Advisors Appointed to New Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable

Port Coquitlam, BC – Aug. 14, 2020…Over thirty people representing a broad range of interests and backgrounds have been selected for Port Coquitlam’s new Roundtable on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Mayor Brad West announced today the members of the new roundtable he launched in June to tackle matters ofmulticulturalism, systemic racism and discrimination, diversity, equity and inclusion. The group will meet online for the first time in September.

“We received dozens of applications – it’s been heartening to see the passion in our community on this topic,” West said. “I want to be clear that this is not just tokenism. There will be plenty of open dialogue of course, but I also expect tangible outcomes to help ensure our city is a place that welcomes everyone and does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”

The roundtable is larger than initially anticipated due to the large number of highly qualified applicants and to provide a comprehensive representation of local interests and perspectives.

The advisors are a reflection of the community itself, bringing to the table the voices of people from diverse ethnic or cultural origins, Indigenous people, new immigrants, the LGBTQ2S+ community, people with disabilities and different genders, ages, employment and income levels.

The intent is for the roundtable to meet regularly and to develop a community-driven process and forum for feedback, discussion and action. Smaller working groups will be established when the roundtable meets in September, along with a terms of reference and agreed-upon priorities.

Port Coquitlam launched the roundtable in June in light of the growing awareness both here and around the world of the depth of systemic racism and discrimination that continues to exist, and its negative impact on individuals, communities and society.

The need for the initiative was underscored on the weekend when racist graffiti was reported – and then immediately cleaned up by the city – at the Shaughnessy Bike Skills Park.

“We were thankful one of our residents took the time to alert us so we could remove that vile, hateful message right away,” West said. “There is no place for hate and discrimination in Port Coquitlam, and it will take all of us, working together, to stand up and do something about it. I look forward to seeing what we can achieve through this community-driven effort.”

The roundtable will provide input to City Council and staff about enhancing access and inclusion for Port Coquitlam’s diverse community to fully participate in City services and civic life and provide advice on related matters.

One of its first tasks will be working with the city on an anti-racism and discrimination policy. The group will also liaise with the Mayor’s Citizen Advisors Roundtable and Cultural Roundtable and share ideas and expertise on current and emerging issues.

The appointed advisors will sit for a one-year term with an option to continue:

  • Ali Afzali, Clinician
  • Aline Alves, Student
  • Diana Barry, Program Manager, Newcomers Program, Vancity
  • Jason Bawa, Key Account Manager, 3M Canada
  • Courtney Brown, Business Owner, Northpaw Brew Co.
  • Ronald Callender, Independent Publisher
  • Abigail Cameron, Program Manager, Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership
  • Adeebah Chowdhury, Merchant Success Team Lead, Shopify
  • Michael Currie, IT manager
  • Anu Dawit-Kanna, Human Resources Manager
  • Rachel DeCicco, Aquatic Leader and Member of Aboriginal Youth Leadership Council
  • Meena Dhillon, Social Worker and Lawyer
  • Anthony Ezeaputa, International Business Development with a focus on Africa
  • Lisa Flesher, Service Representative, LIUNA Local 1611
  • Arun Ghag, Student and Co-Chair, School District 43 Student Leadership Council
  • Shelby Hall, Sr. QA Manager, Electronic Arts
  • April Kornitsky, University Student, First Nations Studies and Health Sciences
  • Kanchan Lal, Museum Coordinator, PoCo Heritage
  • Ellen Lu, Student and Weight Lifting Coach
  • Maryam Ostadi, Operations Supervisor, Food for the Soul Project Society
  • Amanda Poh, Product Designer and Strategist
  • Jas Qualitz, Customer Service
  • Sarah Rehimi, Policy Analyst, Government of British Columbia
  • Aaron Schroeder, Business Owner and Operations Manager, Nutri-Nations Food
  • Renu Seru (Dr.), Counsellor/Therapist
  • Katrina Shelast, Salon Owner and Stylist
  • Hope Taylor, Instructional Facilitator for Basic Occupational Education with Douglas College’s Vocational Education & Skills Training Program
  • Jami Watson, Costco employee
  • Caitlin Whitson, Grade 10 Terry Fox Secondary Student and Member of Aboriginal Youth Leadership Council
  • Mark Williams, Healthcare Worker
  • Alexander Windross, Team Lead at Cineplex and Volunteer Youth Leader for the LGBTQ2+ youth group in Port Coquitlam
  • Shauna Zepeski, Volunteer and Foster Parent

Resources and Supports

Report graffiti or other problems with a city service to 604.927.3111, at or through the free PoCo Waste-line app.

Anyone who has experienced or witnessed racism or discrimination is advised to contact VictimLinkBC a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available across B.C. and the Yukon 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-800-563-0808 or sending an email to

Incidents of racism or hate can also be reported to the RCMP’s non-emergency line at 604-945-1550 or at



Pardeep Purewal
Manager of Communications & Admin Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5335 Cel 604.218.0533