Craig Hodge Coquitlam City Councillor
As past president of the Coquitlam Heritage Society, it had always been Craig's goal to save the Booth farm house. Built in 1901, it's the oldest building in Coquitlam and had historical significance for Maillardville as a place where pioneers gathered for social events. As city councillor, Craig led the initiative to buy the farm house and preserve it for future generations. Since being elected, the city has worked with developers to save 14 other historic homes, which remain privately owned.
Read the article from the Tri-City News here.
Craig has an impressive record of accomplishments in his two terms on city council. Learn more about the issues he has been championing below.
Craig was very concerned that historical documents and photographs were being lost. Coquitlam was the largest city in B.C. without a city archive until Craig was elected in 2011. Today, the city has a full-time archivist to receive and catalogue pieces of Coquitlam’s history.
Read the article from the Tri-City News here.
Craig Hodge contributed the photos and helped author Coquitlam 100 Years: Reflections of the Past anthology. Full article here.
As the chairperson of the city’s Riverview Lands Advisory Committee, Craig was instrumental in saving Riverview artifacts when the province shut down the hospital.
Today, they are safely under the city’s control and the medical collection is considered one of the best in North America.
Read the Tri-City News articles "Saving what's left of Riverview Hospital" and "Expert to take stock of Riverview artifacts in Coquitlam."
A longtime Coquitlam resident and Centennial secondary graduate, Craig knows the importance the school has played in people’s lives over the past 50 years. He took a personal interest to help save parts of the original school’s history before the building was torn down to make way for the new school.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Craig was the driving force behind building the Poirier Forum—our only year-round dry floor facility. He recognized the need for more dry floor space for kids and seniors and he promised to work with sports groups to get one built; construction began in his first term in office.
Craig was appointed chairperson of the Coquitlam Sports Advisory Committee shortly following his election in 2011. In his two terms, he has been a strong advocate to improve playing fields and recreational facilities in Coquitlam.
An environmentalist, Craig became the first Coquitlam council member to buy an electric vehicle. According to government and industry reports, 20% of vehicles sold in Canada over the next 12 years will be electric. Craig has been pushing to have city bylaws changed to require all new parking spots be prewired during construction for future electric chargers.
In 2016, Coquitlam council made a decision to convert the Poirier Curling Rink into an ice rink to meet the growing demand for community ice. Craig pledged to help curlers build a purpose-built curling rink and, since then, he has worked with the Coquitlam Curling Club and Curl BC on a feasibility study. All three cities have given support to the plan and Craig is now working to secure partner funding.
Craig has been a strong advocate for building new parks to meet the growing needs of our growing population. But after touring parks in the older parts of Coquitlam, he suggested the city embark on a program to bring older parks up to the same standard as the parks in new neighbourhoods. Called “Park Blitz," the city is now refurbishing 12 parks in south Coquitlam.
Craig was the chairperson of the Maillardville Cultural and Revitalization Committee during his first term and he recognized that Place Maillardville should be rebuilt to meet the needs of the growing community—and to help with its renewal. In the fall of 2016, council unanimously voted in favour of his motion to make the rebuild a top priority; planning is now underway, with a new Place Maillard expected to open in three years.
Craig continues to advocate for the construction of a new community centre in northeast Coquitlam. Though council has yet to advance the plan, money is being set aside to begin planning.
Craig recommended the city change its garbage collection system from four zones to eight-half day zones to reduce the time garbage sits on the curb. Since its adoption this spring, bear reports have dropped in half and residents who have afternoon collection no longer have to have their bins out at 7 a.m.
Coquitlam is one of the fastest growing cities in B.C. And that means we must work with the school district to build schools a quickly as possible. On Burke Mountain, there are no secondary or middle schools though two are planned to open in 10 years—once there is enough enrolment. On city council, Craig came up with a solution to advance construction and lobbied SD43 to build one school to temporarily house both groups of students until there's enough enrolment to split the students into two schools; planning is now underway for the district’s first blended school.
Four years ago, SD43 stopped operating school buses, leaving many students in northeast Coquitlam with no transportation to get to schools in their catchment. Craig worked with parents and the land developer Wesbild to launch a privately run school bus.
Helping businesses prosper
Craig is a past president of the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce and, once elected to council, he brought the three cities together to start a program that would cut red tape and make it easier for businesses to operate in the Tri-Cities: He created a single business licence for mobile entrepreneurs, which other jurisdictions have since followed.
I worked for 40 years as photojournalist in the Tri-Cities and I saw crime first hand. I believed having a higher police presence on the street—especially near the Evergreen Extension stations—would be the best way to prevent an escalation of crime. Three years ago, our police chief (with the support of the rest of council) started a 10-member uniformed team to conduct foot patrols in high crime areas. It has kept our crime rates in check.
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