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Election Roundup: The latest on the New Westminster election

What's happening with campaign office openings, name changes, and questionnaires for candidates?
Ballot vote election
Election roundup: Who's running in New West? Where can you see the local candidates?

While a number of all-candidates meetings – many for mayoral candidates – have been held in recent weeks, you still have a chance to see the local candidates in action. Here are some upcoming meetings:

  • The Queen’s Park Residents Association is hosting an all-candidates meeting for mayoral and council candidates on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 2 p.m. It’s at the Royal Westminster Regiment’s Armoury, 530 Queens Ave.
  • The New Westminster District Parent Advisory Council is hosting an all-candidates meeting for trustee hopefuls on Sunday, Oct. 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. It’s being held in the Grand Commons at New Westminster Secondary School (620 Eighth St.).
  • The Queensborough Residents’ Association is giving folks a chance to hear from the school board candidates on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. It’s at the Queensborough Community Centre, 920 Ewen Ave.

New election sign rules in effect

Where have all the big signs gone?

If you’ve noticed that election signs in New West seem smaller than in past years, you’re not wrong.

The City of New Westminster made changes to its sign bylaw in 2020 that decreased the allowable size of election signs. Election signs may have two sides and each side must not exceed 0.61 square metres in size.

Vehicle signs – including the vehicle wraps that were occasionally used to promote a candidate – are also prohibited under the bylaw.

“Signs on vehicles can be a distraction to drivers, pedestrians and street users in general,” said a 2020 staff report to council.

Election signs are not allowed to be placed within 100 metres of a polling station on any special, advance or general voting days (and if they are found within that area they will be removed by city staff). Election signs aren’t permitted on any city property, including parks, buildings, utility poles or street signs, or on any grassed and landscaped medians, traffic dividers or centre boulevards (such as the boulevards on Second and Fifth streets).

Can’t wait to vote?

If you’re planning to be out of town or just want to cast your vote before general voting day on Saturday, Oct. 15, you’ll want to take note of these dates.

The City of New Westminster is providing advance voting opportunities on Wednesday, Oct. 5 (New Westminster City Hall and the Queensborough Community Centre); Saturday, Oct.  8 (the New West Lawn Bowling Club in Moody Park) and Wednesday, Oct. 12 (city hall and the lawn bowling club). Advanced voting takes place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For election information, such as who can vote and what ID is required, go to

To vote mail, you must apply to receive a ballot by mail by Thursday, Oct. 6 at 4:30 p.m. Apply online at or by calling 778-222-8602 to speak with election staff, or by calling 778-222-8602 or emailing 778-222-8602 to make an appointment with election staff. In order to be counted, mail-in ballots must be received by the city’s chief election officer by 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Campaign offices up and running

Community First New West has set up shop at 314 Sixth St. The campaign office is open Monday to Friday from 1 to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m., and folks are welcome to drop in. 

Independent mayoral candidate Chuck Puchmayr is opening a campaign office in uptown New West at 614 Sixth St. Friends and supporters are invited to attend the official opening of his campaign office on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Puchmayr’s campaign office will be open to the public Sunday to Friday from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What’s in a name? Candidate capitalizes

New West Progressives council candidate Karima Budhwani typically spells her name karima budhwani but she’s opting to capitalize her name during the campaign.

Acute readers may notice that the council candidate’s name is now being capitalized, whereas it had previously been lower-cased.

“It was always a personal stylistic choice of Karima’s,” said a NWP spokesperson, when asked to clarify the change. “With the election in full swing and many events coming up, she doesn’t want any special treatment and wants the focus to remain on the issues and ideas.”

Then and now: Looking back at 2018 election race

It was a four-person race for the mayor’s chair in New Westminster in 2018 but incumbent mayor Jonthan Cote breezed to victory.

In 2018, Cote had 10,487 votes, or 72.99 per cent of the votes cast for mayor. Trailing behind were Nikki Binns (1,870), Harm Woldring (1,512) and Jimmie Bell (519).

This year, New West residents will have three mayoral candidates to choose from: rookie candidate Ken Armstrong (New West Progressives); two-term councillor Patrick Johnstone (Community First New West); and veteran councillor Chuck Puchmayr (independent).

In 2018, Johnstone garnered the second highest vote total (7,270) in the council race. Puchmayr received 6,595 votes, which was good for the sixth and final spot on city council.

