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Burnaby teachers' union prez gunning for spot on city council

Local socials teacher Daniel Tetrault, shown here with winning entries in a school district poster contest, has announced he'll seek the Burnaby Citizens Association nomination for city council in next year's election
BTA president Daniel Tetrault
Burnaby Teachers' Association president Daniel Tetrault is seeking the Burnaby Citizens Association nomination for city council.

A local high school social studies teacher and teachers’ union president is looking to parlay his experience into a spot on Burnaby city council.

Daniel Tetrault was elected president of the Burnaby Teachers’ Association in early 2020, after eight years on its executive.

Before that he taught at Moscrop Secondary School.

On Wednesday, he announced he is seeking the Burnaby Citizens Association nomination for city council in next October’s municipal election.

Tetrault, who sat on the Mayor's Task Force on Community Housing, says one thing that inspired him to throw his hat in the ring has been watching the city become less affordable.

“I have seen first-hand friends and neighbours leaving Burnaby because it has increasingly become an unaffordable place to live,” he said in a press release. “We need to protect what we love about our community and make sure that those that live in Burnaby can afford to stay in Burnaby. We also need to strengthen neighbourhoods to provide ready access to the services we all rely on – whether you are a senior who has lived in Burnaby your whole life or someone looking to raise a family, like me.”

Tetrault believes his background as a teacher and as a union president working with the majority Burnaby Citizens Association board will translate well into work as a city councillor.

“The biggest thing is you learn how to advocate for an issue,” he said of his 10 years with the teachers' union, “but also what I’ve learned as a teacher would translate well into this new job. Teachers are solution-oriented people. I feel like I could bring that solution-oriented mindset to city council.”

Tetrault said the BCA has been a “progressive voice in Burnaby for a long time” and that’s what drew him to seek its nomination.

“I want to continue on a lot of the good, progressive work the BCA has done, and I also want to provide a sense of renewal for the BCA,” he told the NOW.

Tetrault, who currently lives in the Willingdon Heights area, has been a member of the Burnaby community for the past twenty years, according to his news release.

He graduated from SFU, teaches in the Burnaby school district and will welcome his first child into the world at Burnaby Hospital "any day now," he said.

The BCA will pick its candidates at a nomination meeting on March 27.