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Green Party to field candidates in Burnaby city council election

Carrie McLaren -
Carrie McLaren
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The Green Party is jumping into Burnaby's civic election fray.

The party's provincial organization has authorized five candidates to run for council on Nov. 19. Three of them have run previously for the party provincially and federally.

Accountant Carrie McLaren represented the Greens in Burnaby-New Westminster in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections and ran provincially in Burnaby-Edmonds in 2009.

She'll be joined by teacher Adrianne Merlo, who ran in Burnaby-Douglas in the federal election in May, Scott Janzen, the Green candidate in Burnaby-New Westminster in 2006, and New Westminster teacher Rick McGowan, an organizer of the Burnaby Municipal Green Party. A fifth candidate has been authorized but is still awaiting approval from her employer.

"We wanted to bring a little bit more variety to city council," said McLaren. "We've noticed that some issues have been sitting around for a while and we're not seeing any movement on them."

McLaren said those issues included a lack of a homeless shelter, ongoing traffic problems in Burnaby Heights, additional sidewalks and bike lanes, and tree retention.

"There are a lot of things to look at," she said. "The environment is frequently left out of the equation."

The city has just one community garden. McLaren she's been told because the land has to be zoned agricultural, but to her that doesn't make sense. A triangle parcel of land left behind by a recent demolition in back of the Edmonds senior centre and a large lot beside Byrne Creek secondary are examples of places she said would be appropriate for a community garden.

"There's no reason. There's lots of idle land the city is sitting on," said McLaren.

She pointed out the Greens have elected councillors in several municipalities in British Columbia.

"It's a good opportunity for people in Burnaby to try and get some different views on council," McLaren said. "We're not extreme. We would like so see more partnerships."

A detailed overview of the Burnaby Green Party's platform is available at sites.google.com/site/burnabymunicipalgreens/.

ggranger@burnabynewsleader.com

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