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City of Burnaby 2021 byelection Q&A: Candidate Claire Preston

Claire Preston on the ballot for a second time
City of Burnaby council candidate Claire Preston.

Burnaby NOW will be publishing candidate Q&As for each candidate leading up to the City of Burnaby byelection scheduled for June 26, 2021. The answers provided have not been altered or changed.

After running in 2018, Claire Preston vowed not to give up. 

QUESTION: When did you decide to run for the City of Burnaby by-election?

ANSWER: After I ran in 2018, I resolved to run in every election. I knew I was going to run as soon as I heard that seats became available. I am dedicated to improving the city of Burnaby for all of us.

QUESTION: Why did you decide to be a candidate?

ANSWER: What spurred me into action originally was the housing crisis and demovictions. But I have always been passionate about politics and how it can improve our lives. I realized that I could do more than vote, sign petitions, and attend rallies. I could be the representative that I and my communities and peers have been wanting.

QUESTION: What do you think is needed on city council the most? What do you think it’s missing/lacking?

ANSWER: Besides diversity, I also think more needs to be done to by the city to consult with both residents that are not able to attend traditional town hall events for public consultation and balance the feedback we get with the newest research and expert opinions.

QUESTION: Do you think there needs to be more diversity when it comes to Burnaby’s municipal government? If so, why?

ANSWER: Burnaby City Council does need more diversity. We need the voices of younger people, of more cultural/social/visible minorities, of more political ideologies. I truly believe that we can only make real changes that will truly benefit us all if we are all working together.

QUESTION: What issues do you think need to be tackled the most in Burnaby?

ANSWER: Since Mayor Hurley was elected the city has made some great strides on the housing situation, but I think there is still a lot more that needs to be done. I was shocked to see that during the height of the pandemic, rents were going down in every city EXCEPT Burnaby. How can we expect to keep people living here when it is so unaffordable? More and more businesses are opening in the Fraser Valley instead of Burnaby because that is where the bulk of the population is moving, and we don’t want to commute for hours every day.

QUESTION: Why should voters vote for you?

ANSWER: I hope you will vote for me because you and I believe in the same things, and you realize someone like me that is informed and action oriented will get things done.

QUESTION: What would you say to those who may not want to vote or don’t really see a point?

ANSWER: Voting is important and does change things, but only if we all do it. People who want to keep the status quo or regress the progress that was made in the early 20th century are the ones perpetuating the myths that your vote does not matter.