In the 2018 election, first-time councillor Nadine Nakagawa topped the polls with 7,764 votes, followed by imcumbent Johnstone (7,270), incumbent Mary Trentadue (7,202), incumbent Jaimie McEvoy (6,799), first-time candidate Chinu Das (6,716) and incumbent Puchmayr (6,595).

The New West Progressives, which formed in advance of the 2018 election, were shut out of spots on city council in their first campaign, but they took the next four spots – Daniel Fontaine (5,297), Ellen Vaillancourt (4,760), Paul McNamara (4,531) and Bryn Ward (4,490). Trailing behind were four independent candidates: Mike Ireland (3,253); Angela Sealy (3,013); Troy Hunter (2,638); and Benny Ogden (1,299).

This year, 12 candidates are vying for six councillor seats, including six Community First New West candidates, five New West Progressives and one independent.

The Community First New West slate includes: Ruby Campbell; incumbent Chinu Das; Tasha Henderson; Bereket Kebede; incumbent Jaimie McEvoy; and incumbent Nadine Nakagawa.

The New West Progressives ­­­candidates are Karima Budhwani, Rick Folka, Daniel Fontaine, Jiayi Li-McCarthy and Paul Minhas. Daniel Ampong is the lone independent running for councillor.

HUB Cycling surveying Metro Vancouver candidates

HUB Cycling is surveying candidates in municipalities across Metro Vancouver to help voters understand where candidates stand on active transportation.

In addition to council candidates across the region, HUB will also be sending out surveys to candidates vying for seats on the Vancouver Park and the New Westminster School Board. Surveys will consist of multiple-choice and long-answer questions.

Questionnaire results will be available at on Oct. 4.

HUB Cycling has developed a municipal election cycling platform  that focuses on four focus areas—land use, infrastructure, bold steps, and social equity. Its platform includes: supporting infrastructure projects that separate people on bikes from people travelling on foot and by car to improve safety for all users and remove conflict between different modes; supporting the piloting and expansion of bike share and e-bike share programs in urban centres; and prioritizing the creation of active transportation infrastructure in neighbourhoods that have historically seen less investment, particularly in economically deprived areas.

HUB also supports sustainable land-use plans and zoning, including densification and building complete communities where people can access all of their daily needs within a 15-minute walk or bike ride, including jobs, groceries, schools and services.

Massey Victory Heights hosts mayoral meeting

New West residents will have another opportunity to hear from mayoral candidates during the 2022 election campaign.

The Massey Victory Heights Residents’ Association is hosting an all-candidates meeting for the mayoral candidates on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. It’s taking place in the basement of Mount Zion Lutheran Church, 930 Cumberland St. (at the corner of 10th Avenue and Cumberland Street).

The Massey Victory Heights Residents’ Association’s executive has designed a series of questions for the candidates. During the latter part of the meeting, residents will be able to pose questions to the candidates.

Queensborough hosts three meetings

The Queensborough Residents’ Association has been giving folks a chance to hear from all of the candidates running in this year’s civic election.

In the lead-up to the Oct. 15 civic election, the association is hosting three all-candidates meetings.

Mayoral candidates were put on the hot seat on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Candidates for council were featured on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at and school board candidates will take centre stage on Thursday, Oct. 6. That's at Queensborough Community Centre, and all will start at 7 p.m.

Queen’s Park Residents’ Association to host meeting

Mayoral and council candidates will be fielding questions at the Queen’s Park Residents’ Association’s upcoming all-candidates meeting.

The meeting is on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 2 p.m. at the Royal Westminster Regiment’s Armoury, 530 Queens Ave.

“We have a moderator, and he will direct the questions to the candidates. They will be given a short time to introduce themselves as well,” said QPRA president Gail North. “We are going to distribute flyers to Queen’s Park residents and will let them know that there is no open mic, so please submit questions in advance of the meeting to our email address.”

In past elections, the residents’ association has held all-candidates meetings at Centennial Lodge in Queen’s Park.

“Space has been pretty hard to secure this summer now that things have opened up, so our directors brought forward other suggestions for locations and the Armoury was available, so we snagged it,” North said. “Considering even the potential number of candidates, additional space seemed a good idea.”

This column will be updated. If you're hosting an all-candidates meeting or other campaign event or have an election item to share, be sure to let the Record know by emailing Theresa McManus.