Experience. Leadership. Proven Results.

Open Letter

I’m running for re‑election as Mayor on October 15, 2022.

I’m running for re-election as Mayor on October 15, 2022. We’ve accomplished a tremendous amount in the past decade, but there remains some work underway that I truly want to see completed, particularly my Mayors for Mental Health initiative that had to be interrupted by the pandemic.

I’ve been very encouraged by the incredible community support that has been expressed to me. I’ve lived all my life here in Coquitlam, and I’ve never felt more optimism for the future of our community.

One of the main reasons I originally ran for Mayor was that I wanted to break the 20-year logjam on the promised Evergreen Line to Coquitlam, a project that had come to be known as the “Nevergreen Line”. I felt that we needed a new approach, building consensus across the region while building support with senior levels of government, to finally get the line built. We achieved it, and our Skytrain line is a tremendously successful connection to the rest of the region.

Learn more about the results Richard has achieved as Mayor

Major Issues

Housing Affordability

Housing Affordability is the major issue facing communities across this region. My career has been in housing, including as founding Chair of the Society for Housing Affordability, as a consultant to the Province on housing issues, and a member of the Housing Minister’s Advisory Council on Affordable Housing. Coquitlam’s acclaimed Housing Affordability Strategy, adopted in 2015 and improved upon since, has achieved tremendous results in advancing a wide range of affordable housing options, to help families.

Mental Illness

One vital issue is Mental Illness and mental health. As many residents know, mental illness is near and dear to me and my family, and touches us all. The work advocacy we’ve advanced on Riverview – with two buildings reopened/repurposed so far, and three newly-built treatment facilities now operating, we’re making important progress on this key issue.

Learn more about the issues

We’re also benefiting from lower crime, improved traffic safety measures, expanded cycling infrastructure, economic development, technological innovation in municipal services, a wide range of new affordable housing choices, hundreds of new childcare spaces, improved transportation, and strong environmental stewardship.

We’ve achieved a great deal by working cooperatively with our neighbours and other Metro communities, and with senior levels of government, building consensus and cooperation, and by using innovation and technology to benefit our residents. We’re building a new city for the coming generations.

I want to thank all those who have supported, advanced, and promoted this vision, and those who have expressed their support to me. There is much at stake as we look to keep Coquitlam moving forward. I invite you to join me in this vision for our community, a vision of a truly great place to live, work, learn and play

About Richard

Leadership. Experience. Proven Results.

Richard Stewart has the experience to continue managing Coquitlam’s growth, opportunities, and challenges. Under his leadership we’ve seen lower crime, improved traffic safety measures, economic development and jobs, technological innovation, a wide range of affordable housing choices, seniors services, improved transportation, and strong environmental stewardship.

Richard has lived all his life in Coquitlam, and knows this community well. He has demonstrated that he is the right leader for our Council and our community. A consensus builder with experience and vision, who will listen to residents.

On October 15, let’s re-elect Mayor Richard Stewart


Getting things done

A Proven Track Record of Accomplishments: Richard is proud of the achievements of Council and the incredible team at City of Coquitlam.

Leadership in Management

  • Tight control on costs and expenses – both operating costs and capital construction
  • City’s Finance Dept. receives National Awards for outstanding budgeting
  • Adopting technology (fibre optic, wireless, geo-thermal, open data, EV, etc.) to make citizens’ lives better.
  • BC Top Employer Award for five years running, acknowledging leadership in workplace environment
  • National Award-winning Leading with Purpose Leadership Program
  • Winner of UBCM Awards for Excellence in Asset Management and Excellence in Service Delivery

Coquitlam is Recognized Nationwide

  • A repeat national winner in Communities in Bloom, honouring environmental stewardship, heritage conservation, urban forestry and outstanding public spaces
  • International District Energy Assoc. Leadership Award
  • BC Economic Development Assoc. award for Coquitlam Business LinQ
  • UBCM Climate Action Awards, for our Corporate Energy Mgmt Plan
  • Canadian Institute of Planners named our improved Town Centre Park the “Best Public Space in Canada”

Leadership in Community Investments

Over the past decade, Coquitlam has made enormous investments in new parkland, parks and recreation amenities, trail network expansion, roadway improvements, infrastructure upgrades, and transportation enhancements. These investments have been largely funded by development, rather than by tax dollars. Richard wants to keep investing wisely in our community.

