Kathy Corrigan

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Kathy Corrigan
Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly
for Burnaby-Deer Lake
In office
May 12, 2009 – May 9, 2017
Preceded by Riding Established
Succeeded by Anne Kang
Personal details
Born 1953
Toronto, Ontario
Political party New Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Derek Corrigan
Children Sean, Darcy, Patrick, Kelsey
Residence Burnaby, British Columbia
Occupation Lawyer, policy researcher, politician

Kathy Corrigan is a Canadian politician, who was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in the 2009 provincial election, as well as in the 2013 provincial election, she did not seek re-election in 2017. A member of the BC New Democratic Party, she was first elected to represent the riding of Burnaby-Deer Lake. In the 39th Parliament, with her party forming the official opposition, Corrigan acted as the critic for the 2010 Winter Olympics and women's issues, and following the 2011 BC NDP leadership election the critic for Public Safety, Solicitor General and women's issues. She served on the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts in all four sessions and the Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations in the final two sessions. She currently serves as the Official Opposition Spokesperson for Advanced Education.


She was born in Toronto, Ontario, to a mother who worked as a physics teacher and a father who worked as an engineer.[1] The family, which included Kathy and three siblings, moved to Cornwall, Ontario when she was three years old and then to West Vancouver in 1961.[1] She graduated from Sentinel Secondary School when she was 16 years old and went on to study at the University of British Columbia.[2] At the age of 21, she entered UBC Law.[1] It was there, at a social event for law students in March 1976 that she met Derek Corrigan. They spent time together and were married in December. She graduated in 1978 and practiced law before having her first child in 1980, at the age of 26.[1] She decided to focus on raising a family, so she became a full-time mother and had three more children in the next six years. After her children entered high school, Corrigan took a job as a policy researcher for the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Hospital Employees' Union.[2]

After several unsuccessful attempts, her husband Derek was elected to the Burnaby City Council in 1987 and would serve as a city councillor until 2002 when he was elected mayor. Derek's enjoyment of being a councillor motivated Kathy to seek a public position, so she stood in Burnaby's (School District 41) 1999 school board election.[2] She won a seat on the seven member board, coming in third in total votes.[3] She was re-elected in the 2002 and 2005 elections, coming in first and second in total votes, respectively.[4][5] She was elected, each year, by the board to be the vice-chair from 2003 to 2006, and then to be the chair of the board in 2007 and 2008.[6] On school board issues, she resisted regionalization of school districts[7][8] and public-private partnerships in service delivery.[9] She had a dispute with Burnaby MLA Patty Sahota over what Corrigan believed was political interference[10][11] and with a fellow board member who attributed good performance at school to specific ethnicities.[12]

Provincial politics[edit]

Prior to becoming an MLA, Corrigan worked as a policy researcher for the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Hospital Employees' Union and as a lawyer previously. She graduated from the University of British Columbia Law School in 1978 and married fellow law student Derek Corrigan. After having their first child, Kathy decided to leave the law profession and become a homemaker. Derek went on to be elected to the Burnaby City Council in 1987 and become mayor in 2002, while Kathy was elected to the Burnaby School Board for three terms, between 1999 and 2008, where she also served as chair for two years.

In April 2008 she announced she would not be seeking reelection to the school board[13] and several days later announced she would her intention to be a candidate for the BC New Democratic Party in the next provincial election.[14] The Burnaby-Deer Lake riding was created in a boundary re-alignment with BC Liberal John Nuraney as its incumbent MLA. Corrigan was acclaimed the NDP candidate in October 2008.[15] The riding was thought to be competitive for both the BC Liberals and NDP,[16] as the boundary re-alignment and the incumbent MLA was believed to favour the BC Liberals favour, while Corrigan was considered a star candidate with name recognition from her time on the school board and with her husband winning re-election as mayor in November 2008.[17] The salient issue of the election was the site selection of a proposed remand (prison) centre. The site, located in the Burnaby-Deer Lake riding, was opposed by both Kathy and Derek Corrigan. The NDP hosted a public event to oppose locating the remand centre at the selected site[18] and Burnaby City Council issued a resolution stating their opposition.[19] While the incumbent MLA Nuraney defended it,[20] BC Solicitor-General John van Dongen announced the site selection would be re-considered with the advice of Metro Vancouver.[21] In the general election, in May 2009, Corrigan defeated BC Liberals candidate Nuraney and BC Green Party candidate and retired business consultant Bruce Friesen,[22] though the BC Liberals won a renewed majority government, with the NDP as the official opposition.

