Doug McCallum
Doug McCallum
SO WHAT’S UP IN SURREY?: Things have been developing over the past many months in Surrey’s civic politics as various councillors and would-be councillors and mayoral hopefuls have been forming coalitions of various sorts and seeking advice – and anticipating Dianne Watts to announce that she will not run again as mayor.

Former mayor Doug McCallum (see photo), who got his butt kicked good and proper by Watts, plans to run for councillor, it’s rumoured, and former MLA Brenda Locke told me this week that she will run for councillor, too. Right now she regards herself as an independent.

There are rumours that a group is forming to oppose the Surrey First slate. Both Councillor Linda Hepner – with the backing of Councillor Tom Gill – and Councillor Bruce Hayne want to be the next mayor.
The NDP guys are believed to be pressuring MLA Bruce Ralston to run for mayor, but they say he’s not keen about it.

Barinder Rasode, who’s quit Surrey First (no surprise really – and a good, courageous move), will also in all probability announce she’s running for mayor once Watts announces she’s moving out. Watts has had family problems, too, I believe.

The scene in Surrey is getting more and more interesting – but, as Shrek said to the donkey in one of the Shrek movies, “Change is good, donkey”!


DON’T TAKE THINGS FOR GRANTED, FEDERAL LIBERALS!: Things can change faster in politics than the weather in B.C. You know what happened to the NDP less than a year ago. And you saw how the Liberals thrashed the Parti Quebecois in Quebec just the other day. Yes, true, the Liberals under Justin Trudeau have managed to remain Number One in spite of all Trudeau’s blunders and the viciously negative, personal attacks on him by the Harper Conservatives. But the latest Nanos poll shows that on the question of preferred Prime Minister, Stephen Harper is ahead of Trudeau and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. As Nanos noted: “Thirty percent of Canadians preferred Harper as PM, followed by Trudeau at 28 percent and Mulcair at 20 percent. Over the past three weeks, the trend line on the preferred PM front has favoured Harper over Trudeau.”

Nanos also said that its Party Power Index Scores were relatively unchanged over the past week: the Liberals registered 55 points out of 100, the Conservatives 50 points, the NDP 49 points, and the Green Party 33 points.

“When measuring the potential maximum vote for each of the parties, the Liberals still have the largest accessible pool of voters. Fifty percent of Canadians would consider voting for the federal Liberals (39 percent would not consider voting Liberal and 12 percent were unsure). Forty percent of Canadians would consider voting for the federal NDP, 39 percent of Canadians would consider voting for the Conservatives, and 27 percent would consider voting Green.”

So the NDP is still very much in the run, apparently because of Mulcair’s terrific pummelling of Harper day in and day out on a raft of issues in a calm, dignified manner. Trudeau can learn a lot from Mulcair.


WIFE KILLER MUKHTIAR PANGHALI HAS TO COUGH UP MORE THAN $500,000: Mukhtiar Panghali, a physics teacher at Surrey’s Princess Margaret secondary school, killed his pregnant wife, Manjit, a school teacher at Surrey’s North Ridge elementary school, in October 2006. Manjit’s brother Tarminderpal Singh Basra and sister Jasmine Kaur Bhambra, as administrators of Manjit’s estate applied for an assessment of damages on behalf of the victim’s 10-year-old daughter, Maya, under the Family Compensation Act. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Punnett ordered Mukhtiar Panghali to pay as follows: “Past loss of dependency: $54,700; future loss of dependency: $165,000; past loss of household assistance and childcare: $129,000; future loss of household assistance and childcare: $172,000; loss of guidance: $35,000; public guardian and trustee fees of $58,600.”

Full judgment at:


SOUTH ASIAN HOCKEY DAD LOSES IT!: Hockey dad Terry Mukhtiar Singh Litt, 57, of Burnaby is in deep doo-doo after a locker-room incident at North Vancouver’s Karen Magnussen Arena that led to him being charged with threatening a 10-year-old player on his son’s Atom A# Burnaby Winter Club rep team. The team lost 5-3 to a North Vancouver team on February 21. Litt is reported to have gone to the dressing room and verbally assaulted and threatened the player.

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