FORMER Surrey mayor Doug McCallum on Monday finally announced his intention to run again for mayor, choosing the backdrop of the former City Hall for his press conference.
He said he was inspired to put his name forward by four key issues – crime, fiscal responsibility, transit and electoral reform. He classified the coming four years as critical to building a prosperous future for the City of Surrey.
“With such rapid growth, Surrey requires decisive leadership to tackle some very difficult issues,” said McCallum. “People are feeling unsafe in their neighbourhoods, spending and debt is out of control, transit services are severely lacking, and a ward system that would help cultural and regional representation on City Council has never been seriously considered. The time for action is now.”
McCallum offered a number of statistics that helped to confirm his decision to return to politics:
* The City of Surrey just established a tragic record, with homicides rising 127 per cent from 2012 to 2013.
* Between 2012 and 2013, the city’s debt rose by 40 %, or over $70 million.
* The City of Surrey will become BC’s largest city within a decade, will increase in population to 750,000, and yet has had no major infrastructure added since Expo 86.
* Ethnic minorities represent 52.6 per cent of Surrey’s population, but never has this diversity been proportionally represented on City Council.
McCallum said that he intends to make this campaign about the issues, and will present detailed policy proposals to address such glaring problems.
“I am motivated to offer immediate solutions that will give the people of Surrey a clear idea of the different candidates and our priorities, approaches and ability to make an impact,” said McCallum. “People have approached me for many months about these four issues, and I think that it is time to set priorities and put these concerns ahead of politics.”
Over the coming months, McCallum hopes to initiate healthy debate and an exchange of ideas in order to give people a real choice about how they want to move the city forward.
“I am humbled by the support and encouragement I have received from every corner of this great city, and I intend to live up to the expectations that come with a demand for experienced leadership.”