Craig Hodge Coquitlam City Councillor
The population of B.C. and the Lower Mainland is growing rapidly. Over the next decade, Coquitlam will see unprecedented growth in Burke Mountain, Burquitlam, Austin Heights, Fraser Mills and Maillardville. This growth must be managed to ensure we protect the quality of life of current residents by preserving the character of their neighbourhoods and making sure they don’t see a drop in service levels.
I want developers to create housing that includes more family-sized units, rental accommodations, housing for seniors—at prices our residents can afford.
And I want developers and other levels of government to keep pace with this growth by ensuring there are new schools and childcare spaces close by.
I will continue to advocate for more green spaces in our changing neighbourhoods by creating more pathways and parks, especially around SkyTrain stations, allowing our community to be more walkable.
During my first 7 years on Council, as chairperson of Coquitlam's sports advisory committee, I was the driving force behind the construction of the Poirier Forum.
Most recently, I worked with POCOMO Pickleball Club to create eight dedicated courts in Coquitlam. We are one of the fastest-growing cities in B.C., and adding new parks is vital especially in south Coquitlam where we lack parks and green space. I want to renew older green spaces and community amenities, too. Our new park blitz program—which I successfully lobbied for—refurbished 12 parks over three years; I want council to expand that number to include more parks and to begin renewing our grass sports-fields.
In addition, I want green investment in south Coquitlam with more parks and a swimming pool.Recreation centres are crucial to allow our residents to stay active, healthy and engaged. Council has approved a replacement for Place Maillardville and a partnership with the YMCA to build a recreation centre in Burquitlam. I’d like the city to partner with developers to build a community centre in the northeast and one in Fraser Mills, in southeast Coquitlam. I also believe we need a swimming pool in the south part of the city, another covered tennis facility and one for field sports.
I drive an electric car, and more Coquitlam residents who want to reduce their carbon footprint are also buying electric vehicles (EV).
EV's are the way to the future. I want all new multi-family housing developments to have parking spots that are pre-wired for EV chargers and provide alternative ways for residents living in existing buildings to access chargers.
As Vice Chairperson of Metro Vancouver’s zero waste committee and a Board Member of the Nation Zero Waste Council, I’m actively working to achieve a zero waste society. Currently, I’m focused on reducing plastics and looking for ways to keep our oceans free of this material for future generations.
We need to preserve green space in our city, and make it more walk-able. I will continue to be a strong advocate for green streets and parkland expansion.
Residents need to feel safe. As our population grows, I will ensure we continue to hire more officers and increase their visibility to keep our neighbourhoods free of crime.
I successfully advocated for a full-time team of 16 RCMP officers to conduct foot patrols in high-crime areas. That team needs to be expanded, police need more support dealing with mental health calls, and dealing with increased gang violence.
Our calls for medical assistance are increasing due to an aging population and the current opioid crisis. I want our fire department to establish a specially equipped, rapid medical response unit—like in other Metro Vancouver municipalities.
I believe sending a small, specially equipped truck to medical calls is faster and more efficient than dispatching a large fire engine and taking its crew out of service.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Thousands of Coquitlam residents—of all ages—paint, sing, act and dance in such venues as the Evergreen Cultural Centre and Place des Arts.
I want to expand these facilities with more rehearsal halls, provide more dance space, plan for a new heritage centre to include the city’s archives and Riverview artifacts collection, expand programs for seniors and multicultural groups, and increase library funding for new eBooks.
TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORTATION
Before I was elected to city council, I served on the city’s traffic calming committee.
I understand how important it is to keep our neighbourhoods free from increasing commuter traffic. I want the RCMP to set up a new speed enforcement team—geared to patrol residential roads—to keep our neighbourhood streets quiet and safe.
As chairperson of Coquitlam's Riverview lands advisory committee, I believe we have a unique opportunity to protect these beautiful - and historic grounds.
I want to build a renowned mental health facility attracting researchers and developers from around the world, while also saving the arboretum.
TOWN CENTRE PARK
Light the Lake, Highland Games, Canada Day, Kaleidoscope Arts Festival.
These are among the biggest events in what was voted as “the best public space in Canada” by the Canadian Institute of Planners, in 2017.
With the park becoming more popular with locals and visitors, we need more amenities there. I want to build more washrooms around the park, improved lighting and trails around the lake, and provide better food selections like at other destination parks in the region.