As the 39th Parliament began, she was appointed to the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts in all four sessions. NDP leader Carole James assigned Corrigan to be the critic for the 2010 Winter Olympics and ActNow BC, opposite Mary McNeil who was Minister of State for the Olympics and ActNow BC. Corrigan would later add critic for women's issues to her duties. On Olympic issues, she criticized the provincial government for planning to spend $30 million in bonuses for VANOC employees,[23] though only half that was delivered due to a budget shortfall,[24] and $1 million for tickets for MLAs and their guests while at the same time asking for lowering spending budget due to the 2008 recession.[25] When the government claimed the Olympics had cost $925 million, which was $325 million over budget, Corrigan estimated that the actual cost was closer to $1.2 billion if indirect expenses, such as upgrades BC Place Stadium and the SkyTrain system, and the expenses associated with the 650 public service employees that were reassigned to the games, were factored in, and that VANOC should not have reported a balanced its budget with government transfers and crown sponsorships claimed as revenue.[26][27][28][29] She also asked for provincial and federal government advocacy directed at VANOC and the IOC over their decision not to include females in the ski jumping event.[30] Along with neighbouring NDP MLA Raj Chouhan, she co-wrote letters to editors participated in public events targeted at opposing the Harmonized Sales Tax.[31][32][33]

In Fall 2010, as an NDP caucus revolt unfolded, Corrigan remained loyal to party leader Carole James.[34] When Norm Macdonald resigned as caucus chair in protest of James' leadership, James assigned Corrigan to that position.[35] After attempts at reconciliation within the caucus failed and James resigned as leader,[36] Corrigan called the loss upsetting and sad.[37] Interim leader Dawn Black reassigned Corrigan to be their critic on Public Safety and Solicitor General. While both Kathy and Derek Corrigan were cited as being viable candidates[38] in the subsequent BC NDP leadership election, both declined and, in January 2011, endorsed John Horgan.[39] After Adrian Dix won the leadership election, he kept Corrigan in her role as critic on women's issues and on Public Safety and Solicitor General.[40] She linked an $8 million cut to the court system in 2011, with the $6 million payment for legal fees to defend Dave Basi and Bob Virk in the BC Rail corruption case.[41] She advocated that the province should cover the full costs of the 2011 Stanley Cup riot review, rather than cost-sharing with the Metro Vancouver municipalities[42] and sought to have the Legislative Assembly join Ontario and Quebec in lobbying the federal government for funds to implement the proposed Safe Streets and Communities Act.[43][44] Corrigan challenged the Minister of Social Development, and Burnaby-Lougheed MLA, Harry Bloy over cuts to Community Living BC after a Burnaby family, with a son living with autism and Down syndrome, who had their support withdrawn sought help from Corrigan's office.[45][46] She also had a dispute with Christy Clark who had referred to a female NDP MLA as part of the NDP's "women's auxiliary", in reference to Clark's belief that the party did not allow women to speak on substantive issues in the Legislative Assembly, but which Corrigan found to be disrespectful towards the women in the NDP caucus.[47]

Electoral history[edit]

British Columbia general election, 2013: Burnaby-Deer Lake
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic Kathy Corrigan 8,189 48.48
Liberal Shian Gu 7,286 43.13
Green Richard (Rick) McGowan 1,417 8.39
Total valid votes 16,892 100.00
Total rejected ballots 168 0.98
Turnout 17,060 48.03
Source: Elections BC[48]

