Interview - MLA Fin Donnelly ( Coquitlam-Burke Mountain)

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Interview - MLA Fin Donnelly ( Coquitlam-Burke Mountain)

We’ve Got Issues hosts Brad Nickason and Nancy Furness interview MLA Fin Donnelly to learn about his work in advocating for sustainability and protection of the Fraser River, and his recent induction into the Fraser River Discovery Centre’s Hall of Fame.

Fin shares his story and what inspired him to swim fourteen environmental marathon swims covering over 3200 kms in BC’s rivers, lakes and the ocean, including twice swimming the length of the Fraser River. Fin describes the Fraser as a unique river system, the largest intact watershed in BC and one of the greatest salmon-bearing rivers on the planet, spanning from the headwaters in the Rocky Mountains, through six major regions to the estuary in the Lower Mainland. The river encompasses a vast diversity of landscapes, ecology, history, and heritage. Fin relates the physical challenges that were overcome and relationships and memories that were created along the way.

After completing his second swim down the length of the Fraser, Fin started a Sustainable Living Leadership Program (SLLP) to mentor young adults as they learn about sustainability, and hike, canoe, and raft down the length of the Fraser River. More information on the program can be found at rivershed.com.

Climate change, habitat threats and loss, urban development, and pollution all have a negative impact on the Fraser River system and viability of the sockeye salmon population. Vastly reduced salmon returns are galvanizing support from all levels of government to take action.

Once Fin become self-aware, he started volunteering, and joining groups. All the actions taken led him to run for public office. Fin served as Coquitlam City Councillor for three terms starting in 2002, then as a Member of Parliament for ten years, and is currently serving as MLA for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain and Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture.

He encourages constituents to become involved by joining local stewardship or environmental groups. Fin is honoured to be inducted into the Fraser River Discovery Centre’s Hall of Fame and is appreciative of the many tributes he has received. He is confident that the younger generation is aware of the changes that need to be made and will continue working towards a sustainable future.

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Video Upload Date: April 17, 2022

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