SAFE Surrey Coalition’s mayoral candidate Doug McCallum and Council candidate Bableen Rana on Thursday said they were “gravely concerned that the City of Surrey and Translink are about to violate British Columbia’s Local Elections Campaign Financing Act.”
They pointed out: “In an internal memo sent to Surrey City council from their General Manager of Engineering, an “LRT communications plan” is laid out for September and October. It says the goal is to “earn and maintain support for the project with proactive, early, broad, regular and high-visible communications.””
McCallum and Rana are calling for that LRT Communications Plan to be released to them immediately. “There should be a proper and thorough review BEFORE any tax dollars are wasted,” they demanded, noting, “The SkyTrain versus LRT debate is at the heart of this election.”
They added: “It is not clear that the author of the communication strategy was even aware of British Columbia’s Local Elections Campaign Financing Act. It is also not clear that the act was even considered. The City of Surrey and / or Translink will have to register as Third Party Advertisers.
“Imagine this: the City of Surrey as a registered Third Party advertiser to promote the platform of the party currently in power. Their other option is don’t spend a penny – or any staff time.
“The preservation of impartiality of staff is in question here and the perceived interference by City and Translink raises serious concerns regarding bias and interference in the election.”