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Burnaby Teachers' Association endorses Mike Hurley for mayor

Union cited housing affordability in decision to spurn Derek Corrigan
Mike Hurley pose

The issue of housing affordability has tipped the scales in favour of independent mayoral candidate Mike Hurley over Mayor Derek Corrigan for the Burnaby Teachers’ Association. 

The local union voted at a meeting Tuesday to endorse Hurley for the Oct. 20 municipal election. 

“Classroom teachers have been witness to the negative impact of affordability of housing, displacement and lack of rental units,” said BTA president Leanne Sjodin, adding members at the union’s representative assembly Tuesday expressed concern over what they consider a lack of action on housing during Corrigan’s tenure as mayor. 

In a press release Friday, the local union noted Burnaby is currently ranked 70 out of 72 municipalities by the BC Non-Profit Housing Association for housing supply and affordability. 

“Since 2010, Burnaby has seen a decrease of 712 rental units whereas other metro municipalities have seen increases,” stated the release.

While the union announced its pick for mayor Wednesday, it did not announce endorsements for any other candidates running for city council.

For school board, the BTA voted to endorse the entire slate running under Corrigan’s Burnaby Citizens Association banner.

Two incumbents are running on the BCA ticket (current chair Gary Wong and five-term trustee Larry Hayes) and newcomers Suresh Bhayana, Ryan Stewart, Bill Brassington, Jen Mezei and Peter Cech.

“The BTA endorsement of all the BCA school trustees was informed by the leadership of BCA candidates around their commitment to supporting teachers and public education,” stated the press release. “Notably, BCA school trustees have been committed to ensuring that our schools are places where quality education, safety and inclusion are a priority for youth and families.