Andrew Wilkinson: Renewed BC Liberal team ready to restore confidence, rebuild BC (updated)

South Asian candidates: Paul Boparai (Surrey-Newton), Gulzar Cheema (Surrey-Panorama), Dave Hans (Surrey-Guildford), Shaukat Khan (Surrey-Whalley), Jet Sunner (Delta North), Garry Thind (Surrey-Fleetwood)

THE B.C. Liberals say that following the NDP’s decision to trigger a risky pandemic election, a renewed and growing team of candidates with a diversity of backgrounds and experience is rallying around Andrew Wilkinson, ready to restore confidence and rebuild BC.

“Yesterday, John Horgan dissolved the BC Legislature and engineered an unnecessary and irresponsible early election. He is leaving British Columbians without a functioning government at a time when people needed leadership most,” said BC Liberal Leader, Andrew Wilkinson, on Tuesday. “Let’s be clear: John Horgan and the NDP’s decision to call this election, in the middle of a global pandemic, is nothing more than an irresponsible and cynical attempt to increase his own power.

“Today, I am excited to share our growing team of BC Liberal candidates who have put their names forward to deliver opportunity for all of BC. The depth of experience and diversity of voices in every corner of this province will provide British Columbians real choice in this election — to restore confidence and rebuild BC with a BC Liberal government.”

19 of the newest candidates:

  • Former Vancouver City Councillor and accomplished broadcast journalist George Affleck (Vancouver-Fairview)
  • Acclaimed geoscientist and executive ‘Lyn Anglin (North Vancouver-Lonsdale)
  • Financial planner and community sports advocate Paul Boparai (Surrey-Newton)
  • Family physician and former cabinet minister Gulzar Cheema (Surrey-Panorama)
  • Long-time newspaper publisher and financial services professional Lorne Doerkson (Cariboo-Chilcotin)
  • Local small business owner and energy sector professional Trevor Halford (Surrey-White Rock)
  • Professional engineer and Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society board member Dave Hans (Surrey-Guildford)
  • Local government public servant and dedicated community advocate Tanya Kaul (Cowichan Valley)
  • Long-time local non-profit organization operations director and agricultural small business owner Margaret Kunst (Langley East)
  • Financial industry executive and Pakistan Canada Association past president Shaukat Khan (Surrey-Whalley)
  • Former Olympian and Richmond City Councillor Alexa Loo (Richmond South Centre)
  • Entrepreneur and city councillor Chelsa Meadus (Maple Ridge-Mission)
  • Accomplished entrepreneur, philanthropist, and community leader Renee Merrifield (Kelowna-Mission)
  • Ladysmith city councillor and active community volunteer Duck Paterson (Nanaimo-North Cowichan)
  • Seasoned entrepreneur and CEO of an early childhood learning centre Alex Read (Vancouver-Hastings)
  • Gitxsan Hereditary Chief and lawyer Gordon Sebastian (Stikine)
  • RCMP staff sergeant and youth mentor Jet Sunner (Delta North)
  • Surrey school board trustee and realtor Garry Thind (Surrey-Fleetwood)
  • Oliver councillor, entrepreneur, and chamber of commerce president Petra Veintimilla (Boundary-Similkameen)

“As our province continues to face the challenges of COVID-19, we need real leadership more than ever. In the coming days, we look forward to showing people a better way forward, with bold ideas that we know British Columbians are looking for, presenting our vision for the next four years and seeking your support,” added Wilkinson. “It’s time to turn the page on three years of John Horgan and the NDP and get to work on writing a new chapter for BC. It’s time to restore confidence and rebuild BC.”


[All info provided by the candidates]

Garry Thind (Surrey-Fleetwood)

I care the most about bringing fresh ideas to the table. That one size fits all kind of thinking needs to be changed and we need to offer ideas and solutions based on the local realities of Surrey-Fleetwood.

Being a member of the Surrey School Board for the past six years, I understand the issues that we face in Surrey every day, whether it’s related to overcrowded schools, too many portables or underfunding for special needs children. I’m committed to advocating for proper funding for Surrey Schools.

My commitment to Surrey-Fleetwood residents will start with me being accessible to everyone. Through honest, respectful and open communication, we can accomplish the most difficult of tasks together. Together we can work towards creating a safe, inclusive and caring society for all.

As a resident of Surrey for over two decades, I have discovered that for a city like Surrey, with a young and growing population from around the world, engaged and active participation is a must. I am committed to being that representative for Surrey-Fleetwood. I am determined to fight for the resources that Surrey-Fleetwood needs and requires for the inevitable growth this region will see.

I have a passion for community service and have served on many boards and non profit organizations including being the Past President for the Rotary Club of Surrey, Pingalwara Society a non-profit charity where I have raised over $4.1 million since 2002.

I live in Surrey with my wife and three beautiful children.