British Columbia general election, 2009: Burnaby-Deer Lake
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
New Democratic Kathy Corrigan 8,103 48.75 $92,681
Liberal John Nuraney 7,591 45.67 $116,999
Green Bruce Friesen 928 5.58 $1,633
Total Valid Votes 16,622 100
Total Rejected Ballots 156 0.93
Turnout 16,778 48.65


  1. ^ a b c d Moreau, Jennifer; Pat Tracy (September 13, 2008). "Burnaby's power couple; An up close and personal look at Derek and Kathy Corrigan". Burnaby Now. pp. 1, 11. 
  2. ^ a b c Granger, Grant (May 8, 2009). "Burnaby-Deer Lake Election PROFILE: Kathy Corrigan". Burnaby News Leader. p. 5. 
  3. ^ "Detailed results from the Lower Mainland and key communities throughout B.C". The Province. Vancouver. November 21, 1999. pp. A12. 
  4. ^ "Local Election Results 2002". The Province. Vancouver. November 18, 2002. pp. A9. 
  5. ^ Granger, Grant (November 23, 2005). "ABCs oust Redman from school board seat". Burnaby News Leader. p. 3. 
  6. ^ Fontaine, Paul (December 20, 2006). "Corrigan to lead board". Burnaby Now. p. 10. 
  7. ^ Myers, Christina (October 30, 2004). "Centralization opposed". Burnaby Now. p. 8. 
  8. ^ "Board seeks improved support". Burnaby News Leader. February 17, 2006. p. 6. 
  9. ^ Myers, Christina (November 21, 2006). "School board member opposes P3 plans". The Vancouver Sun. pp. B2. 
  10. ^ Thomas, Mia (September 15, 2002). "Sorry, no politics, we're trustees". Burnaby Now. p. 1. 
  11. ^ Thomas, Mia (September 22, 2002). "Sahota school squabble continues". Burnaby Now. p. 3. 
  12. ^ Hilborn, Dan (February 25, 2006). "The other Richard Lee backs Kathy Corrigan". Burnaby Now. p. 3. 
  13. ^ "Kathy Corrigan to leave Bby board". Burnaby News Leader. April 18, 2008. p. 3. 
  14. ^ Granger, Grant (April 29, 2008). "Kathy Corrigan to seek NDP nomination". Burnaby News Leader. p. 1. 
  15. ^ Larsen, Brooke; Jennifer Moreau (October 25, 2008). "Corrigan is NDP's choice for provincial race". Burnaby Now. p. 10. 
  16. ^ Spencer, Kent; Lora Grindlay (May 13, 2009). "Hotly contested Deer Lake campaign dominated by prison politics". The Vancouver Sun. p. A7. 
  17. ^ Granger, Grant (November 25, 2008). "Burnaby a prime provincial battleground". Burnaby News Leader. p. 6. 
  18. ^ Chow, Wanda (February 21, 2009). "NDP hosts prison meeting". Burnaby News Leader. p. 8. 
  19. ^ Tracy, Pat (February 7, 2009). "Prisons and politics: A fascinating mix". Burnaby Now. p. 6. 
  20. ^ Ward, Doug (March 9, 2009). "Candidates spar over controversial Burnaby prison plan". The Vancouver Sun. p. A3. 
  21. ^ Hunter, Justine; Frances Bula (March 25, 2009). "Province steps back from Burnaby prison plan". The Globe and Mail. p. S1. 
  22. ^ Larsen, Brooke (January 17, 2009). "Greens eye running in Deer Lake". Burnaby Now. p. 3. 
  23. ^ Fowlie, Jonathan (October 16, 2009). "Vanoc staff to get $30m in bonuses after Games". The Vancouver Sun. pp. A1. 
  24. ^ Mickleburgh, Rod (January 28, 2011). "Critics lambaste VANOC over bonuses shortfall". The Globe and Mail. pp. A7. 
  25. ^ Myers, Christina (October 28, 2009). "Ticket deal ruffles NDP feathers; Minister for Olympics defends the $1 million purchase as part of official hosting business". Burnaby Now. p. 1. 
