Panel 2: Parents and Politics
Four elected officials from across the political spectrum and levels of government – each of them parents, champions for families, or both – will share their perspectives. What’s working and what’s not? How do we address and move past the all-consuming conversation about housing affordability and address other issues? What are the constraints to adopting policies that help young families? What are the barriers to electing young parents, and what can we do to lower them?
Dylan Kruger, Councillor, City of Delta
On October 20, 2018, Dylan Kruger became the youngest elected City Councillor in the history of Delta. Dylan comes with extensive experience at both the federal and provincial levels of government. He is passionate about protecting the environment, supporting local businesses, keeping young families and seniors in Delta, and making sure the next generation of Deltans are set up for success.
Dylan is a vocal supporter of the Delta Families First initiative, which promotes priority access to Delta’s parks and recreation facilities. As a result of this initiative, the City of Delta is the first local government in the region to offer an extensive free youth admission pass program. Dylan believes that local government should be accessible and accountable to everyone. He is a supporter of initiatives to make government more transparent and efficient. Respect for tax dollars is important, which is why Dylan has voted to keep taxes low and Delta debt-free.
Born and raised in Delta, you will often find Dylan walking around Watershed Park with his wife Katie or frequenting one of Delta’s outstanding local craft breweries. Dylan enjoys meetings with constituents and welcomes all residents to keep in touch with him via phone, text, or email
Melissa de Genova, Councillor, City of Vancouver
Elected in 2018 and 2014, Councillor Melissa De Genova has a long history of community and public service. She previously served as a Non-Partisan Association (NPA) Park Board commissioner from 2011–2014 and developed a passion for civic issues at a very young age. Councillor De Genova chose to run for City Council with the NPA for many reasons, including, adding the voice of a millennial to Vancouver government and to bring her experience in housing to create affordable and realistic housing solutions in our city, in light of the Vancouver’s housing crisis.
Councillor De Genova is a board director and gala chair for Honour House Society, a refuge for Canadian Forces, veterans, first responders, and their families to stay, while they receive medical care in Metro Vancouver. She is a past board director of Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre, and has also volunteered her time on boards and committees with several charitable organizations, including Odd Squad Productions and the Salvation Army’s “Hope in the Inner City” Gala in the Downtown Eastside. In 2016 Business in Vancouver named Councillor De Genova in Vancouver’s “Top Forty under 40” for her leadership in developing affordable housing.
In her professional life, Councillor De Genova is the director of development for the Vancouver Resource Society, a non-profit organization, where she leads initiatives to create and secure accessible housing for persons with disabilities. She also owns a marketing and event production company.
She holds a political science degree from Simon Fraser University and has in the past worked in senior management roles for many companies and organizations in both non-profit and private sectors.
Councillor De Genova is a strong advocate for seniors, working with both federal and provincial governments and the community to secure funding and move forward with a seniors centre in Southeast Vancouver.
Councillor De Genova lives in East Vancouver with her husband and their daughter. You are most likely to find Melissa at local community events or enjoying a walk in a Vancouver park.
Brad West, Mayor, City of Port Coquitlam
Brad West was elected as Port Coquitlam’s 16th Mayor in October 2018 and is a Board Member of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors and TransLink Mayors’ Council. Additionally, Mayor West is Vice-Chair of the Metro Vancouver Industrial Lands Strategy Task Force as well as the City Representative for the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Committee, Metro Vancouver Performance & Audit Committee, and Metro Vancouver Water Committee.
Brad lives in PoCo with his wife Blaire and son Liam. Becoming a Dad motivates Brad every day to make Port Coquitlam a place future generations will be proud to call home. With a young son, a mortgage and the costs of raising a family, Brad understands first hand the challenges facing many people in our community. He is in touch with the lives of regular people because he is one. Brad is a graduate of the University of Victoria, St. Francis Xavier University and recently completed a program in Leadership at Harvard University.
Raquel Dancho, MP, Conservative Critic for Diversity, Inclusion, and Youth
Raquel Dancho is the Member of Parliament for Kildonan – St. Paul – elected on October 21, 2019.
Raquel was born and raised in Beausejour, MB to four generations of Canadian farmers and small business owners, their hardships are apart of her DNA. Their lives were built on sacrifice, on struggle, on principles of personal responsibility and resiliency. Her lifelong passion for politics led her to Montreal where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at McGill University.
Raquel has worked in the Manitoba political environment for a number of years, including a successful career within the Manitoba Government. Her strong advocacy for Manitobans flourished in her capacity as the Executive Assistant to the Minister of Sustainable Development where she developed a system to more efficiently track, process and respond to constituent issues and concerns, which was adopted across the Manitoba government and works to better serve constituents every day.
Raquel served in the senior role of Special Assistant to the Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage and was instrumental in facilitating critical relationships between the Minister and historic arts and culture institutions across Manitoba. In this role, Raquel worked closely with senior government officials to further the government’s mandate of fiscal responsibility and effective public service. While she worked in Manitoba provincial politics, she closely observed what was happening to our country under Justin Trudeau’s government. She felt that she couldn’t sit by idly, she needed to join the fight. Now.
Currently, Raquel runs her own consulting business that provides policy research and web development services to the private sector. Her passionate spirit, knowledge of the mechanics of government and first-hand experience of serving constituents has made her a strong advocate for Manitobans. She looks forward to putting these skills to use if elected as the Member of Parliament for Kildonan – St. Paul.
When she’s off the clock, Raquel isn’t afraid of good, old-fashioned hard work and enjoys helping out on the family farm and making traditional homemade goods with her mother and grandmother. She enjoys volunteering her time emceeing at major PC events as well as fundraising, canvassing and outreach on behalf of the federal and provincial conservative parties and their candidates. Raquel and her fiancé, Scott, both reside in North Kildonan and are proud to call this wonderful community home.