Fin Donnelly

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Fin Donnelly
Fin Donnelly.jpg
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Port Moody—Coquitlam
New Westminster—Coquitlam (2009-2015)
Assumed office
November 9, 2009
Preceded by Dawn Black
Coquitlam City Councillor
In office
December 2, 2002 – November 26, 2009
Personal details
Born (1966-05-27) May 27, 1966 (age 50)
New Westminster, British Columbia
Political party New Democrat
Spouse(s) Lynda Donnelly
Residence Coquitlam, British Columbia
Website Official website

Fin Donnelly (born May 27, 1966) is a Canadian politician, who was elected to the House of Commons of Canada in a by-election on November 9, 2009, representing the electoral district of New Westminster—Coquitlam as a member of the New Democratic Party.[1] Prior to his election as a federal MP, he served two terms on city council in his hometown of Coquitlam and was an environmental activist. He currently represents the riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam after winning his new seat in the 2015 federal election and serves as the NDP critic for Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Early life and career[edit]

An environmental activist, Donnelly has been active in raising public awareness of the rivers and watersheds of his home province of British Columbia. He has made fourteen marathon swims covering 3,200 km of BC's rivers, lakes and the ocean, including twice swimming the 1,400 km length of the Fraser River, saying Donnelly, after he swam the length of the Fraser River for the second time, to a man who accompanied him in a kayak, “wouldn’t it be amazing to get a program to have an experience that I just had.”[2] The purpose of these swims has been to draw attention to the environmental impacts on rivers, stimulate critical thought and promote community stewardship.[citation needed]

Donnelly founded the Rivershed Society of British Columbia in 1996. The society's vision is one of people making sustainable lifestyle choices in the Fraser River Basin. Since founding the society, he has made over 500 presentations to more than 40,000 people, and has visited 150 schools in 50 BC communities. He was elected to Coquitlam City Council as a councillor in 2002.[citation needed]

Federal politics[edit]

Since being elected in 2009, Donnelly has been active on a number of different issues of concern to British Columbians, particularly those focused on society, the environment, and the economy.

Alan Kurdi[edit]

On September 3, 2015, after the death of Alan Kurdi, Donnelly stated that he had handed a letter from Alan Kurdi's aunt, one of his constituents, to Immigration Minister Chris Alexander requesting that he look into the case of the Alan Kurdi's refugee application, which, according to Donnelly, was later rejected.[3] On the same day, it was reported that the Alan Kurdi's family had not in fact applied for refugee status in Canada, and that the letter primarily concerned the family of Alan Kurdi's uncle, for whom an application had been submitted but been rejected for being incomplete.[4][5] Donnelly subsequently faced criticism for his role in the spread of the false information regarding Alan Kurdi's family's nonexistent refugee application.[6][7] Mulcair later defended Donnelly, saying that no apology was warranted because the letter had mentioned both families, and stated that he "couldn’t be prouder to have someone of the strength, integrity and hard work as Fin Donnelly" in caucus.[8]

On September 10 the Ottawa Citizen reported that: "Abdullah Kurdi’s brother Mohammad and his family were named in a G5 refugee resettlement application , while simultaneously, Abdullah and his now-dead wife and children were included and named along with Mohammad’s family in a lengthy set of correspondence, over a period of months, to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and senior CIC officials."[9]

42nd Parliament[edit]

After the 2015 election, Donnelly was appointed the NDP critic for Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard in the 42nd Canadian Parliament.[10]

Personal life[edit]

A graduate of the University of Victoria with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy, Donnelly lives with his wife Lynda in Coquitlam.

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2015: Port Moody—Coquitlam
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Fin Donnelly 19,706 36.05 -4.41
Liberal Jessie Adcock 16,888 30.89 +22.36
Conservative Tim Laidler 16,112 29.47 -17.02
Green Marcus Madsen 1,878 3.44 -0.82
Marxist–Leninist Roland Verrier 83 0.15
Total valid votes/Expense limit 54,667 100.00   $211,255.32
Total rejected ballots 174 0.32
Turnout 54,841 69.69
Eligible voters 78,693
New Democratic notional gain from Conservative Swing +6.31
Source: Elections Canada[11][12]
Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures[13]
New Democratic Fin Donnelly 23023 45.9 -3.7 69,420.54
Conservative Diana Dilworth 20806 41.5 +5.7 85,804.33
Liberal Ken Lee 4068 8.1 -2.2 22,734.54
Green Rebecca Helps 2160 4.3 +0.0 2,238.04
Marxist–Leninist Roland Verrier 95 0.2 +0.2 0.00
Total valid votes 100.00% -
By-election on November 9, 2009

resignation of Dawn Black

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Fin Donnelly 12,129 49.6 +7.8
Conservative Diana Dilworth 8,753 35.8 -3.0
Liberal Ken Lee 2,514 10.3 -1.0
Green Rebecca Helps 1,046 4.3 -2.9
Total valid votes 24,442
Total rejected ballots
Turnout 24,442 29.9%


  1. ^ "Tories take two in byelections". The Globe and Mail, November 9, 2009.
  2. ^ Granger, Grant. "New Westminster News Leader – Turning the Fraser into a classroom". New Westminster News Leader. New Westminster News Leader. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Canada says it never denied a refugee application for Alan Kurdi and his family". National Post. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Kestler-D’Amours, Jillian, Tonda MacCharles, and Jacques Gallant (3 September 2015). "Tima Kurdi's pleading letter to allow brother to enter Canada revealed". Toronto Star. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "Father of Alan Kurdi, drowned Syrian boy, describes desperate ordeal to save family". CBC News. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Maloney, Ryan (6 September 2015). "Fin Donnelly Bemoans 'Political Attacks' After Syrian Refugees' Deaths". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Fin Donnelly, NDP MP, stands by attempts to help Kurdi family's refugee application". CBC News. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Mulcair stands behind Donnelly, after Kurdi family confusi". CTV News. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015. 
  9. ^ Ottawa Citizen, Sept 10, 2015, from page “Canada's Leaders need to face to the tragedy" by Terry Glavin
  10. ^ Kirkup, Kristy (12 November 2015). "Tom Mulcair taps Nathan Cullen, Charlie Angus, Guy Caron for top critic roles". CBC News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  11. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Port Moody—Coquitlam, 30 September 2015
  12. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived August 15, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "Financial Reports – New Westminster Coquitlam – 2011 General Election". Elections Canada. Retrieved August 26, 2014.