If 2019 is any indicator, this is the toss-up, down to the wire, too-close-to-call, three-way-dance, battleground riding. Last time around, 90 percent of the votes went to the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP with Conservative Nelly Shin topping her closest challenger, Bonita Zarrillo, by a scant 153 votes.
Shin and Zarrillo are both back for the 2021 campaign, joined by Liberal candidate Will Davis.
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Incumbent: Nelly Shin, Conservative
Originally slated to run for office in Ontario, the former missionary and gospel singer moved to Port Moody-Coquitlam and eked out a dramatic win to become the first Korean-born MP in Canada’s history.
Besides being a voice against anti-Asian hate, Shin distinguished herself as one of 62 Conservative representatives who opposed a bill to ban conversion therapy. While Shin explained that she was against the practice of trying to alter someone’s sexual or gender identity, the bill’s vague language “could potentially result in undue prosecution,” she stated.
Shin also backed a defeated bill that would have made it an offense for a doctor to perform an abortion solely on the grounds of the sex of the fetus.
Earlier this year, Shin put forward a private member’s bill that would have banned the discharge of raw sewage into waterways. The bill, criticized as redundant, failed.
Bonita Zarrillo, NDP
A Coquitlam city councillor, Zarrillo has previously touted green jobs and opposed expansions in the fossil fuel industry, criticized the federal Liberals for: “not getting serious about reducing emissions.”
Zarrillo has often been an outlier on a largely pro-development Coquitlam council. Zarrillo voted against turning a vacant lot on the 3400-block of Queenston Avenue on Burke Mountain into a 23-unit townhouse development over concerns about daylighting the creek.
Zarrillo was also the only councillor to vote against a 333-unit, 38-storey condo project at Clarke Road, Como Lake Avenue and Elmwood.
Will Davis, Liberal Party
A father of five, Davis chaired a parent advisory council and also had a stint as executive director of the Multicultural Helping House Society. Davis left the society, alleging that his efforts to bring about transparency were rebuked.
During a prior election campaign, Davis showed solidarity for transgender rights following a transphobic attack on a rival politician.
During his 2020 campaign for the B.C. Liberals, Davis stumped for more supports for small businesses and families. He also emphasized the challenges of running an election campaign during a pandemic
“This is a difficult situation. We’ve been thrown into an election during a pandemic, which is . . . inexcusable,” he said during a TV appearance on KNTV Vancouver.
Desta McPherson, People’s Party of Canada
Roland Verrier, Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada
Quick facts (based on the 2016 census)
Growth: the riding’s population increased by 2.3 percent between 2011 and 2016.
Median age: 41.4
Average household size: 2.6
Median income: $59,012 (for full-time workers)