Surrey city councillor announces bid for mayor, promises to pause police transition from RCMP
VANCOUVER -- Surrey's municipal election is more than a year away but one city councillor has already announced she'll be running against the long-standing mayor for the top seat.
Brenda Locke announced her candidacy Thursday, saying she'll run against Doug McCallum under the Surrey Connect banner. McCallum was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018 and was the city's mayor between 1996 and 2005.
Locke said she's hoping for a change in the city and promises to put the brakes on Surrey's transition from the RCMP to a municipal police force.
"Changing police departments in the middle of a deadly pandemic, a deadly drug crisis and deadly gang wars is just irresponsible," Locke said in announcing her bid for mayor.
"Surrey Connect will not, does not and cannot support this folly of a plan."
Also running under the banner of Surrey Connect is Coun. Jack Hundial, who spent 25 years as an RCMP officer.
Both Locke and Hundial used to be part of McCallum's Safe Surrey Coalition, but left in 2019.
At the time, Hundial pointed to issues with the transition from the RCMP and the cancellation of a public safety committee. Locke expressed similar concerns and said she felt unable to advocate for the interests of Surrey residents.
"I ran as part of a coalition, but it’s become obvious that Mayor McCallum has a my-way-or-the-highway approach to governing," Locke said back in 2019.
Surrey's next election will be in October 2022.
"Local government has so much potential to make a positive difference in the lives of residents. That is the very best part about it," Locke said. "We have to see a new vision for this city, we have to see new attitudes for this city."