Mental Health and the Riverview Lands

“Mental illness affects cities enormously, and we need to work with senior governments to find solutions.” Founder of Mayors for Mental Health, Richard’s passion for the issue of mental wellness is well-known. The 240-acre Riverview Hospital heritage site, now renamed səmiq̓wəʔelə (Place of the Great Blue Heron), has a 100-year history of serving BC in mental health and wellness, and is well-known for its magnificent arboretum and heritage buildings. In recent years Richard and Council pressed the Province to re-establish significant treatment beds for mental illness and addictions, and they succeeded in having two existing buildings reopened, plus three brand new purpose-built treatment facilities. More needs to be done. Richard wants to continue working with the Province and Kwikwetlem First Nations, to see these plans through to fruition, to help tackle the mental health crisis, and to serve our residents for generations to come.


Leading Coquitlam forward

Mayor Richard Stewart has shown solid leadership and vision, building consensus on Council, and leading Coquitlam forward. Coquitlam is known across the region and province for demonstrating that consensus-based decision-making works so much better than the adversarial approach that plagues many other City Councils.

He has united Council on important initiatives, and helped make Coquitlam one of BC’s best-run and most-desirable communities in which to live, work, learn and play.

Richard’s solid experience and fiscal/financial discipline, along with his vision for a vibrant community, have brought new energy, pride and excitement for Coquitlam families and future generations to enjoy.

Achievements under Mayor Stewart’s Leadership

  • Broke the 25-year stalemate on Skytrain to Coquitlam
  • Expansion of City’s parks
  • New public amenities
  • Diversion of organics from waste stream, reducing GHG emissions
  • New District-Energy facilities, reducing energy consumption
  • Passed recycling costs fully from residents back to packaging producers

Richard Leads by Example

  • Richard commutes daily by cycling, and can be seen biking all around the city
  • Both of the Stewart household’s family vehicles are electric
  • Family home is super-energy-efficient and includes passive solar energy system
  • Strong advocacy on mental health
  • Volunteers with several local initiatives/organizations on newcomer services, mental health, eliminating food waste, etc.


Housing Affordability

Housing Affordability remains one of the major issues facing communities across this region; unprecedented demand has collided with limited supply and aging rental housing stock, with predictable results.

Richard’s entire career has been in housing and innovative land use, including

  • Founding Chair of the Society for Housing Affordability in BC
  • Consultant to the Province on housing issues, regulations, and housing consumer protection
  • Housing consultant internationally, in countries around the world, on five continents
  • Member of the National Research Council Committee that writes the National Building Code provisions for housing
  • Chair of the National Housing Economic Research Council in Ottawa
  • Member of the BC Housing Minister’s Advisory Council on Affordable Housing

In those capacities and organizations, Richard has studied housing challenges and examples from around the world. And through that work over several decades, he advanced solutions to a wide range of our local and provincial housing issues, some of which are in place today. But even though Housing is a provincial responsibility, Richard knows there is much that can be done here at the local level, and he’s very proud of what Coquitlam has accomplished so far. Coquitlam is seen as a leader in our response to the housing challenges across the region and province.

At last month’s Union of BC Municipalities conference, Housing Minister Rankin had this to say about our the success of our strategy:

“Continued support for what Coquitlam is doing. I was overwhelmed by your presentation when we met. I was taken by the fact that you’ve got so much rental housing under construction and that you’re meeting the kinds of needs not just for Coquitlam but for the broader community.

[Some communities] nearby maybe not stepping up the way Coquitlam is. And so my suggestion was that we the province should reward success. We should make sure that we do these projects in places where there is a willing participant, and Coquitlam is clearly that.”

Hon. Murray Rankin, Minister Responsible for Housing
(also Min. of Indigenous Relations and Attorney General).

Here in Coquitlam, we want the next generation to be able to own homes in the community they grew up in. In 2015 Council adopted its acclaimed Housing Affordability Strategy, which has spawned thousands of units of housing for young people, families, and seniors, including innovative in-fill, affordable home ownership, purpose-built rental and below-market/non-market rental.

