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Maple Ridge teacher and entrepreneur running for city council

Chhina pledges to donate first year’s salary to local non-profits if elected
Rajinder Chhina (Special to The News)

A man who has been a teacher, businessman and volunteer in Maple Ridge over the past five decades is running for city council.

Rajinder Chhina is the first candidate to have pledged to donate his first year’s salary as a councillor back to city charities.

He calls himself a proud resident of Maple Ridge, having lived here for almost 50 years. He graduated from Garibaldi Secondary School, then attended from UBC and SFU where he got degrees in geography and a certificate in education. Chhina also successfully obtained Building Code and Home Inspection qualifications from BCIT.

“I used my degrees and certifications to contribute to my community as a teacher, a children’s sports coach, a restaurant owner, a home builder, and as an avid volunteer,” said Chhina (prounounced ‘Sheena’).

The longtime Grade 7 teacher’s community service includes volunteering for Guru Nanak Free Kitchen, which is a non-profit charity providing meals to those experiencing food and housing insecurity. He completed the Tour de Cure for BC Cancer Research, and is currently on the steering committee for the new Men’s Shed in Maple Ridge, which will provide a meeting place for men.

Chhina was recently recognized for his good works as a recipient of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee Award.

“I believe my skill set and varied experience can contribute positively to Maple Ridge’s growth plans and vision,” said Chhina.

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He wants to bring positive change to the city, and his mandate includes:

• Lobbying the provincial government to build the East-West Abernethy Connector to expand and connect back to Lougheed.

• Amending ties with BC Housing to tackle the housing insecurity issues in Maple Ridge, including developing affordable housing.

• Promoting Maple Ridge as the site for a potential satellite campus for SFU, BCIT, or Kwantlen College.

• Donating his first year’s salary to causes in the community, including Salvation Army, Women’s Shelter, Men’s Shed, Food Bank, and the Rotary Club.

“I am a conscientious person who works hard, acts strategically, and pays attention to developing and empowering others,” he said. “I am ready to give back to my community and effect high-level change.”

He has a testimonial from former city councillor Cheryl Ashlie, who said: “I have known Rajinder Chhina to be devoted to both his family and his community. If he is elected to city council, I fully expect him to apply his strong work ethic, intellect and compassion for others to the role. And I am confident he will be a strong voice who will consider all of the facts and make decisions that are in the best interest of the majority. Maple Ridge will be well served by electing independent thinkers, such as Rajinder, to city council.”

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