A track record of accomplishment and leadership.
Derek was born in Vancouver and attended Sir Charles Tupper High School. He met his wife Kathy at law school and they married in 1976. In 1977, they moved to Burnaby, where Derek was employed as an articling law student. Kathy and Derek have four children – Sean, Darcy, Patrick and Kelsey.
As Derek was building a law practice with classmates from UBC, he and Kathy became involved in West Burnaby Parent Participation Playschool, South Burnaby Metro Club and Nelson School.
During the eighties, Derek began working with the Burnaby Citizens Association, culminating in the overwhelming victory led by Bill Copeland in 1987.
The 1990s were years of tremendous change and progress in Burnaby. Metrotown exploded with new growth, parks were added, community facilities were built and business found a welcoming environment in the center of everything.
Back at the Corrigan household, Kathy chaired the Parent Advisory Council and coached ringette, while Derek coached soccer and worked as both a lawyer and a Burnaby City Councillor. The Corrigan children were involved in almost every sport imaginable and there was still time for memorable camping trips every summer. Weekends were a model of organized panic, trying to get everybody to all their obligations, attend community events, and do all the necessary household chores.
In 1991, Derek took over from Bill Copeland as the GVRD Representative for Burnaby and was soon appointed to the Executive Committee. In 1994, Derek was appointed by then Premier Mike Harcourt as Chair of BC Transit, responsible for all public transit systems in British Columbia, including the Lower Mainland. During his three years of service, BC Transit was named as the Best System in Canada (1995) and the Best System in North America (1996). Derek remains very proud of the successes achieved by BC Transit workers during this period and he is particularly pleased to have introduced the 99B articulated bus line during his tenure. That innovation has stood the test of time and has been emulated by many other transit authorities.
Derek returned to the GVRD in 2000 and subsequently served as Chair of the Water Committee and most recently as Chair of the Regional Planning and Agriculture Committee. (As a point of interest, Derek is credited with proposing the name change from GVRD to Metro Vancouver!) He is recognized region-wide for his knowledge and leadership on transportation issues and has been a fearless critic of poor transportation decisions and the wasteful spending of tax dollars. On the other hand, Derek is also known for his devotion to regional planning and as an advocate for an environmentally sustainable future.
After leaving his role with BC Transit, Derek was invited to join the very successful law firm of Lindsay, Kenney in downtown Vancouver where he practised labour law for the next five years.
In 2002, Derek was elected to his first term as Mayor of Burnaby and re-elected in 2005, 2008 and 2011. This year marks his 27th consecutive year as a member of Burnaby Council where he brings the history and heritage of more than a quarter century of public service to every important decision.
In his roles as Mayor and Councillor, Derek has led the economic, social and environmental development of our city. He has the trust and respect of City Councillors and he helps Burnaby’s Council to work together to bring creativity and innovation to city business. There is no question about his dedication to Burnaby – he passionately cares about the future of our city.
Derek has also served for four years as an elected director of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and he currently serves as a Trustee of the Municipal Finance Authority of BC. On an international level, Derek has been an active supporter of the Mayors for Peace movement and has served as the Canadian Secretary for the 3,793 member cities. He has also received a special recognition award for his participation in the United Nations Nuclear Non-Proliferation Conference.
Derek and Kathy’s family are now grown and developing their own careers. Like most Burnaby families, the Corrigans have been part of their community and the community has helped raise their children. Kathy has recently retired as the MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake and Derek is now serving his fifth term as Mayor and brings his wealth of experience, commitment and knowledge to the job.