Councillor Colleen Jordan
Born in Pincher Creek Alberta, I graduated from the University of Alberta, with a degree in Education, and moved to Burnaby in 1976, where I have lived and worked ever since. While working as a media librarian in Burnaby school district library in the 1980s, I became increasingly aware of the importance to community of the services public employees provide – and particularly of the role the union plays in ensuring these services are provided and protected. Eventually, my involvement in the union led to my election as the full-time CUPE B.C. Secretary-Treasurer, a position I held for 14 years, until I retired in 2005.
While working for CUPE, I was active on many community boards, committees and projects, including serving as a Labour Committee representative on the United Way Campaign Cabinet. I am proud to be the recipient of a United Way Joe Morris Labour Community service Award. I also represented CUPE in discussions with the provincial government related to the implementation of the Community Charter, the legislation under which local governments conduct their work. During these years, I recognized the critical role municipal government plays – as the government closest to the people – to improve the lives of citizens and drive important policy changes.
I was first elected to Burnaby City Council in 2002. Since then, have enjoyed the many opportunities my role offers to work with citizens and to facilitate community involvement in City initiatives and policies. Burnaby was a great city in 2002 when I was first elected. It has always been my goal to keep it great and make it even better.
On a more personal note, I enjoy sports and gardening. When not attending meetings, I can usually be found gardening with the help of our cat.
As chair of the Community Development Committee, I am working closely with both the community and the committee to develop opportunities for a wide spectrum of housing options. Burnaby has always been a leader in providing a complete spectrum of housing options. Because of limited federal and provincial funding, it is a challenge to continue to provide the excellent range of housing options we are committed to offering in Burnaby, but we are determined to drive the policy changes required by the responsible levels of government, to ensure Burnaby citizens have the housing options and choices that make our City one of the world’s best.
As Burnaby continues to grow, with many significant new developments planned, completed or under way, there are also increasing options for business and comprehensive community developments. I look forward to continuing to work with the development, business and residential communities in each of our developing neighbourhoods to ensure each new project enhances neighbourhoods and provides the kind of excellent housing and business options we are proud to offer in Burnaby. I am particularly proud of the improvements we have made to the density bonus program, that allows developers create additional revenue, and provides the city with revenue and amenities that would otherwise b e a draw on the tax base. Through these programs we have be able to build some non-market housing, child care centres, community services space, and significant projects like the Tommy Douglas Library.
As Burnaby continues to develop, I look forward to helping to ensure the City has even more garden and cultured green spaces where everyone can enjoy flowers, shrubs, civic art and sculpture.
For me, another key focus is our Heritage Commission. Exclusively through gaming funds, with no impact on Burnaby’s tax base, Burnaby is able to fund heritage projects that help to ensure our City’s heritage is protected and enhanced. Recent projects include the addition of new interactive features on the Heritage Burnaby website that make it easier for citizens to learn more about Burnaby’s History and Heritage. Site features include oral history interviews with Burnaby seniors and historical films and home movies that offer unique insights into Burnaby history and the lives of Burnaby citizens.
Another significant recent achievement is the publication of “Burnaby’s Heritage – An Inventory of Buildings and Structures,” which lists and provides information about all public and privately owned heritage properties in Burnaby. And our initiative to offer free admission to the Burnaby Village Museum is enabling more visitors than ever before to enjoy this beautiful, unique, historic Burnaby attraction.
Memberships and Community Links
- Director and past-chair, Board of Directors, Pacific Blue Cross
- Chair, Board of Directors, Community Savings Credit Union
- Chair, Community Development Committee
- Chair, Community Heritage Commission
- Chair, Mayor's Task Force on Graffiti
- Vice-chair, Finance & Civic Development Committee
- Member, Environmental Sustainability Strategy Steering Committee
- Council liaison, Planning and Building Department
- Founding Board member, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
- Director, Metro Vancouver, Vice-chair, Metro Vancouver Finance Committee and member of Metro Vancouver Housing Committee