Mike Hurley says he will attract support from across the political spectrum to topple Derek Corrigan’s “toxic” reign and become the next mayor of Burnaby.
“I’ve always answered the call to serve the city, and now I want to work with all of you to build a better Burnaby,” the recently retired firefighter said at the launch of his campaign.
The former acting assistant fire chief of the Burnaby Fire Department also served as the president of the Burnaby firefighters’ union for eight years. He formally announced his mayoral run Tuesday morning at the Bonsor 55+ Seniors Centre in front of a crowd of about 100 people.
Campaign manager Lorne West said Hurley has already attracted a diverse base of support. He pointed out that Conservative Senator Yonah Martin was in attendance and that Hurley’s campaign team includes longtime NDP campaigner and former Burnaby Citizens Association president Patricia Pratt and Liberal campaign organizer Michael Hillman.
“Welcome to Mike’s big tent,” West said.
Hurley harshly criticized Corrigan and current councillors, all member of the BCA, for their policies allowing the demolition of affordable rental apartment buildings to make way for high-rise towers in Metrotown.
“Today, Burnaby and our neighbourhoods are being torn apart rather than being brought together,” he said. “Our current mayor just doesn’t listen to citizens, and our community is paying the price for that toxic style of leadership.”
Hurley proposed a three-point plan to address housing. He said he would streamline permit granting for “smart, reasonable development,” plans for the “right mix of housing” that acommodates all Burnaby residents, and strike a task force that will report back with a comprehensive housing plan within six months.
“It won’t take me 15 years to get the job done,” Hurley said.
He stopped short of joining the local Green Party in promising a full moratorium on Metrotown demovictions. He said he will implement a moratorium if possible but he might not be able to, depending on existing contracts the city may have.
“People can be sure that I will be on their side and I will do everything I can to possibly to ensure they’re accommodated,” he said.
He also promised to expand the number of RCMP bike patrol officers and ensure the long-awaited expansion of Burnaby Hospital goes ahead.
Hurley said he opposes the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, but it won’t be his job as mayor to stop it from happening. He said he expects the Supreme Court of Canada to make a final ruling on the project and he will respect its decision.