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Fin Donnelly set to enter Fraser River Hall of Fame

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Fin Donnelly contributed
Fin Donnelly has swam the Fraser River several times to raise awareness about its importance.

A tireless advocate and supporter of the Fraser River is getting inducted into Fraser River Discovery Centre’s Fraser River Hall of Fame.

Fin Donnelly was originally intended to be inducted at the Hall of Fame gala in May 2020, but it was postponed because of the pandemic. Instead, he’ll be inducted during an online and in-person event on Nov. 9.

"Fin Donnelly is an outstanding choice to join our Fraser River Hall of Fame," said Mark Rizzo, chair of the Fraser River Discovery Centre Society. "He has dedicated most of his life to the living, working Fraser River, from swimming the full length of the Fraser multiple times to raise awareness of its importance to his advocacy work as an elected official in both the provincial and federal governments."

The Hall of Fame Gala will take place online and in-person from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Fraser River Discovery Centre in New Westminster, B.C. Tickets and details about the event can be found at

Donnelly served on Coquitlam city council from 2002 to 2009 and as a member of Parliament from 2009 to 2019, including a stint as the New Westminster-Coquitlam MP from 2009 to 2015.

“While in the House of Commons, he founded the All-Party Oceans Caucus,” said a FRDC press release. “As NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic, Fin introduced many bills to protect West Coast waters including legislation to ban oil tankers off B.C.’s north coast; transition West Coast open-net salmon farms to land-based, closed containment and ban the importation of shark fins to Canada, which became law in 2019.”

Now serving as the Coquitlam-Burke Mountain MLA in Victoria, Donnelly is the parliamentary secretary for fisheries and aquaculture.

Since 1995, Donnelly has spoken about sustainable living to more than 60,000 people in hundreds of B.C. schools and communities. In 1991, he was honoured by the Squamish Nation with the name IyimYewyews, which means strong swimmer in the animal world or Orca.

“I am honoured to be inducted into the Fraser River Hall of Fame," he said in a news release. "The Fraser has meant so much to me through my life, and I continue to strive to help make sure it gets the recognition and priority it deserves."

The Fraser River Discovery Centre Society established the hall of fame in 1991 to recognize and honour individuals or organizations that have made significant and noteworthy contributions to the health and sustainability of the Fraser River, its culture, people, industry and environment.

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