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Former MLA, MP Gordie Hogg enters race to become Surrey mayor


Another candidate has entered the race to become the next mayor of Surrey.

On Wednesday, Gordie Hogg announced his bid for the top job under the banner of the Surrey First Party.

Hogg was the BC Liberal MLA for Surrey-White Rock for 20 years before trying his hand at federal politics. In 2017, he ran with the Liberal Party of Canada and was elected as the MP for South Surrey-White Rock. He ran again in 2019 and 2021, both times losing to Conservative Kerry-Lynne Findlay.

Linda Annis, the only city councillor currently representing the party founded by former mayor Dianne Watts, introduced Hogg at the launch event and in an accompanying statement. She touted his roots in the community and described him as a person of honesty and integrity, something she said would be a "refreshing change" at city hall.

Hogg took more direct shots at current Mayor Doug McCallum.

"When it comes to the election in October, the question for Surrey voters is clear: have you had enough yet, and do you believe we can do better, together?” Hogg write in a statement.

"Over the past four years Surrey residents have had a tough go of it as they witnessed one man’s destructive my-way-or-the-highway approach to governing."

The current mayor and his slate of councilors with the Safe Surrey Coalition have made a number of moves that have been slammed by critics – Annis among them – as undemocratic. Those have included a controversial bylaw on signs, abrupt ends to meetings and shutting down debate, and an attempt to suspend all new ethics complaints until after the 2022 election.

But the move to prohibit seven citizens from attending meetings was by far the most inflammatory. McCallum reversed the ban after it was challenged in court.

"When Surrey residents were banned from city hall by the mayor it made news right across the country, because that’s what you expect from politicians who have given up on democracy. We cannot let that ever happen again,” Hogg said, adding that part of his platform is "giving city hall back to the people."

McCallum is also facing a criminal charge of public mischief, something Hogg reminds prospective voters on in his announcement.

Many of these controversies can be traced back to disagreement over the move to replace the RCMP with a municipal police force.

Hogg describes the transition as "divisive," over-budget, and behind schedule – pledging to hold a referendum on the well-underway establishment of the Surrey Police Service.

“We will give people all the facts about costs so far and what it will cost to carry on, then let Surrey residents decide who will police their city," Hogg writes.

In addition to Annis, Hogg announced two other candidates running for council on the slate -- Bilal Cheema and Mary-Em Waddington. Hogg's statement says more candidates will be announced in the coming weeks. Top Stories


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