This year, despite the oxygen taken up by Vancouver’s municipal election, Surrey’s race is just as interesting — highly partisan, complex and crowded.
Six candidates for every available seat on Council, and eight mostly credible candidates for mayor.
And zero chance of Surrey First repeating its clean sweep of 2014, when Mayor Linda Hepner stepped in. It’s a tough act to follow. None of the candidates bring anything resembling Hepner’s experience and steady rise to power over the past 33 years — two decades as city staff, three terms as councillor, and now the mayoralty.
All this, right at the end mid-point beginning (?!?) of Surrey’s growth explosion; currently close to 550,000 people, the city tends to add the equivalent population of a Mission or Port Coquitlam every five years.
Thankfully, work on Phase 2 of the Mayors Plan for transit and transportation will bring a commuter rail system to Surrey’s bursting town centres; Hepner’s been fighting for light rail since her election in 2014, as the BC Liberal referendum plot brewed away in Victoria.
Despite the senseless delay, the plan is going ahead and the rail lines will be built — as will the new Pattullo Bridge. Just not on her watch.
Infrastructure is a funny thing that way. So are legacies — and Hepner has something to say about that. Read more »