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Two longtime Burnaby councillors won't run again this election

After 29 years on council, Coun. Dan Johnston said 'It's time for change.' Coun. Colleen Jordan said 'It’s been an honour to sit around this table for 20 years, but my time has come to an end.'
Burnaby city councillors Dan Johnston and Colleen Jordan will not run for re-election in 2022. Johnston has been on council for the past 29 years; Jordan for 20.

Update: This article has been updated to include new information about independent councillor Colleen Jordan.

After news that for the first time in almost 30 years, Coun. Dan Johnston will not sit on Burnaby city council come November of this year, Johnston’s fellow independent on council, Coun. Colleen Jordan has also announced she will bow out of the race for re-election.

Jordan stated her plans to retire from office at a city council meeting on Aug. 29.

“I will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming election,” she told council chambers.

“It’s been an honour to sit around this table for 20 years, but my time has come to an end.”

She was met with applause around the council table. All councillors at the meeting shared their gratitude for Jordan’s work ethic and commitment to her role on council.

Earlier this week, Jordan’s main ally on council, Coun. Johnston took to Twitter on the evening of Aug. 28, writing that he will not be running in the upcoming municipal election.

In a tweet, the independent city councillor wrote, “It’s been an honour serving our community but now it’s time for change. New people, new ideas, yield new opportunities. Please vote for a great future.”

Johnston, an accountant by trade, was first elected in 1993 after work on the city’s parks commission and has served nine consecutive terms. He’s currently the longest-serving member on council by nine years.

In the 2018 election, as part of the NDP-aligned Burnaby Citizens Association political party, Johnston garnered the most votes of any candidate running.

Jordan was elected in 2002 as part of a BCA slate. She previously worked as a media librarian for the Burnaby School District and was eventually elected to the secretary-treasurer of B.C.’s largest union CUPE.

As chair of the heritage commission, she advocated for free admission to Burnaby Village Museum, which she called one of her “proudest accomplishments” in her city biography.

In 2020, both Jordan and Johnston resigned from the BCA, along with former councillor Paul McDonell.

The resignation came after several motions regarding housing from Jordan were rejected by other BCA council members.

Johnston and Jordan have also disagreed with the BCA slate on funding certain health-care projects, like a $1-million CT scanner or a $5-million donation to the Burnaby Hospital redevelopment, which the councillors said was a provincial rather than civic responsibility.

Since the split, Johnston and Jordan have frequently disagreed with the majority on council and voiced objections to a number of projects, including the BCGEU housing development which passed in April and most recently a development near Lougheed Town Centre SkyTrain station that includes an 80-storey tower

To the last, Jordan played the role of loyal opposition: at the Aug. 29 meeting, she was the sole opponent to the abandonment of an affordable housing project at Southgate Mall that is looking for different future uses.

In 2019, Johnston put forward a motion that was passed for four rainbow crosswalks to support 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, a cause he has particularly championed.

Burnaby’s municipal election will be held on Oct. 15 this year.