Paul McDonell

Paul has been instrumental in building partnerships that have advanced numerous successful initiatives throughout the City.


Paul McDonell, a tireless and dedicated community activist known to many as “Mr. Burnaby”, was first elected to City Council in 2008 and re-elected in 2011 and 2014.

Paul’s personal philosophy stems from being raised with a social conscience and he has been guided by the principle “Life is like a honeypot – if you need some, take it. If not, put it back.”

A Burnaby resident since 1964, Paul’s career as a Firefighter and Rescue Service Worker led to his extensive involvement in numerous community organizations over the years, including the Muscular Dystrophy Society and the United Way. Rising to leadership roles in both organizations, his contributions have been recognized with numerous awards.

During the past two decades, Paul’s desire to serve combined with his significant leadership skills led to his involvement with the Burnaby Parks Board, where he also served as Chair. Seeing a need in the community, he became involved with the Burnaby Health Board, focusing on what the Board could do to help advance important regional healthcare initiatives. In 1998, he became Chair of the provincial government’s Simon Fraser Health Board.

Through his community activism and in his role as a Burnaby City Councillor, Paul recognizes the success citizen involvement brings and the worthwhile partnerships that help guide the decision making process at the Council level. He knows the process of good decision-making isn’t always an easy one and appreciates the significant contribution made by hundreds of Burnaby residents as they participate by appearing before Council or being involved on one of Burnaby’s numerous citizen committees.

Paul has been instrumental in building partnerships that have advanced numerous successful initiatives throughout the City, including the Mural Program to help curb graffiti; assisted with the Eco-Sculpture Program and the subsequent involvement of high school students in their creation; the Edmonds Santa Claus Parade; the Edmonds City Fair that now includes the Classic Car Show; instrumental in the planning of the Burnaby hosted 2012 BC Senior Games.

Together with the BCA Council and strong citizen consultation and involvement, Paul’s determination continues to be directed at strengthening the community networks that have raised Burnaby’s reputation as an exemplary local and internationally respected City known for its liveability.

In January, 2014, Councillor McDonell was appointed to serve on the following Council Committees and as a Council Liaison or Representative

  • Audit Committee -Member
  • International Relations & Friendship Cities Committee- Vice Chair
  • Executive Committee of Council – Vice Chair
  • Finance & Civic Development Committee – Member
  • Community Policing Committee – Vice Chair
  • Mayor’s Task Force on Graffiti – Vice Chair
  • Social Issues Committee – Chair
  • Health Services Committee – Council Liaison
  • Seniors Committee – Council Liaison
  • District Community School Advisory & Coordinating Committee – Alternate Representative
  • Fraser Health/Municipal Advisory Council – Representative
  • Tourism Burnaby – Council Representative
  • New Vista Society – Council Representative
  • Local Court of Revision – Council Representative

Past Council Appointments

  • Chair, Social Issues Committee
  • Vice-chair, Community Policing Committee
  • Member, Traffic Safety Committee
  • Member, Executive Committee of Council
  • Member, Burnaby’s Social Sustainability Strategy Steering Committee
  • Mayor’s representative, Emergency Management Committee
  • Council liaison, B.C. Seniors Games
  • Vice-chair, Friends of the Games (fundraising for B.C. Seniors Games)
  • Council liaison, Health Services
  • Council liaison, Burnaby Seniors
  • Council representative, District Community School Advisory & Coordinating Committee
  • Council representative, Fraser Health/Municipal Advisory Council
  • Council representative (Director), Tourism Burnaby
  • Council representative (Trustee/Chair), New Vista Society
  • City representative, Burnaby Board of Trade Social Development Committee

In the community

  • Founding Member, Past-President, Burnaby Edmonds Lions Club
  • Member, Burnaby Board of Trade Task Force on Homelessness
  • Member, Edmonds Business & Community Association
  • Member, Mayor’s Task Force on Graffiti
  • Past-chair, Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission
  • Past-chair, Burnaby and Simon Fraser Health Authorities
  • Director (Past-Chair), United Way of the Lower Mainland
  • Past-Chair, Vancouver Firefighters Muscular Dystrophy Society
  • Chair, Edmonds City Fair
  • Chair, Edmonds Santa Claus Parade
  • Chair, Edmonds Murals Committee
  • Recipient, British Columbia Community Achievement Award
  • Recipient, Syd Thompson Community Service Award
  • Named Firefighter of the Year- Vancouver Junior Board of Trade Jaycees