About Our Local Government

Form of Government

Local government is the most accessible and responsive level of government, made up of local citizens elected by the community, which together form the City Council. Coquitlam City Council leads an organization that:

  • Believes in open and accessible government
  • Strives to improve the quality of life for all in Coquitlam through the efficient and effective delivery of City services
  • Is accountable to the community for leadership and good governance

All local governments in British Columbia are granted their powers by the Provincial Government. The legal framework and foundation for local government is set out in provincial laws called the Local Government Act and the Community Charter.


Local government provides and maintains the community’s basic essential services:

  • Clean water
  • Fire and police protection
  • Garbage collection
  • Libraries
  • Parks
  • Recreational facilities such as skating rinks, gymnasiums and swimming pools
  • Roads and sidewalks
  • Sewer systems
  • Streetlights

Local government also shapes the community through policies and land-use planning, responding to the community’s needs and planning for the community’s future. Local Governments have the authority to pass bylaws to:

  • Regulate such things as noise and land use
  • Buy and sell property
  • Collect certain taxes
  • Approve expenditures
  • Take on debts
  • Give grants

How Your City Works

The City provides a range of services including water and sewer, garbage and recycling collection and road maintenance, but it is also involved in strategic planning, growth management, recreation programs and facilities, and financial planning. How does the City manage to do all of this? A Mayor and Council, elected every four years, are responsible for setting the City’s policies in accordance with the terms outlined in the Local Government Act.

To put the policies selected by Mayor and Council into use, Mayor and Council are assisted by the City Manager. The City Manager reports to Mayor and Council and holds the task of implementing the policies set out by Council through various departments. In Coquitlam the City Manager oversees eight service areas:

These departments, in turn provide services such as water and sewer, recreation programs, road maintenance, fire and rescue services, planning, inspections and police services.

City of Coquitlam Coat of Arms

City of Coquitlam Coat of ArmsThe City of Coquitlam motto is:
The Spirit of the Rivers (is) the Strength of the People
On October 30, 1990, the coat of arms with this inscription was received officially at a ceremony held in the Council Chambers of Coquitlam’s old Municipal Hall.

The symbolism in the armorial bearings (the area between the two Clydesdale Stallions) signifies:

  • The wavy blue horizontal band across the middle of the shield is seen in two ways. As a single blue wavy line it represents the Fraser River and the gold wavy centre becomes a reference to the Gold Rush of the 1850s. It can also be seen as two wavy bars to represent the Pitt and Coquitlam Rivers with the gold centre becoming a symbol of prosperity.
  • The fleur-de-lys at the base of the shield is a reference to the French Canadian settlers who came to Maillardville in the early days.
  • The upper part of the shield - called the chief - is blue and on it is placed a five-leaved device known as a cinquefoil. In Scottish heraldry this symbol is called a fraise and is a pun on the name of Simon Fraser who came by in his canoe in 1808 exploring the river which bears his name. On either side of the fraise are two dogwood flowers, a reference to the Province of British Columbia and the symbol formerly used by the City of Coquitlam. The edge of the chief is crenellated like the rampart of a fort and is a reference to the Royal Engineers who had a fort in this region in the early days.
  • Above the helmet is the crest, in this case a coronet, the rim of which repeats the symbols found in the chief in the shield below.
  • The supporters on either side of the shield are Clydesdale Stallions. These horses were used by early settlers to clear the land of Coquitlam and to break the soil for the first farmers. The blue fraise on the shoulder of each stallion is to identify the horse as being uniquely Coquitlam’s.

The design of the coat of arms was done with the assistance of Mr. Graham Anderson, a Cowichan, British Columbia resident who is knowledgeable in heraldry. The artist who interpreted the heraldry design was Mr. Alistair Priestly of Port Moody, British Columbia.

City of Coquitlam Flag

The City Flag is a representation of the City crest in a rectangular flag format.