During last year election campaign numerous candidates for Mayor and for Council stepped up to expressed their care and concern about Surrey future. That care and concerned lasted shorter than political campaign fought at the end of November. Today some two months after election waste majority of those who fought for the place at the City Hall is back to silence and anonymity. Many of the would probably come back in four years to tell to community how much and how deeply they care for it. Being concerned and outspoken fighter for a community can not be part-time role, it must be full-time role 365 days a year with or without position at the City Hall.
Former mayors Doug McCallum and Dianne Watts haven’t spoke in public regarding Surrey situation or problems since election night. McCallum, often self-described “concerned citizen” went back to anonymity and missed several chances to call his opponent Linda Hepner to record and to challenge her actions as Mayor of Surrey. He hasn’t spoke in time when three Surrey teenagers lost their lives in just 8 days and his campaign was based on platform to ensure that Surrey is a safe city. He went back where he was in period from 2005 to 2014, to be voiceless “concerned citizen”.
In weeks following elections former Mayor Dianne Watts was acclaimed to be Conservative Party candidate in upcoming federal elections and probably readies her forces to fight another election battle just under a different banner this time. Also Mrs. Watts was named CEO of newly established The Health Tech Innovation Foundation which is a part of Innovation Boulevard run by the City of Surrey. This is for now temporarily position for Mrs. Watts who hopes to be elected as federal MP later this year in a pretty safe riding of South Surrey – White Rock. It is almost certain that Mrs. Watts will have a lot to say about Surrey during federal campaign, but Surrey residents should not expect to hear any critical tones from her aimed towards her successor and her Council.
Other high profile mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode, finished distant third in mayoral race, was also silent for a while on city issues and situation, but that should change soon. As per announcement from Fraser Health Authority and BC government announcement Mrs. Rasode joined Board of Directors. In that position Rasode will have a cahnce to speak and act on behalf of community especially in areas of hospice, mental health and Surrey Memorial Hospital which will be in focus of the City over the next few years. Mrs. Rasode also joined Resource Works, a non-profit society that researches the economic impacts of B.C.’s natural resource sector.
It is worth to mention that one of mayoral hopefuls who remained active on social media following elections is John Edwards who still discusses events with Surrey residents and expresses his opinions. Very vocal mayoral candidate Vikram Bajwa was gone back to anonymity even before election results arrived on night of November 15, and we might hear from him sometimes in late 2017 or 2018 just prior to the next municipal elections.
On the Council side of candidates group only two of more than 30 candidates are back to old positions where they can influence opinions and events in the city. Beau Simpson is one of them who went back to his old position of editor at The Now Newspaper, other si Darlene Bowyer who took back her position of Co-ordinator for Surrey Association of Sustainable Communities and a President of Port Kells Community Association.
Periodical political and community activity would never ever help this City to reach its full potential and abilities. Running for elected position and later going back to anonymity is not the best example of you as politician and someone who wants to be recognized as community leader. Be there or just stay away forever.