  26. ^ Matas, Robert (July 10, 2010). "Games tab under $1-billion". The Globe and Mail. p. A5. 
  27. ^ Petti, Fong (July 10, 2010). "B.C. taxpayers' Olympic cost: $925 million: World turmoil, high temperatures drove up cost from original estimate of $600M, says minister". Toronto Star. p. A4. 
  28. ^ Inwood, Damian (July 11, 2010). "Critics slam gov't over cost of Olympics; Say taxpayers misled because bill doesn't include costs of venues and infrastructure upgrades". The Province. Vancouver. p. A17. 
  29. ^ Mickleburgh, Rod (December 18, 2010). "VANOC budget balanced, audit reveals". The Globe and Mail. p. A26. 
  30. ^ Inwood, Damian (July 12, 2009). "NDP urges Olympic protest; Judge says IOC, not VANOC, in charge of sports". The Province. Vancouver. p. A13. 
  31. ^ Corrigan, Kathy; Raj Chouhan (July 1, 2011). "NDP MLAs: Scrap HST". Burnaby Now. p. 7. 
  32. ^ Lau, Alfie (September 9, 2009). "Local MLAs hold HST protest". Burnaby Now. p. 8. 
  33. ^ Myers, Christina (March 17, 2010). "Tax plan debated". Burnaby Now. p. 12. 
  34. ^ Fowlie, Jonathan; Doug Ward (December 3, 2010). "James calls out critics, sets stage for showdown". The Vancouver Sun. p. A1. 
  35. ^ Fowlie, Jonathan (October 16, 2010). "NDP caucus chair resigns over Simpson expulsion". The Vancouver Sun. p. A2. 
  36. ^ Mickleburgh, Rod (December 6, 2010). "Reconciliation in the works over provincial NDP leadership". The Globe and Mail. p. S1. 
  37. ^ Moreau, Jennifer (December 8, 2010). "City MLA upset by resignation". Burnaby Now. p. 1. 
  38. ^ Moreau, Jennifer (December 11, 2010). "Julian eyeing provincial NDP; Burnaby-New West MP considering a run at B.C. leadership". Burnaby Now. p. 5. 
  39. ^ Moreau, Jennifer; Janaya Fuller-Evans (January 22, 2011). "Corrigans throw support behind Horgan". Burnaby Now. p. 1. 
  40. ^ Bailey, Ian (April 27, 2011). "Dix's shadow cabinet includes all of the dissident 'Baker's Dozen'". The Globe and Mail. p. S3. 
  41. ^ Chow, Wanda (February 16, 2011). "Status quo B.C. budget not good enough: Corrigan". Burnaby News Leader. p. 1. 
  42. ^ Spencer, Kent (August 30, 2011). "Clark accused of breaking riot vow; NDP blasts premier for asking municipalities to pick up probe tab". The Province. Vancouver. p. A3. 
  43. ^ Moreau, Jennifer (October 26, 2011). "Crime bill could be costly: MLA". Burnaby Now. p. 11. 
  44. ^ Palmer, Vaughn (November 3, 2011). "Liberals outflank NDP on crime and punishment". The Vancouver Sun. p. A3. 
  45. ^ Fuller-Evans, Janay (May 20, 2011). "Burnaby family at centre of MLAs' debate". Burnaby Now. p. 5. 
  46. ^ Chow, Wanda (May 24, 2011). "Disabled youth left high and dry by CLBC: MLA Corrigan". Burnaby News Leader. p. 5. 
  47. ^ Fowlie, Jonathan (October 27, 2011). "Clark dubs NDP women 'auxiliary' in bid to highlight inequality; MLA Kathy Corrigan says premier's remarks were 'sexist, offensive'". The Vancouver Sun. p. A13. 
  48. ^ "Statement of Votes - 40th Provincial General Election" (PDF). Elections BC. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 

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