AS had been expected for months now, Surrey First announced on Wednesday that Gordie Hogg, former South Surrey-White Rock MP, who is also a former White Rock mayor and MLA, will be its mayoral candidate.
Surrey First also introduced three council nominees: current city councillor Linda Annis, Bilal Cheema and Mary-Em Waddington.
While Annis said that Hogg “will be a breath of fresh air at city hall,” most Surrey-ites reportedly feel that he is a has-been and look at his selection as a mayoral candidate as a sign of desperation by Surrey First that was virtually wiped out by incumbent Mayor Doug McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition in the last election.
Surrey-ites made it clear that they were fed up with the style of administration that former mayors Dianne Watts and Linda Hepner had afflicted on Surrey for years. In fact, the sole Surrey First candidate to win, Annis, succeeded only because she went against her own party on a policy issue.
Hogg said he sees three “big opportunities” for a new Surrey council, including giving Surrey voters the final say on police transition, more and better access to city hall, and the chance to make Surrey “an opportunity city” that provides prosperity and livability for residents, families and businesses.
But the fact is that the Province has made it clear that there is no going back on the Surrey Police Service and Surrey First is seen as being deliberately deceptive just to try and win over the pro-RCMP votes that mayoral candidate Brenda Locke also hopes to win over with the same deceptive strategy.
The other mayoral candidates so far are NDP MLA Jinny Sims and Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal.
However, McCallum still has his solid support in the City and Sims, Dhaliwal, Hogg and Locke will just be splitting the anti-McCallum vote.
McCallum has delivered on his key promises of a Surrey-Langley SkyTrain and Surrey Police Service and has thus won the trust of a solid segment of Surrey-ites in spite of all the malicious slander and propaganda against him.