SURREY (NEWS 1130) — The New Democrats have put on a dominant display in this election and that performance was particularly clear in Surrey.
Seven of the nine seats in the city are now NDP holdings, with former city councillor and firefighter Mike Starchuk bumping Marvin Hunt from Surrey-Cloverdale.
While the BC Liberals had pledged a referendum on the police transition, the NDP’s Jagrup Brar, who held his spot in Surrey Fleetwood, says the promise didn’t resonate with voters.
“This is a local government issue. And that’s how it should be,” he says.
“Our role is to basically make sure that we maintain public safety during this transition period. So that’s what we’re going to do,” Brar adds.
The Liberals said the referendum would have left the final choice in Surrey residents’ hands and allow citizens to be a part of the conversation.
But when the party initially made that pledge in early October, Surrey mayor Doug McCallum protested, saying the plan was a “done deal.”
Brar adds people in this community have other priorities.
“Public health at this point is of course at the top of the mind of people in Surrey,” he says, adding a new hospital in the city is in the works.
“We’re also extending SkyTrain, which is very important for some people to Langley, we’re building Pattullo Bridge, we’re also building a new medical school in Surrey.”
From 2004 to 2009, Brar was elected in the Surrey-Panorama Ridge riding and later was elected in Surrey-Fleetwood from 2009 to 2013, before Liberal Peter Fassbender defeated him. In 2017 Brar regained his seat from Fassbender.
“Now we have to start working … to make sure we deliver on those promises we made to the people of Surrey,” he says.
Meanwhile, despite some early indications Jinny Sims might have been in trouble, she’s held on in Surrey-Panorama for the NDP.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 60,000 out of about 720,000 people in B.C. in Surrey and White Rock have chosen to vote by mail. That means the final results are going to be delayed.
According to Elections BC, it could take up to three weeks to get the final tally.