Interview with Mark Ireland, NDP for Port Moody – Westwood – Port Coquitlam

As I mentioned last week, we have sent some questions to each of the candidates in the two local ridings for the upcoming federal election on May 2. Mark Ireland, NDP candidate in Port Moody – Westwood – Port Coquitlam, was the first 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 Port Moody – Westwood – Port Coquitlam?
Well, I live in Port Moody, and commute to work in Surrey where I am the Training Manager for a software company. I’ve 20+ years of working in business – large and small – and I’m experienced in teaching the uses of spatial data (maps) as a means of improving business processes. I’m married with one child, have volunteered for the Port Moody environment committee, and am currently a volunteer director for the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society. I want to represent the Tri-Cities because I’m very frustrated with the Conservative and Liberal attitudes towards Parliament. I don’t see them making many attempts to understand or tackle the issues that matter in our daily lives, and I’m inspired to action by the people in our community who do struggle to make a difference, and who could use a little more federal support.

What do you see as the most important issue currently facing your riding?
I really don’t see that there is just one issue: everything is interconnected. For example, the lack of government support for childcare is a big issue; but that’s because it can prevent parents getting the job they want, it hinders early childhood education (which in itself leads to social problems further in the future), it puts undue strain on a family’s budget, and it discriminates against children with a disability who can’t always be accommodated elsewhere. Lack of a national transit strategy and housing strategy is similarly short-sighted and leads to similar problems. So maybe the most important issue is a lack of forethought; basing policy on ideology and short-term thinking, despite the fact that it will carry enormous costs in the long run.

How does your party serve the needs and concerns of local residents?
Our party serves the needs of local residents by having a tradition of excellent community service from an MP’s constituency office. Parliamentary duties are just a small part of an MP’s work; the most important function of an MP is the staff who are on the front line. NDP MPs always recognize the vital – non-partisan – service that their offices provide, and strive to provide a link between the concerns of the community and the various government departments. Whether it’s a question on a tax return, or a passport application, or an immigration issue, I’ve known NDP’ers who provide such stellar service that folk from other (non-NDP) ridings actually contact them for assistance over their own MP. That sort of service is what I pledge to provide as the representative for this area.

Many Canadians are tired of constant negativity in politics. How can we move forward on a more positive note following this election?
By voting NDP! I know mine is a biased view, but I honestly see the NDP as a party of committed people who actually co-operate and compromise to get things done for us all. When the governing party produce a handbook about how to disrupt parliamentary business, then it’s difficult to put a positive take on it. So things have to change – and constituents are in the prime position to drive this. Take note of what a candidate promises, and make sure they follow through. Don’t fall prey to spin and fear-mongering, and be bold enough to tell a politician when they aren’t doing things right. Be the change you wish to see in the world; or as Jack Layton puts it: “Don’t let them tell you that it can’t be done.”


Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Mark! 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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  1. C.chittaranjan says:

    I think you don,t act enough to get vote for you.This is a good opporunity for you to win this election.Go door to door ,spread out our policy. Few more days to go.( Riding Portmoody, Westwood platue,poco)

  2. Coquitlam Owner says:

    Time to get rid of James Moore. They only thing Moore is interested is for Moore. The only time he talks about helping the community is when there is an election, the rest of the time he sends us flyers with our own money telling us how great he is.


  3. Mark ireland is the kind of new politician we need in Ottawa. he is not silver-tingued. He is caring, honest and thoughtful. He listens and i know he will take my concerns to the legislature and act on them. It’s time for that new kind of government – NOW!