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Councillor Paul McDonell

Councillor Paul McDonell

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I have lived in Burnaby since 1964 and am honoured to have served the City as an elected representative since 2002 when I joined the Parks Board. First elected to City Council in 2008, I was re-elected in 2011, 2014 and 2018.

Working with people is the best part of my role on Council and is what I value most in my daily life. As a child I learned from my mother that life works best when you rely on others in times of need and share what you have when you can.  I have been fortunate to be able to give back in many ways, and feel very grateful for the trust that Burnaby’s residents have extended to me through many elections.

In 1994, I joined the Burnaby Health Board, and in 1995 became chair. In 1998, I was named chair of the Simon Fraser Health Board.  I got involved with the Muscular Dystrophy Association becoming chair and provincial director, connecting with that agency through my career as a rescue service worker and Vancouver firefighter.  I retired in 1999 as deputy chief of Vancouver Fire and Rescue and am proud of the work I did there to initiate a program for firefighters experiencing post-traumatic stress, the first of its kind in BC.

My top priority for the coming years is affordable housing. As I have done in past years, I serve as a Trustee and Council representative to New Vista Housing, a long-serving and successful not-for-profit housing provider.  A partnership among New Vista Housing, the City of Burnaby and BC Housing is working to build up to 1,000 new units of affordable housing at Edmonds Town Centre for seniors and families.

I continue to work with Edmonds-area businesses to tackle graffiti and am pleased to see the results of years of partnership. More than 20 murals have been completed, and more are planned. People like the art work and graffiti is almost entirely gone from the district. I also led the development on the eco-sculpture program, launched in 2005 after seeing this wonderful program in Montreal.  Today the community has embraced the sculptures and we have developed a program that enables high school students to work on them – a job they enthusiastically embrace.

Council Committees

Community Links 

  • Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal for Community Service – 1997
  • Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for Community Service - 2012
  • Board member, BC Seniors Games 
  • Rotary Club International, Paul Harris Community Award
  • Founding member, past-president, Burnaby Edmonds Lions Club 
  • Member, United Way Campaign Cabinet 
  • Past-chair, Burnaby and Simon Fraser health authorities 
  • Director (past-chair), United Way of the Lower Mainland 
  • Past-chair. Vancouver Firefighters Muscular Dystrophy Society 
  • Past-chair, Edmonds City Fair 
  • Chair. Edmonds Murals Committee 
  • Recipient, British Columbia Community Achievement Award 
  • Recipient, Syd Thompson Community Service Award 
  • Named Firefighter of the Year - Vancouver Junior Board of Trade Jaycees
  • Council Meeting Webcast

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  • City Connect

    City ConnectMoreOnline and in print updates about city initiatives, programs and events.