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THE HONORABLE DAN RUIMY

Member of parliament

For Dan Ruimy, it all started in a coffee shop, his coffee shop.

A small structure that lay along the highway in Maple Ridge, where his little business venture grew into a community hub where Dan could enjoy two of his favourite things, an interesting story and the company of good people. It evolved into a place where residents would come to talk about the concerns they felt Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge faced. It was also there that Dan realized his newest purpose—politics. It was a perfect fit because he cared about what the people wanted and was willing to listen to what the community needed.

These skills were learned when Dan was 12. First, as an Army Cadet and later, when he spent three years in the reserves in the Royal Montreal Regiment, infantry unit, leaving as a corporal. There, he learnt leadership and integrity, which would help in manage many chains in the future.

In 2015, after more than twenty years working for various national restaurant chains, Dan was no longer just an entrepreneur, but was now an elected representative of the community with a steadfast goal—to continue to advocate for the people of Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge as their Member of Parliament.

For Dan, it’s all about going the extra mile and being accessible to the public. Since being in office, some of his proudest achievements have included Town Halls, Round Table discussions and the Constituency Youth Council (CYC). These depict who Dan is at his core as his goal is to be available to the community so that they can openly engage with him on various issues.

With a few years behind him, Dan is now focused on raising the profile of his constituency. He wants Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge to be known for the upstanding and hardworking individuals that make up the heart of our communities. It is not a completed speech in the House of Commons for him without mentioning his beloved community at least twice or thrice.

Dan is currently serving as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) and is also a member of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA). These committees are important to him as he gets to work on issues that are at the center of peoples lives such as employment and skills development with the HUMA committee. While through chairing INDU he is able to be involved with the evolution of innovation and technology that our country is creating. For Dan, it’s never a dull moment.

However, Dan’s biggest commitment is working for the people of Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge. A crazy night out for Dan commonly includes hanging-out with the diverse community of his riding and if you can’t find him in Ottawa or at his Constituency Office, just look for the closest coffee shop and Dan is sure to be there discussing our community with constituents. Or you never know he could be curled up on the couch, re-watching Star Trek for the hundredth time.


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THE HONORABLE RON MCKINNON

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

Ron McKinnon was elected to the House of Commons to represent Coquitlam – Port Coquitlam in the 2015 General Election. Active in politics for many years, Ron ran as a Liberal candidate for the 2008 General Election and for Port Coquitlam City Council in 2011.

As a member of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and the Standing Committee on Health, he studied complex legislation such as Medical Assistance in Dying and the Cannabis Act, and participated in a number of studies, such as Pharmacare, Human Trafficking, Access to Justice, Support for Jurors, and Antimicrobial Resistance.

Recognizing that British Columbia is seized by an opioid crisis, Ron introduced a Private Members Bill, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act. His legislation became law in May 2017 after receiving unanimous all-party support in both House of Commons and Senate. The new law is saving lives by encouraging people to call 911 in the event of a drug overdose. It provides immunity from prosecution for possession of controlled substances when someone calls for medical assistance in the instance of a drug overdose.

Ron is also keenly interested in his community’s cultural scene. Prior to his election, he was a successful business owner and computer systems analyst to major firms in Canada, the US, and overseas. In the 1970s, he worked as a meteorological technician for Environment Canada’s Atmospheric Environment Service.

Ron has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta and an honours diploma in Computer Technology from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. He is married to Christine and has two daughters, Katherine and Sarah.


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RICHARD STEWART

Mayor of coquitlam

Richard was elected to Coquitlam City Council in 2005 and has lived all his life in Coquitlam. Richard has served his community in the provincial government as MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville 2001-2005; appointed MLA Responsible for Francophone Affairs, member of the Government Caucus Committee on the Economy, and Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Education. Richard is a writer, and operates his own government relations and communications business. Formerly, Richard served as the Chair of the Disability Issues Advisory Committee, Chair of the Liveable Communities Advisory Committee, Chair of the Parcel Tax Review Panel, Chair of the City/School Board Liaison Committee, and  Member of the Metro Vancouver Regional Planning Committee.


