Former BC Green Party leader Stuart Parker is with a new civic slate in Surrey dubbed Proudly Surrey. (Photo: Facebook)

New civic slate Proudly Surrey aims to offer ‘sharp, strong, left-leaning’ candidates

Former BC Green party leader Stuart Parker and Surrey resident Dean McGee announce candidacy for Surrey civic election

Another new slate has materialized for the Surrey civic election.

Called Proudly Surrey, the party launched its campaign and announced the first two of its candidates on Thursday (April 26) in Newton.

The two candidates are former BC Green Party leader and ex-BC NDP provincial council delegate Stuart Parker and Dean McGee, who is described in a release as a “local surveyor, church activist, husband, father and member of Surrey’s District Parent Advisory Committee.

Parker served as leader of the Green Party from 1993 to 2000. His Twitter bio describes him as president of leftist think tank Los Altos Institute, and a lecturer in Liberal studies at BCIT.

Parker’s website, stuartparker.ca, describes him as an historian, an author, as well as “an activist for social justice, ecological sustainability and electoral reform.”

It also states he is an an active NDP member and lecturer in history and international studies at SFU.

“We’re running a smaller, sleeker, more nimble state,” said Parker in a release. “We are not trying to be all things to all people. We’re just here to offer the people of Surrey a change to elect some sharp, strong, left-leaning candidates who will hold this government to account and propose radical yet pragmatic solutions to our city’s serious problems.”

McGee, who lives in the Fleetwood area, describes himself as a parent concerned about the lack of space and services for his young family.

“It is just not acceptable that the current government of Surrey won every single seat with less than 50 per cent of the popular vote and, worse yet, squandered that non-mandate bringing us no closer to affordable housing, functioning rapid transit or a fundamentally safer city after four years,” charged McGee in a release.

It notes McGee and Parker “will be joined by between one and three additional city council and school board candidates, three of whom have already been nominated.”

Those announcements are expected in May.

Meantime, two new slates – Surrey Community Alliance (SCA) and People First Surrey – have materialized in Surrey that intend to challenge the reigning Surrey First party in the Oct. 20 civic election.

Plus, a woman who fought tooth and nail to stop the City of Surrey from cutting down trees in Hawthorne Park also intends to run as a council candidate in the fall election.

Roslyn Cassells, who is a former Green Party park commissioner in Vancouver, took the City of Surrey to B.C. Supreme Court in January, citing SARA (Species at Risk Act) violations against endangered species in Hawthorne Park. She was unsuccessful in her bid when Justice T. Mark McEwan dismissed her petition to stop construction work.

Now, she said she hopes to effect change by shooting for a seat at the city’s council table.

Surrey voters will elect a new mayor this fall, following Mayor Linda Hepner’s April 11 announcement that she won’t seek re-election, citing a desire to spend more time with family.

At least five Surrey First councillors told the Now-Leader they’re eyeing a mayoral run, including Bruce Hayne, Tom Gill, Mike Starchuk, Dave Woods and Vera LeFranc, but are dispelling rumours there is a divide in the party.

Surrey First is expected to soon reveal a slate, including a mayoral candidate.

See more: Five Surrey First councillors now reveal interest in mayor’s chair

See more: SURREY ELECTION: With Hepner out, who is mulling a mayoral run?

Surrey voters head to the polls on Oct. 20.

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