children playing

Port Coquitlam council reverses rejection of child-care facility

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
'There were comments that have no basis in reality,' mayor said about public hearing that led to rejection
McElroy, Justin
Publication Date: 
25 Oct 2023


Council in Port Coquitlam, B.C., has reversed its decision on a 65-unit child-care facility on a residential street, two weeks after it rejected the application following a contentious public hearing.

"It's perhaps a little messy, but it's the way the system works," said Mayor Brad West, who missed the original meeting where the rezoning plan was rejected, and used his powers under the Community Charter to ask for a reconsideration of the vote.


The city's original rejection attracted plenty of attention, including from the provincial government.

"The decision by Port Coquitlam is disappointing," said Minister of State for Child Care Grace Lore. 

"We don't have plans at this time to legislate [child-care requirements], but we're continuing to ask municipalities to come to the table to … make sure we're getting child-care spaces built."

Most B.C. daycares 100% full

The creation of licensed subsidized child-care spaces requires several layers of government: the province is responsible for funding and health authorities are responsible for licensing, but cities are responsible for approving spaces as being permissible for child-care use. 


Vancouver city council asked staff in late 2022 to work to harmonize its child-care requirements and design guidelines with the province so spaces could be approved at a quicker pace, a change they are still waiting for. 

But Klassen believes the backlash to both the original Port Coquitlam decision and a staff decision to reject a child-care facility next to a park in Vancouver show a changing mood on what the public feels is appropriate for local government to regulate in the child-care sphere. 

"I think that the mood has changed in the public and that's because there is such a huge shortage of childcare spaces," he said.