SURREY – Over next five week BC municipalities will be battlefield in democratic process of electing new municipal governments for new three year terms and choosing new or already established game plans for future expansion, development and advance of local communities and lives of every citizen living in this beautiful province on Canadian West Coast. In almost same time major coalitions and their opponents in two largest BC metropolitan areas kicked off their election campaigns hoping to retain in power or overthrow incumbent teams in effort to bring smiles and better standards in lives of citizens.
While in Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision Vancouver are in great danger to lose current positions, in Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and her Surrey First team are in quite good position to expect retain of power and continuation of majority work in upcoming term. Campaign road will not be easy because Mayor will face seven challengers and her eight member team for council seats will be faced with 20+ challenger brigade wishing to replace them and implement their own political and policy agenda.
Current leading coalition is starting new election campaign from Surrey`s Newton area hoping to continue work on behalf of citizens on already developed and started projects, but also on promises to continue work on several dozens projects which are in plans or delayed for decades due to inability to reach the deal with other municipal or provincial governments. Element of advantage in their quest will also be financial stability and growing political influence not only in Metro Vancouver area but also in the province of British Columbia, positive elements on Surrey First account in fight for votes will be success in building Surrey`s downtown area now represented in new City Central Library which will be accompanied by new City Hall and Convention center sometimes in 2013. Beside these facts Surrey`s position on business map of Canada as one of the most business friendly areas will be significant element in decision whom will continue to lead Surrey over next three years.
Surrey first team with Mayor Dianne Watts (Photo: E. Milavic)
According to their platform for this elections Surrey First main points of action will be:
- Safe streets, neighbourhoods and parks – ensuring that our police and firefighters have the resources they need to do their job.
- Greater access to public transit – people living in Surrey need to travel conveniently to destinations within our community and to and from other centres in the metro Vancouver area.
- Making Surrey a key generator of new jobs – In a competitive global economy and amid uncertain economic times, Surrey’s role as a regional job generator is critical.
- Tackling homelessness – we simply must help those who need assistance
- Keeping taxes low – it is important for those in government to spend tax dollars wisely and understand that we need a strong local economy that creates good jobs for families in our community.
- Enhancing the diversity of our community – one of Surrey’s greatest strengths is its diversity and we need to build on the skills, experiences and perspectives of the residents from the many cultures which enrich the fabric of our City.
- Sustainable growth – Surrey is a vibrant, dynamic and diverse city. As Surrey continues to grow, we must balance the need to preserve farmland and green space while at the same time attracting new businesses to create good jobs close to home for our residents.
- Openness and transparency at City Hall – good policy results when the public is consulted and when decisions are made in the best interests of the community and not for select special interest
Great impact on Surrey First campaign will be comeback of the coalition leader and Mayor Dianne Watts into full strength and full recovery following severe injury sustained on vacation earlier this year, now fully recovered and ready to continue great work in changing Surrey to modern metropolis which will continue to be one of the most important regional players in all ways. On Saturday`s opening of the new campaign office Surrey First also presented new team member Surrey businessman and well known community worker, Bruce Hayne who`ll try to win a seat on Council on November 19th and put the Surrey First coalition in absolute majority on the Council in next term. On the Council ballot Hayne will be accompanied by incumbent Councilors Barinder Rasode, Tom Gill, Marvin Hunt, Judy Villeneuve, Barbara Steele, Mary Martin, and Linda Hepner.
In a same time for voters support on ballots for November elections Surrey First is bringing Surrey Frist Education team which will compete for Surrey Board of Education. On Edcuation ballot voters will be in chance to support Terry Allen, Pam Glass, Laurie Larsen, Reni Masi and Shawn Wilson.
As Mayor Dianne Watts pointed out on the opening of the campaign office Surrey First wants to continue leading Surrey in the best possible direction because this vibrant community is still growing and new standards will need to be set if current generations wants to keep new generation, Surrey`s current 1/3 of population is under 18 years of age, in the community and as strong work force. That`s why Surrey will continue to invest in education, infrastructure and jobs creation over next few years.