perhaps gain some understanding. Sharing these types of stories is also one way to promote a sense of welcoming and inclusion in our city. 

https://www.tricitynews.com/news/i-have-a-good-life-here-student-says-1.23352325

For more info on the welcoming work of the TriCities Friends of Refugees: https://www.teritowner.ca/media-coverage/

The story printed in the TriCity News