Paul Boparai (Surrey-Newton)

My name is Paul Boparai and I am a proud member of the Surrey-Newton community. I have grown up in this community, worked in this community, and am now raising my two beautiful children in this community with my wife. In my younger days, I spent countless evenings and weekends playing soccer and field hockey; As an adult, I’ve made sure to stay as involved as I can in our local clubs by continuing to collaborate with the Surrey Lions Field Hockey Association, the Surrey Minor Ice Hockey League, Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen, and the South Asian Business Association in any and every way that I can.

After completing my high school diploma at Tamanawis Secondary, I attended BCIT to complete my undergraduate degree in Marketing Management and Advanced Business Studies; I have also completed the Certified Financial Planner Designation and the Chartered Life Underwriter Designation to compliment my degree. For the past 18 years, I have worked as an insurance and financial advisor and have continuously been recognized in the top 5% Canada-wide. During this time, I have also grown my business, PB Wealth Management, and built enduring community relationships.

Running to be your MLA for Surrey-Newton has been a lifelong dream and a dream that I am focused on actualizing. For the past three years, the NDP in this riding have remained silent on several important issues. The lack of transparency with the people of Surrey-Newton, on the decisions being made in Victoria is unacceptable; this is something I plan on changing. The community deserves a representative who is accessible, ready to listen, and most importantly voices the concerns of his constituents where it matters.

Surrey-Newton has my heart. The people of this community are my team and I plan on working with all of you to bring forward the change we deserve.

Shaukat Khan (Surrey-Whalley)

My name is Shaukat Khan and I have been living in Surrey since 2003. I emigrated from Pakistan with my family in 2000.  My wife Mariya and I have been blessed with three beautiful children–one daughter and two sons. I completed my first Master’s degree from Pakistan in 1998 and then completed my MBA from Alberta in 2015.

Since I’ve been in Canada, I have been associated with the banking and finance industry. I started my career from an entry-level position and moved through the ranks to senior leadership and executive positions in retail banking. I worked throughout the Fraser Valley for most of my career. During my career, I have been fortunate to work with incredible, dedicated, smart, and hardworking people in multicultural teams and organizations.

I have served as President of Pakistan Canada Association over the past three and a half years, a large community based non-profit organization. I am an annual participant of community initiatives such as the Canadian Cancer Society’s Run for the Cure.  I am a proud member of the South Asian focus group for BC Children’s Hospital Cancer Foundation and have been involved in Tree Day Campaigns across Surrey.

My passion for community and public service encouraged me to put my name forward for this election under the BC Liberal Party banner. This will enable me to continue my journey of giving back to the community and ensuring Surrey-Whalley is a place to live and work for people of all walks of life for generations to come. I believe in a society where everyone is equal and respected, can live freely, and has an equal chance at the opportunities this great province has to offer. I will champion diversity and that includes the underprivileged and people with disabilities.

I want to serve as your MLA, a MLA who listens and connects with the community on a regular basis and works diligently to make Surrey-Whalley a better and safer place for all. I am committed to making our neighborhoods safer and ensuring responsible development in the core.

Gulzar Cheema (Surrey-Panorama)

My name is Gulzar Cheema and I’m your B.C. Liberal candidate from the riding of Surrey-Panorama, where I not only live with my family but also have been operating my medical practice for over twenty-five years. I am also a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia.

After studying medicine in Punjab, I moved to Canada and worked towards my license to practice medicine.  Before moving to British Columbia in the early 90’s, I lived and raised my family in Manitoba, where I worked as a doctor and then served five years as a member in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

During my previous tenure as a Surrey MLA, I was appointed the first Minister of State for Mental Health in British Columbia.  It was a portfolio I cherished and worked on passionately because of my experiences as a health care professional. I witnessed the destruction of individuals and families as a result of untreated mental health issues.

I am frequently called upon to discuss and bring awareness to health and wellness issues. I make it a point to ensure mental health issues are given its proper attention through education and dialogue.

We need an experienced and credible voice that understands these issues and concerns to represent us in Victoria and that is why I have decided to put forward my name again to represent the good people of Surrey-Panorama.

My goal is to work together to make Surrey-Panorama a great place to live and work for families, like it used to be.  On October 24, I humbly seek your support to once again be your strong voice in Victoria.

Jet Sunner (Delta North)

Jet Sunner is a 28-year law enforcement veteran and a North Delta resident since 2005. He has served in the communities of Surrey, North Vancouver and Richmond, and currently commands Senior Operations for the Richmond RCMP entailing oversight over four watches and three units.

Jet has a passion for community and mentoring youth. He is the founder of Team Izzat, which is a group of police officers and university students who volunteer their time to connect with young people.

Jet has organized 12 annual basketball tournaments, assisted with building a playground and provided ongoing mentorship to students at high schools in Surrey and Richmond. Jet also believes in youth becoming involved locally through discussion and has organized various forums where local students present on issues important to their community.

Jet is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award as well as the Richmond Spirit Award for his dedication to youth engagement.  Jet was also recognized in the Vancouver Sun as one of the 50 most influential South Asians in the Lower Mainland.

In his free time, Jet can often be found spending time with this wife and three beautiful children in local parks playing soccer and tennis.