Long before stepping into the House of Commons, Fin Donnelly was advocating on behalf of the Mighty Fraser.
The former member of Parliament, who represented New Westminster, Coquitlam and Port Moody in Ottawa for a decade, is the Fraser River Discovery Centre’s 2020 inductee into its Fraser River Hall of Fame. During much of his time in Ottawa, Donnelly served as the NDP’s fisheries critic.
“Fin has been an advocate for the Fraser River his entire professional life,” said Kathleen Higgins, chair of the Fraser River Discovery Centre Society. “He is a worthy inductee into our Fraser River Hall of Fame.”
The Hall of Fame gala and induction will take place in the fall at Fraser River Discovery Centre.
“It’s humbling to be recognized for work you love doing,” Donnelly said in a press release. “However, much work remains. I’m focused on the Fraser Watershed Initiative, a multi-year campaign to heal, protect and transform the Fraser into the most resilient watershed in the world.”
Donnelly is the founder and chair of the Rivershed Society of British Columbia, a non-profit charity that aims to improve the health of B.C.’s longest river, the Fraser, and its riversheds. He also cofounded the Fraser Watershed Initiatives, a multi-year campaign that works with First Nations, NGOs and local governments across B.C. on Fraser River Basin issues.
“From 1990 to 2000, he made 14 environmental marathon swims, covering more than 3,200 kilometres in B.C.’s rivers, lakes and ocean, including twice swimming the 1,375 km length of the Fraser River in 1995 and 2000 to draw attention to the declining health of these water bodies and to encourage communities to engage in environmental advocacy,” said a press release from Fraser River Discovery Centre. “Fin continued his Fraser River advocacy both as a member of Coquitlam city council from 2002 to 2009 and then as a member of Parliament for Port Moody-Coquitlam and New Westminster-Coquitlam from 2009 to 2019.”
Tickets for the Hall of Fame gala and induction are $99 each (or six for $500) and are available at www.fraserriverdiscovery.org/halloffame.
“The annual Fraser River hall of fame gala and induction has become an anticipated event by the river community and a social highlight of the year,” Higgins said.
Originally scheduled for May 12, Fraser River Discovery Centre has announced the gala will be postponed until the fall.