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BONITA ZARRILLO

city councillor - Coquitlam, BC

“Improving the lives of girls and women is a personal goal of mine both in my public and private life. As an elected official I advocate for the needs of women and girls in the community and I work to raise the profile of needs of women and girls of diverse ages, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds in cities. I am pleased to see that women are becoming more visible in elected roles in all levels of government, yet there is still more work to be done.”

Before being elected in 2013 Bonita spent 20 years in sales, marketing and consumer research. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Manitoba, is a certified Programmer/Analyst, and holds a Professional Management Certificate in Human Resources from the University of Calgary.

In her city life Bonita Chairs the Universal Access-Ability Advisory Committee, is the Council Representative to the Library Board and a Member of the Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Relations Committee and Standing Committees with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

 

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JAGRUP BRAR

MEMBER OF the LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

Jagrup Brar was first elected as an MLA in Surrey in 2004 and served until 2013. He was elected again as the MLA for Surrey-Fleetwood in 2017.

Previously, Jagrup served as the Official Opposition Spokesperson for Small Business, Healthy Living and Sport, Employment and Income Assistance, as well Solicitor General and Public Safety.

Jagrup has been active in the Surrey community for years. He is a dedicated local volunteer and has worked with a variety of local organizations providing services to young people, seniors, the homeless, and new Canadians. Jagrup is an advocate for the most vulnerable, and undertook the Welfare Challenge to tell a story of about living in poverty in British Columbia.

Born in India, Jagrup was a member of the Indian National Basketball team and earned a master’s degree in Philosophy. He then moved to Canada to study Public Administration and received an MPA.

For over a decade, Jagrup worked in the public and non-profit sectors. As the Executive Director of the Surrey Self Employment and Entrepreneur Development Society (SEEDS), Jagrup trained new entrepreneurs to develop and launch successful small business ventures.

Jagrup lives in Surrey with his wife Rajwant and their two children, Noor and Fateh.


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JENNIFER BLATHERWICK

Association Director - Odyssey of the Mind
SD 43 School Trustee

With a background in science, Jennifer has lead Odyssey of the Mind in British Columbia for six years.  OM is a school-based team sport for STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - plus the Arts. Participating in Odyssey fosters independence, creative thinking and presentation skills.  Just like schools have basketball and chess teams, they can have Odyssey teams, where students compete in age-leveled groups to make robots, vehicles, machines or structures, and present them in a creative, entertaining way. 

As a 2018 recipient of the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers, Jennifer was recognized for her commitment to many school district, community, provincial and federal initiatives, including organizing STEM day camps, co-ordinating literacy programs, coaching academic competition teams and a term with the Citizens' Advisory Council for Metro Vancouver East Correctional Area of Federal Corrections.

Jennifer, her husband and five children reside in the Tri-Cities, where she has recently been elected to the position of School Trustee in School District 43.


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RAVINDER SAFAYA

ylsbc founder

Ravinder Safaya is an accomplished Senior International Trade Executive with more than 30 years of success in conducting global trade. He sucessfully mentors and coaches youth in developing their experiential leadership skills through non-profit organizations he founded, and serving as a Board member of a national organization.

Ravinder migrated to Canada in 1989 after working for over five years in Indonesia as a project manager, and subsequently export sales manager covering Middle Eastern markets. Since then he is engaged in exports of pulp and paper from North America to Asia, M East, Africa, and South America. He has worked in Montreal, Boston, Rhode Island and finally establishing his base in Coquitlam, BC as a self-employed international trade executive. He has executed trade valued at over US$1 billion, traveled extensively in the region forming long-lasting relationships and continues to do so.

Ravinder is passionate about youth leadership development and is actively engaged in offering new innovative leadership programs. He also serves on the Board of a national Student Leadership Association and chairs its finance committee.

Ravinder holds degrees in Chemical Engineering and Business Administration. He is married, with two children, and fluent in English, Hindi, Indonesian, and Punjabi.