I was elected on June 26, 2021 and since then, I have been fighting for more affordable housing, climate justice, improving transportation options and traffic safety, and building a city that is more equitable, resilient, inclusive and vibrant. I am passionate about smart urban planning, identifying gaps in systems and policies and work to address them, and rebuilding politics to center compassion and care as the foundation.
I am a current Burnaby City Councillor serving my first term. I was born and raised in Burnaby, attending Cascade Heights Elementary and later Burnaby North Secondary. After graduating in 2014 as Valedictorian, I attended McGill University on a full-ride scholarship and studied public health with a focus on environment and active transportation.
In 2017, I cycled from Ottawa to Burnaby to protest against the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline project while fundraising for the legal fees of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, Coldwater, and Secwépemc First Nations. I started in Ottawa, where the federal government decided to proceed with the pipeline, and ended in Burnaby, where the pipeline's terminal and tank farm are – and where community safety would be most impacted.
During my time at McGill, I kept a full-time course load, worked two jobs, and maintained the grades needed to keep my scholarship. I worked as a Residence Advisor, and as the Students’ Society Environment Commissioner. Within the latter role, I wrote and implemented comprehensive sustainability policies, consulted on multiple task forces, chaired the Environment Committee, obtained a $15,000 grant to create an accessible, sustainable and alternative fitness space, and organized a climate strike.
After graduating, I was 1 of 5 people accepted out of over 300 in Canada to the GreenPAC internship. Through this internship, I worked for federal MP Richard Cannings on Parliament Hill. His role as shadow critic for natural resources helped me understand how to implement a just transition for workers, use natural resources more sustainably and expedite our climate goals. After my internship, federal MP Jenica Atwins hired me to assist her with policy and communications work.
Later I worked for provincial MLA Anne Kang as her constituency assistant. I served the constituents of Burnaby-Deer Lake by helping them connect with and navigate local government services. The most rewarding aspect of the job was assisting a citizen get access to housing, solving their problem or getting them access to services they need.
I speak Mandarin and French as second and third languages.
While my term only began on July 15, 2021, I have worked extremely hard to effect positive change in that short time. My focuses in this time have been on affordable housing, climate change and improved transportation and traffic safety.
On housing, I have consistently advocated for more diverse types and tenures of housing to meet the needs of all Burnaby residents. To that end, I have:
- secured a 1-year review of Burnaby’s short-term rental policy to ensure it does not have a negative impact on housing stock in Burnaby
- successfully advocated for the creation of a policy to establish minimum unit sizes in new units
- flagged gaps (and solutions) in our affordable housing policy
- secured efficiencies and improvements in the design of our laneway housing program
- advocated for family and ground-oriented housing near parks and schools
- passed a motion to improve our accessible/adaptable units policy so the units go to those who need them
- successfully advocated for renter protections within a Burnaby retrofitting policy to ensure renters are not “renovicted”
- supported affordable housing projects like the BCGEU’s, which is 100% purpose-built rental, 50% Burnaby-affordable, includes affordable childcare onsite, and is next to a SkyTrain station
On climate, I have advocated for climate action that is fair, equitable, builds a city that is enjoyable and safe, and creates good, skilled jobs. To that end, I:
- passed a motion to protect the Cariboo Heights Forest—a crucial greenspace that protects against flooding, supports the release of 10,000 salmon each year, and is the last remaining intact forest alongside the Brunette River
- successfully advocated for our demolition diversion policy to include an equity lens for the purposes of fairness and to establish an economic incentive for diverting demolished housing materials from the landfill
- co-wrote and passed a motion to align our tree bylaw with our tree canopy and climate targets
- passed a motion to ensure that Burnaby’s climate plans and policies include an equity and reconciliation lens
- advocated within the Mayor’s Taskforce on Retrofitting for a neighbourhood-approach in order to economize materials and support good and stable work
- passed a motion to prioritize nature-based solutions – which help to simultaneously fight climate change, adapt to the impacts of climate change we’re already experiencing, promote mental health, and create an enjoyable and healthy city
On transportation, I have been a strong advocate for safer streets. When we design for vulnerable users – children, seniors, pedestrians, cyclists and those with mobility challenges – we make neighbourhoods safer and more enjoyable for everyone. When we make it safe, convenient and possible for Burnaby residents to use other forms of transportation, we make life more affordable and enjoyable too, because people aren’t dependent on the price of gas or stuck in traffic. To that end, I:
- passed a motion to establish safe active transportation routes to schools so every parent has a safe and real alternative to driving their child(ren) to school
- passed a motion to improve connectivity of cycling routes to SkyTrain stations
- passed a motion to end dangerous partial cycling lanes
- worked with staff to expedite 5 TransLink priority projects
- worked with Evo to expand their carshare program to Burnaby
- successfully advocated for a number of pedestrian crossings throughout the city and for traffic calming in neighbourhoods that have advocated for improved traffic safety
- advocated for safety improvements to active construction sites
While this is only an excerpt of the work I’ve accomplished in 2021, I have also focused on the following areas: efficient and effective solutions to improve childcare; building neighbourhoods with safe streets, boulevard trees, ground-oriented housing, and locally-owned and operated convenience stores/cafes; increasing access to public spaces – and activating them so they are well-used and enjoyed; evidence-based decision-making; and finally, values-based governance.
- Vice-Chair, Financial Management Committee
- Member, Environment Committee
- Member, Planning and Development Committee
- Member, Traffic Safety Committee
- Member, Audit Committee
- Member, Metro Vancouver Indigenous Relations Committee
- Member, Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel
- Member, Simon Fraser Liaison Committee
- Member, International Relations and Friendship Cities Committee
- Council Representative, Mayor’s Taskforce on Urban Resilient Futures (Retrofitting)
- Top 25 under 25 Environmentalist (2020)
- Adriano Tassone Research Award (McGill University)
- Greville Smith Prestige Scholarship at McGill University ($40,000)
- National AP Scholar (2014), AP Scholar (2013)
- Valedictorian, Burnaby North Secondary (2014)
- Award of Merit for Community Leadership - TD (2014)
- Graduation Program Examinations Scholarship (2014)
- Passport to Education (2014)