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Mary Pynenburg
Former Director of Planning
City of New Westminster, BC

Born in Perth, Ontario, in 1956, Mary Pynenburg is the seventh of eight children, and grew up on the farm owned by her parents. She graduated from Carleton University in 1979, receiving a Bachelor's degree in Architecture, and completed her Masters of Planning from the University of Ottawa in 1984. Mary is a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Canadian Institute of Planners.

Before taking the position of Director of Planning, City of New Westminster , Mary had worked in Canada , the U.S. , England and Saudi Arabia . She has worked for Public Works Canada, Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canadian Pacific Hotels, and architecture and design firms.

As Director of Planning, Mary demonstrated innovation in sustainability  through several planning initiatives such as freehold row house zoning and cluster housing that have since been sought by other municipalities. She was also instrumental in adaptive re-use of downtown former federal post office building conversion to municipal police building with condominiums above- an innovative combination that saved a heritage building, contributed to downtown revitalization and  accommodated the needs of local police service within budget. Other examples of innovations include visual enhancement of zoning bylaw and the Smart Growth checklist for projects needing variance or zoning  approvals.

Mary is passionate about urban planning and development issues, such as affordable housing and investment in urban infrastructure. Canada is 80% urbanized and Mary is working hard to be one the first people with planning and architecture training to advocate for urban issues in Canada’s parliament. She is on the Canadian Institute of Planners and Planning Institute of British Columbia organizing committee for the upcoming World Planning Congress in Vancouver in June 2006. She was a key advisor for the startup, and then a guest lecturer for, the Urban Design program at Simon Fraser University. She also contributes as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Langara College Applied Planning program.

Mary is very active as a community volunteer She is the former President of the New Westminster Rotary and continues to serve on the Rotary Board. She is also a member of the Massey Theatre Board and its finance committee. She is a member of the Hyack Festival Association and The Canadian Club (New Westminster and Fraser Valley). She is on the advisory committees for Community Futures/Enterprise Facilitation program and the Principle Centred Community Initiative.

Mary and her husband, Jacques Leger, live in the community of New Westminster.

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