New Benefits to Remove Barriers for Council Candidates
Coquitlam is one of the first communities in B.C. to adopt new leave procedures for Council members that aim to remove systemic and financial barriers for equity-deserving groups wishing to participate in public office. These new measures reflect Coquitlam’s focus on promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in the City’s work and community.
The City will provide Council members up to 16 weeks of paid leave (or the remainder of the term, whichever occurs first) for the following:
Maternity and/or parental leave for any elected official, regardless of family status or gender, who is pregnant or has given birth (including miscarriage, termination or stillbirth) or following the birth or adoption of a child.
Leave for any elected official to provide compassionate care or caregiving support to someone considered to be family who is critically ill or needing end-of-life care.
The new leave provisions only apply to City of Coquitlam Council members in office following the October 2022 election and will not be provided retroactively.
As of 2023, the City will also offer a pension benefit to Council members to further reduce potential financial barriers for those running for office. This benefit will also take effect after the October 2022 election, and will be calculated based on years of service at a rate guided by the Municipal Pension Plan. The start date for all Council members, including those re-elected, will be the beginning of the next term.
To be eligible to run as a candidate for the City of Coquitlam office of Mayor, Councillor or school trustee, a person must meet the following requirements of the Local Government Act at the time of nomination.
You are at least 18 years of age on general voting day
You are a Canadian citizen
You have been a resident of BC for at least six months immediately before the day nomination papers are filed
You must not be disqualified by any law from voting in an election in BC, or from being nominated, elected or holding office
What you should know
You do not need to live in the area in which you are running
If you currently work for the City of Coquitlam or the Coquitlam School District, you must take a leave of absence before being nominated
Federal employees must apply to the Public Service Commission for permission to run
You must be nominated by ten qualified Coquitlam electors to run for the office of Mayor or Councillor
You must be nominated by two qualified Coquitlam electors to run for the office of School Trustee
Election signs are not permitted to be erected more than 21 days before General Voting Day (September 24, 2022) and must be removed within 4 days after the election (October 19, 2022). Election signs in violation of Election Administration and Procedures Bylaw No. 5069, 2021 are subject to removal at the candidates’ expense.