Plus, using development revenues paid into the city’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund, Coquitlam has been able to invest in non-profit housing projects like Habitat For Humanity, Talitha Koum, and United Church Housing – hundreds of units, and the first significant non-profit housing built in Coquitlam in decades. This fund, now totalling almost $20 million, puts Coquitlam in a strong position to partner with promised future housing investments by the Federal and Provincial governments. But even without those, Coquitlam achieved enormous investments in purpose-built rental housing — both market and non-market — for the first time in two generations. And on the home-ownership side, Coquitlam continues to advance creative zoning solutions; these have resulted in thousands of units of innovative and affordable home ownership dwellings for young families and seniors, options that other communities are examining with interest.

And since Coquitlam can’t solve housing affordability alone, Richard wants to continue to work across the region on bringing these solutions to bear more broadly. As chair of the Regional Housing and Planning Committees, Richard has been able to advance similar solutions across Metro Vancouver, but this will require much more work. It also requires the involvement of Federal and Provincial Governments; Richard has had in-depth discussions with both Ministers responsible for housing at the Federal and Provincial levels, and he knows Coquitlam will be able to coordinate a much better set of solutions through cooperation.

Housing supports families and builds communities, and Richard wants to continue to apply his extensive housing background to the housing challenges facing our community. We need Richard’s experience and knowledge to continue to advance more creative housing options, more efficient use of our dwindling supply of urban land, and transportation solutions that improve affordability for families.

Child Care

Two key issues facing local families – housing and childcare – are actually provincial responsibilities. Coquitlam has nonetheless tackled them both, and has achieved remarkable results.

Coquitlam’s new Childcare Strategy assists in identifying opportunities for childcare spaces in new developments, as well as in other facilities. The Strategy also works to build partnerships between providers/operators and landlords. The result has been remarkable, and continues to generate hundreds of childcare spaces through development, helping families with this important service.

Mental Health

One vital issue facing communities and families is Mental Health. As many residents know, Richard’s family has been very open about how mental illness has touched them, and about their experience with the gaps in services that so many families experience. Richard has advocated strongly for better mental health services. And he’s also stood up for Riverview.

Riverview Hospital (now renamed səmiq̓wəʔelə (Place of the Great Blue Heron), has a 100-year history of serving BC in mental health and wellness. In addition, the heritage value in this site and its buildings, along with its world-class arboretum, make it truly special. Council has been working with the Kwikwetlem First Nation and the Province of BC for more than a decade, with some significant advances, including the reopening of two existing buildings, plus construction of three brand new purpose-built treatment facilities. This site can truly make enormous contributions to the mental health crisis facing the province.

Richard believes passionately in a future where mental illness is treated like any other illness, where state-of-the-art facilities and programs can serve our youth and adults with mental health challenges. A facility where families facing Alzheimer’s and dementia can be served in a dignified way. A centre of excellence.

Richard has a lifelong passion for the Riverview/səmiq̓wəʔelə site. He has met repeatedly and at-length with Kwikwetlem’s Chief and Councillors, building relationships and forging alliances, and he believes that a cooperative spirit can produce results that serve the region’s expanding mental health needs. Join with us in that vision.


Richard has supported and helped strength the City’s important environmental work, from stream stewardship to GHG emission reductions, from sustainable building forms to replenishing the urban forest canopy. And the City has received awards for several of our environmental initiatives. With our new Environmental Strategy, we will be embarking on much more to continue to mitigate the impact of climate change, manage the realities of extreme weather events, protect streams, support recycling and zero-waste initiatives, convert the City fleet from carbon to zero-emission vehicles, etc.


I want to thank all those who have supported, advanced, and promoted this vision, and those who have expressed their support to me. There is much at stake as we look to keep Coquitlam moving forward. I invite you to join me in this vision for our community, a vision of a truly great place to live, work, learn and play. And I thank my colleagues on Council that have worked cooperatively toward these things; it’s a diverse group, and we don’t agree on everything by any means. But I always have room for people who respectfully participate in democracy, who advance their own ideas while respecting others’, and who are willing to work together toward a common goal.

If you’re proud of what Coquitlam has achieved, if you’re ready to work to solve some of the challenges ahead, I invite you to join my campaign team, an exciting team working to advance these things for Coquitlam. I invite you to volunteer, to share with friends, to take a lawn sign, to donate to the campaign if you can. But mostly, I invite you to vote for Richard Stewart for Mayor, for Experience, Leadership, and Proven Results.

Campaign Office: 1065 Ridgeway Ave., Coquitlam, BC