REVIEW 2021: SkyTrain extension to Langley gets federal funding; Surrey Police Service officers on operational duties; UBC expanding presence in Surrey — Mayor Doug McCallum’s successes continue

2021 was a year of major successes for Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition party in spite of vicious, slanderous attacks – including a fake referendum that failed — by a raft of frustrated opponents hell-bent on sabotaging McCallum and his party who were democratically elected.

Here we will mention just three of their major achievements that the silent majority in Surrey are thrilled about even as the screeching minority gets increasingly hysterical.

The most outstanding achievement was garnering solid federal funding for the Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension in July. This was one of the three main issues that McCallum and seven of his Safe Surrey Coalition candidates won the civic election on – though three of the councillors shamelessly deserted the party once they got elected. But McCallum and the other councillors – Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton, Doug Elford and Laurie Guerra – stuck to their promises against what seemed to be impossible odds.

Every form of attack was launched against the Sky Train by McCallum’s opponents – and they were supported by a section of biased, corrupt and racist mainstream media whose influence has been greatly diminished by a robust ethnic media.

However, all the opponents were in a state of shock when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in July announced up to $1.3 billion in federal funding toward the Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension project. The Province of British Columbia and its partners will fund the remainder of the costs for the project.

The Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension project will support an area with a fast-growing population representing 25 per cent of the population of Metro Vancouver, help improve public transit accessibility for residents and businesses south of the Fraser River, connect more people to housing, employment, and schools, and encourage greater development around SkyTrain stations. The project will also create approximately 3,000 full-time, well-paying middle class jobs.


THEN there was the continuing successful building of the Surrey Police Service that is replacing the RCMP in Surrey – another major issue on which McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition won the election.

McCallum’s opponents were rattled when, at the end of November, Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards and Surrey Police Service Chief Constable Norm Lipinski announced that the first group of experienced police officers with the SPS would be assuming operational policing duties, following an orientation with Surrey RCMP that began on November 29.

Indeed, there is no going back – and sources in the provincial government tell us that there is no way that this process can be undone no matter who wins the civic election in 2022. As it is, authorities in the provincial and federal government have been disgusted at the abusive and threatening emails that they have been receiving from RCMP supporters over the past few years on this issue.

While the public can expect to see officers in both the RCMP and SPS uniforms responding to calls for service, all contact information and police station locations remain the same. The public will continue to report crime and suspicious activity to the Surrey RCMP non-emergency number at 604-599-0502 (911 for emergencies) or report online.

“Our top priority throughout this transition is and will remain public safety,” said Edwards. “Our officers have a long history of dedicated service to our community. We have a strong working relationship with Chief Constable Lipinski and SPS, and we share a commitment to keeping our community safe.”


AND the icing on the cake for McCallum and the Safe Surrey Coalition was the announcement that the University of British Columbia (UBC) was expanding its presence in Surrey with the $70-million purchase of a property in Surrey.

UBC Properties Trust has acquired a 135,000-square-foot property—currently home to the Grace Hanin Community Church—at the intersection of King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway. The site, which is located close to SkyTrain, Surrey Memorial Hospital and other community amenities, is anticipated to be a combination of residential and commercial space which will generate revenue to enable the construction of dedicated academic facilities.

McCallum noted: “The $70 million land investment by UBC is another indicator of Surrey’s rising prominence in the region. … This is a huge and exciting announcement for Surrey as I have always believed that top tier post secondary options should be easily accessible to our residents. I helped bring top tier post-secondary education to Surrey with the establishment of SFU’s Surrey campus … The City will be fast-tracking permits for this project to ensure this site is developed as quickly as possible.  Construction of the site will bring numerous well-paying jobs, and when completed, UBC will have access to the largest segment of university aged population in the province right here in Surrey.”


[For a review of our 2021 stories on South Asians, please read our print paper this weekend (January 1, 2022) that is now available, or you can check out the E-paper on this website.]