Editorial | Getting Down to Business

The Tri-Cities political landscape looks much different today than it did just two weeks ago. The municipal election results are in and the new mayors and councillors are getting acquainted with their new roles. As we stand on the cusp of a new era, with two new mayors in our region, we look forward to growing a prosperous and cohesive business community.

One of our strategic goals at the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce is to promote the Tri-Cities as the best place to live, work, and play. As such, we hosted three All Candidates Debates to inform voters, encourage voter turnout, and connect each respective community. This is a long-standing tradition of the Chamber, allowing members and the public to have their voices heard.

Each debate was filled beyond capacity, marking our biggest All Candidates Debates in history. To accommodate the interest and engagement, we broadcasted the events live on our Facebook page. The archived videos on Facebook have received over 6000 cumulative views with hundreds of comments as community members engaged with the candidates and their peers. We’re proud to see this growing interest in the local municipal elections.

Next week, the new councils will be sworn in, marking the beginning of their four-year journey of governing their respective communities, working to make the Tri-Cities a great place to live, work and play.

I’d like to extend a big thank you on behalf of the Tri-Cities Chamber, its members, and our community to outgoing Mayors Greg Moore of Port Coquitlam and Mike Clay of Port Moody. You were both tireless champions for your cities and worked hard together to make our region the great place it is. I would also like to thank long-term Port Coquitlam Councillor Mike Forrest for his years of service as well as Barbara Junker, nine-year Port Moody Councillor. Coquitlam Councillors Mae Reid and Terry O’Neill did not seek re-election, thank you for your hard work and dedication over the years.

Congratulations to Mayor Richard Stewart (Coquitlam), Mayor Brad West (Port Coquitlam), Mayor Rob Vagramov (Port Moody), Mayor John McKwen (Anmore), and Mayor Neil Belenkie (Belcarra) on your successful elections to the highest seat in your community.

A critical part of the strength of any city is having a healthy and vibrant businesses community within its borders. These businesses provide local employment along with the goods and services needed in our day-to-day lives. They also contribute greatly to the tax base which allows the city to provide a variety of services to its residents.

We have worked hard over the past several years to make the Tri-Cities a business-friendly region to the benefit of its citizens. Much progress has been made but there is still work to be done. Good business is always forward thinking and looking for ways to improve. The same should be the case for our governments.

My hope is that we continue to work alongside each other to build on the groundwork that has been laid in order to make the Tri-Cities community a great option for people to live, work and play.

Michael Hind, CEO
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce