SURREY: Linda Hepner thrashes Doug McCallum and Barinder Rasode  




Linda Hepner is all pumped up after being elected mayor in Surrey on Saturday night. On the right are Mayor Dianne Watts and Councillor Judy Villeneuve.
Photo by Chandra Bodalia

LINDA Hepner will be the new Surrey head honcho – she easily beat both her rivals, garnering 43,109 votes – more than the combined votes of Doug McCallum (23,091) and Barinder Rasode (18,198).

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and Councillor Linda Hepner with the rest of the victorious Surrey First team.
Photo by Chandra Bodalia

Of course, it was nowhere near as spectacular as Surrey Mayor Dianna Watts victory in 2011 – Watts was reelected with a whopping 55,826 votes. Her nearest rival, Ross Buchanan, got only 6,267 votes, followed by Vikram Bajwa with 4,481 votes.

(The other mayoral candidates: Grant Rice – 1557 votes; John Edwards – 916 votes; Vikram Bajwa – 589 votes; John Wolanski – 387.)

Indeed, Watts’ support for Hepner definitely played a pivotal role in her victory and that of the Surrey First team. In fact, Councillor Tom Gill got MORE votes than Hepner!

In areas where the majority are South Asians, McCallum was clearly the favourite. But those votes could not compare to the deluge of white votes for Hepner especially from the Cloverdale area.

Quite clearly, from the results for councillors and school trustees, a South Asian candidate could win only on a white-majority slate.

All the incumbent Surrey First councillors got more votes than the new Surrey First candidates Dave Woods, Mike Starchuk and LeFranc.

Tom Gill

Tom Gill – 43923 votes

Judy Villeneuve

Judy Villeneuve – 41691 votes

Barbara Steel

Barbara Steele – 37588 votes

Mary Martin

Mary Martin – 37082 votes

Bruce Hayne

Bruce Hayne – 35359 votes

Dave Woods

Dave Woods – 34780 votes

Mike Starchuk

Mike Starchuk – 34107 votes

Vera LeFranc

Vera LeFranc – 31855 votes


Rina Gill got the ninth highest votes – but she was still more than 8500 votes behind Surrey First’s last candidate.

But the REAL story is that this election forced the three main mayoral candidates to really sweat it out over many important issues and saw a record number of South Asians get involved in the action with intense fervour for all three main candidates.

The results have also proved that the telephone poll of the Innovative Research Group poll was indeed FAR MORE ACCURATE than that of the online Insights West poll that said the race between Hepner, McCallum and Rasode was too close to call.

The Innovative Research Group – “the polling firm that successfully called close elections in Alberta and Ontario” – showed that Hepner was 16 points ahead of Doug McCallum. The company was hired by Hepner’s team.

600 respondents were asked who they would choose to be mayor:

* 48 per cent of decided voters would vote for Hepner

* 32 per cent would vote for McCallum

* 19 per cent would vote for Barinder Rasode

This doubled the lead reported in a poll by the same firm three weeks before that. The poll was considered to be accurate +/-3.99%.



Rina Gill –  23227 votes

Michael Bose – 23132 votes

Kal Dosanjh – 22534 votes

Justin Thind – 20351 votes

Beau Simpson – 16744 votes

Laurie Guerra – 15498 votes

Narima Dela Cruz – 15350 votes

Brian Young – 14904 votes

Brenda Locke – 13589 votes

Darlene Bowyer – 13525 votes

Maz Artang – 12220 votes

Merv Bayda – 11883 votes

Saira Aujla – 10237 votes

Jim McMurtry – 8229 votes

Stephen Gammer – 8129 votes

Cliff Blair – 7766 votes

Nav Dhanoya – 7341 votes

Tanvir Tanni Bhupal – 7200 votes

Gary Hoffman – 7003 votes

Martin Rooney – 6663 votes

Rita Elvins – 6405 votes

Fiona Dionne – 4813 votes

James Duncan – 4743 votes

Shawn Francis – 4738 votes

Rick Scorsese – 2908 votes

Obi Canuel – 2427 votes

Touraj Ghanbar-zadeh – 1169 votes





Laurie Larse – 49442 votes

Bob Holmes – 46142 votes

Shawn Wilson – 45931 votes

Garry Thind – 45424 votes

Terry Allen – 44047 votes


School Trustee Gary Thind

South Asian Garry Thind has been a resident of Surrey since moving from India more than 15 years ago. Garry is well known in the South Asian community for his dedication and hard work towards the non-profit charity Pingalwara where he has been involved since 2001. He is the current President for the Rotary Club of Surrey and is involved with other community charities and local sports organizations. Garry is an electronics and communications engineer by training and currently an active realtor with the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.



Gary Tymoschuk – 41517 votes

Jonathan Silveira – 21390 votes

Sukhy Dhillon – 18366 votes

Charlene Dobie – 17256 votes

Kirsty Peterson – 16072 votes

Balraj Atwal – 14630 votes

Bal Sabharwal – 14518 votes

Harman Singh – 13787 votes

Rayman Bhuller – 13255 votes

Patricia Enair – 12020 votes

Sara Sharma – 11333 votes

Rina Diaz – 10611 votes

Julie Tapley – 10362 votes

Forrest Smith – 9655 votes

Sikandar Hayat – 9547 votes

Niovi Patsicakis – 9212 votes

David Matta – 8164 votes

Nicole Joliet – 7062 votes


  1. Now that election over. I wonder if friends or soupporters of Doug Paji and Barinder will be inviting Linda over for dinner to discuss future business in Surrey.

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