Interview with Fin Donnelly, NDP for New Westminster – Coquitlam


As I mentioned last week, we have sent questions to each of the candidates in the two local ridings for the upcoming federal election on May 2. Fin Donnelly, NDP candidate and the incumbent MP in New Westminster – Coquitlam, took the time to respond. We will publish other candidates’ responses as we receive them.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background, and why you would like to represent your riding?
My name is Fin Donnelly and I’m running for the NDP. I was born in New Westminster, raised in Port Moody and live and work in Coquitlam. I know this riding and have committed my life through my work with Rivershed Society of BC and as a city councillor for seven years to making this area as healthy and sustainable as possible.

I have a personal connection to this community and believe the best decisions for our community integrate social, economic and environmental values. I have served with this goal and these values since taking office 17 months ago and have stood up for important issues like job protection, the environment, healthcare and transportation.

What do you see as the most important issue currently facing your riding?
Affordability. Not only are working families feeling the pinch because of the rising costs of food, energy, gas and other everyday items, they now have the HST on top of everything else. Families are finding it harder and harder to afford post-secondary education, purchase a home or tackle rising medical costs. New Democrats have put forward clear and practical solutions to scrap the HST, improve health care, secure a national affordable housing plan and cut pharmaceutical drug costs.

How does your party serve the needs and concerns of local residents?
New Democrats are a party that puts ordinary people at the forefront of decision-making. Since being elected in Nov. 2009, I have held seven town hall meetings to hear the concerns in my riding and to bring those voices to Ottawa. The concerns raised at these meetings shaped my work plan. I believe it’s my responsibility to listen to the people in this community and take action. Visit www.FinDonnelly.ca for copies of my 2010 and 2011 Town Hall reports.

You’ve been in Ottawa a very short time. How has what you’ve learned changed your perspective during this election campaign?
I have discovered ways to promote and defend my community’s interests as an individual MP. I have put forward ideas for practical measures that benefit my riding like calling for increased funding for the Evergreen Line, bringing attention to overcrowding at Royal Columbian Hospital and introducing legislation to improve medical Employment Insurance benefits. On the Fisheries and Ocean’s Committee, I have been able to work with all parties to get important things done for Canada’s fishery.

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Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Fin! And please, whatever your political views, take the time to vote on May 2. It’s fast, easy and free. And, of course, it’s the best way to effect positive change in our community.

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