Councillor Nick Volkow
I have been a Burnaby resident since 1983 and was first elected to Burnaby City Council in 1996. My interest in serving on council was initially prompted by my desire to help the City to make progress on several youth, environmental and transportation issues and initiatives. I could see opportunities for positive change and I wanted to work with the community to help make those changes happen.
As the father of three young children, helping to create more opportunities for youth to gather and play in safe and supportive environments was at the top of my list. I began working with Council and the community to develop youth centres. I’m proud to say that Burnaby now has four well-used youth centres – one in each quadrant of our city. In addition, we now have two skateboard parks – Confederation Skate Park and the award-winning Bonsor Park Metro Youth Park facility. The skate park at Confederation Park became a model for community involvement, as the youth who would eventually use the park participated in its design.
The dredging and rejuvenation of Burnaby Lake – a $20-million project that saw about 180,000 cubic meters of sediment removed from the lake bottom, much of which was contaminated with elevated levels of metals and hydrocarbon – was also a project that I hoped the City would eventually be able to undertake. I was able to focus this project as a member of the Parks Commission between 1988 and 1993. Burnaby Lake is an important local and regional asset that would eventually have been lost if dredging had not taken place.
The award-winning dredging provides multiple benefits to the ecosystem of the lake – which is on the Pacific Flyway. It also enables on-lake recreational opportunities. The project was a significant environmental initiative that was envisioned by the City more than 10 years before it took place and it has left Burnaby Lake with improved water quality, better fish passage, enhanced wildlife habitat and an excellent opportunities for rowing, kayaking and canoeing activities. We also recognized that the cleaned Burnaby Lake dredgate would make perfect fill for nearby playing fields. Not only did this save us significant soil-transport trucking costs and the associated impact on the environment, but it is also enhancing our playing field surfaces.
As chair of the Transportation Committee, I look forward to continuing to further enhance safety for users of all modes of transport as our city continues to grow and change.
A specific focus will be the creation of even more opportunities for cycling in our city. We have a great start, with projects such as the Central Valley Greenway, the 24-kilometre cycling and walking path that runs near the Millennium Line SkyTrain through Vancouver, Burnaby, and New Westminster, from Science World to New Westminster Quay, linking parks, shopping, worksites, and major transit hubs.
Our three pedestrian overpasses have also been welcome additions to our city. I look forward to continuing to explore opportunities for other innovative ways to enhance safety for Burnaby pedestrians, drivers, riders and cyclists.
Another project I will continue to promote and facilitate is our increasingly popular, annual Burnaby Blues and Roots festival. I have enjoyed promoting and supporting this event since I first worked with Council and staff to introduce it to Burnaby 15 years ago. I look forward to supporting many more years of exceptional Blues and Roots festivals in Deer Lake Park!
Memberships and Community Links
- 36-year Canada Safeway employee
- Past-member, Ex-Brits Red Lions Rugby Club
- Member of “Million Mile Club”, Canadian Association of Fleet Supervisors
- Council liaison, Engineering Department and Fire Department
- Chair, Transportation Committee
- Chair, Simon Fraser Liaison Committee
- Vice-chair, Community Heritage Commission
- Member, Environment Committee
- Past-member, North Fraser Harbour Commission (1993–1996)