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Jun 19, 2020 Return to Headlines

Message From the Mayor - June 19, 2020 - Class of 2020

by Kelsey Acres |


Normally at this time of year I would be giving grad speeches at our local high schools. With no formal ceremonies this year, I had to switch to videos – one of the many changes the pandemic has brought for the Class of 2020.

There is no denying that grads this year are being shortchanged. Many of us have graduation memories that we still cherish today, and unfortunately, most of those experiences are not available to this year’s graduating class.

The City has supported our grads with photo backdrops at parks and photo frames on Facebook, and my request to our community is that we join together to make Grad 2020 special in some way. It won’t be like the graduation we enjoyed, but let’s all do what we can to make this milestone both memorable and safe for them.

Pandemic or not, graduation is a rite of passage and a huge accomplishment. We often take for granted that almost all of our students graduate from high school, but it’s not an easy road for everyone. It’s important that we recognize that some people face a lot of obstacles along the way – even in our own community.

Even in the best of circumstances, getting a child to graduation is a group effort. For many parents, it represents countless hours of helping with homework, supporting after-school activities, fundraising, meetings with teachers and a lot of driving.

Many other people are also instrumental, from grandparents to coaches to teachers. We should be especially proud of our school district and teachers in how they’ve handled the challenges of COVID-19. With very little notice, they had to adapt to a completely new way of teaching – and recently, to do that both online and in the classroom.

As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes one to create a high school graduate. As we come together to cheer on the Class of 2020, I also congratulate the community that stands behind them.

And now for this week’s shout-outs to highlight some of the inspiring things our residents are doing.

Let me start with a shout-out to local mom Louanne Midgley, who created an inspirational video for grads to accompany her brother Eddie Campbell’s poem. It’s called It’s Always Right Now and has gone viral on Facebook.

Hats off as well to all the local businesses offering specials for grads and their families – thank you for doing what you can to support our grads at this difficult time.

And finally I’d like to offer my kudos to the nominees and winners of the City’s 2020 Environmental Achievement Awards. Make sure to tune in to the Council meeting broadcast on Monday for a special awards presentation.

As always, if you hear about something happening in Coquitlam that deserves a shout-out, please share it on social media and tag #CoquitlamSPIRIT.

Richard Stewart

Supporting Our Community During the Pandemic

The City of Coquitlam is here to help, with these resources:

  • Visit to learn about the City’s Community Support and Recovery Plan, which is providing immediate and long-term support for the non-profit sector, businesses and residents;
  • Visit for a free library of activities for all ages, including fitness, arts and culture, outdoor activities and ways to connect with your community; and
  • Visit for updates on City services and initiatives and COVID-19 health resources.

Coquitlam residents and businesses are also encouraged to follow the City of Coquitlam on social media (FacebookInstagram and Twitter) and download the CoquitlamConnect mobile app for up-to-date City information. Links are available at


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