Coquitlam-Burke Mountain byelection candidates talk transit and education funding

Advance polling for B.C.’s byelections open tomorrow and the three candidates for the Coquitlam-Burke Mountain riding all say there is a lot of work to do when it comes to funding more buses and schools in the neighbourhood.

Candidates talk about the need for more bus routes and schools in the growing neighbourhood

B.C. Liberal Party's Joan Isaacs, B.C. Green Party's Joe Keithley, and B.C. NDP's Jodie Wickens talk transit and education on CBC Radio's The Early Edition. (Charlie Cho/CBC)

Advance polling for B.C.'s byelections open tomorrow and the three candidates for the Coquitlam-Burke Mountain riding all say there is a lot of work to do when it comes to funding more buses and schools in the neighbourhood.

The byelections for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain takes place Feb. 2 with advanced polls opening Wednesday, Jan 27.

The candidates for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain joined Rick Cluff on The Early Edition to talk about what they will do for residents on the issues of transit and education.

Transit infrastructure

The Evergreen SkyTrain line is expected to open in early 2017. It was originally meant to be completed by summer 2016. (CBC)

Joan Isaacs, B.C. Liberal Party

"Transit access from certain areas from the riding, particularly Coquitlam-Burke Mountain area is an issue. We have to be able to identify some efficient and effective routes that can get families off the mountain and to the transportation hubs. It's a priority. We're now getting up to capacity where it makes sense to have more transit, more frequency of buses."

Jodie Wickens, B.C. NDP

"Families and people who moved into the area were promised transit when they moved into that area. We developed a huge parcel of land, the developer and the province made a lot of money off of that land, and people were promised transit years ago and it hasn't been delivered."

Joe Keithley, B.C. Green Party

"Christy Clark has completely abandoned people out there to not have buses and routes … the transit referendum was basically a gutless move and leaderless. She could have taken the responsibility with this. Coquitlam-Burke Mountain is the fastest growing area in the province."


Coquitlam city council voted against turning a parcel of land on Riley Street into a school in 2015, but some residents say the neighbourhood needs more schools.

Wickens, B.C. NDP

"Once we build those schools, we need those schools to be operated properly. The Coquitlam district is struggling massively right now. We have students who are going without their basic education, we have teachers who are struggling ... the things that we are seeing, to be quite frank, is quite shameful."

Keithley, B.C. Green Party

"Teachers need money to learn [coding], and they need laptops that will work in the schools. They also need special needs teachers, that's been cut, and we need ESL. Those are some of the problems that the Liberals have not addressed."

Isaacs, B.C. Liberal Party

"We still need to have a high school and a middle school. It's in the works, I think we need to push hard to put that forward — accelerate the agenda as much as we can to make sure that families have the school on site."

This interview has been condensed and edited. To listen to the full interview, click the link labelled: Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidates.


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