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Get to know your Burnaby school board candidates: Gary Wong

'I believe I can make a positive contribution to the decision-making process by bringing a thoughtful and reasoned perspective that puts people first.'
Gary WongWEB
Incumbent Gary Wong (Burnaby Citizens Association) is running for reelection to Burnaby school board this October.

Name and pronouns?

Gary Wong (he/ him)

Tell us about yourself: (max 100 words)

A resident of Burnaby for over 35 years.  Together with my wife, we raised two children who attended Burnaby’s public schools.  I have been a Trustee since 2008, and I have played many leadership roles in the community, including:

  • Vice chair, Burnaby Public Library Board and chair of the finance committee. 
  • Governor, Langara College and chair of the personnel committee.
  • Director, Vancouver Community Legal Assistance Society. 
  • Trustee, Pacific Blue Cross Health and Welfare Plan. 
  • Director, Burnaby Family Life Institute, chair of personnel committee. 
  • Task force co-coordinator, Canada Employment and Immigration Commission. 
  • Director, Forest Renewal BC,  director, West Coast Plywood Co. Ltd.

Why are you running?( max 50 words)

I believe I can make a positive contribution to the decision-making process by bringing a thoughtful and reasoned perspective that puts people first.  I strive to look for solutions that will address concerns while making life better for Burnaby families.

What do you think the current school board has done well? Where has it missed the mark? (max 50 words)

The school district has facilitated an environment that allows students and staff to excel. We have received numerous awards and millions of dollars in scholarships for students and staff, ranging from academic courses to career programs, music, sports, and the environment.

What are the top three issues facing the next school board? (max 50 words)

  • Providing additional childcare opportunities.
  • Upgrading our Information Technology Systems. 
  • Oversight of the Sustainability Strategic Plan.

How do you plan to address those issues? (max 150 words)

BCA school trustees will continue to work in partnership with both the City of Burnaby and the Government of BC to develop new childcare spaces for our community. 

Our project definition report identified a childcare wait list of over 1,000 even after our creation of 773 new spaces.

There is still work to do. We will advocate for capital projects that will not only allow for seismic and academic related upgrades, but also for facilities to accommodate expanded childcare opportunities. 

We will continue to carefully monitor and update our budget and implementation timelines for information technology upgrades, as we recognize the importance of being on the cutting edge of technology.

We will set our goals, objectives and actions as described in the board of education’s recent sustainability strategic plan. The plan included the input of all stakeholders, and its implementation will lead to future success for Burnaby.

And just for fun: If you got to spend one full day in school again, what grade would you return to and why? (max. 25 words)

I would return to Grade 12. The anticipation of the unknown and being unsure of what opportunities and direction lie ahead is what excites me.

Where can voters find out more about you? (e.g. social media, website)

 

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