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‘I want to make things better,’ second-term Surrey councillor says

Mandeep Nagara says his background in business helps him in his work at city hall
Mandeep Nagra at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey. (Photo: Anna Burns)

This is the final in a series of profiles of Surrey city councillors elected on Oct. 15.

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Mandeep Nagra from the Safe Surrey Coalition was the eighth and final city councillor elected in Surrey last October, finishing with 24,406 votes.

This will be Nagra’s second term on the council. This term is different because the slate he ran under is no longer the majority on council. Nagra and Doug Elford are the only SSC councillors elected on Oct. 15.

Nagra, who has called Surrey home for more than two decades, grew up in Vancouver and moved to Surrey in the early 2000s. He lives in Panorama Ridge with his wife Rajpreet and their two boys, Aveer, 9, and Kabar, 4.

In his free time, Nagra enjoys spending time with his family. He also has deep appreciation for business, which is why he is continuing his education and is enrolled in an online business degree program.

Nagra’s love for business runs in the family.

His family owns the chain Fraserview Meats, as well as Scottsdale Lanes bowling in Newton. He is still involved in these businesses part-time. Nagra said his background in business helps him as a councillor. He says he spends much of his time on council helping people with their small business permits.

He feels he can relate personally to what people go through to get a business permit in Surrey, as he’s been through the process himself.

“There’s a lot of red tape that needs to be eliminated and we are working on it,” said Nagra, adding he wants the timeline to be weeks instead of months, especially for more minor permits like tenant improvements and single-family homes.

Nagra told the Now-Leader he is looking forward to tackling this issue with the new council.

Along with removing the red tape surrounding business permits, his other focus is bringing the Surrey Police Service to the city.

“I strongly believe that with Surrey, it’s time that we get our own police.”

Nagra said he believes Surrey having a municipal police force will help move the city move forward into a safe and violent-free environment.

He said a municipal police force is especially important considering the rapid growth Surrey has been experiencing for years.

“We need a model where we make decisions locally,” he said.

Nagra is incredibly proud of the walking tracks and soccer fields the city has built in the past four years. He hopes the new council will continue to build more sports facilities for families and children.

“I think these (sports facilities) are the number-one answer to ending drug and gang violence in Surrey,” said Nagra.

Nagra is especially concerned about South Asian youth’s involvement in gangs and drugs.

“I want to change things, I want to make things better.”

Finally, he wants to see Surrey become a city for families.

“Where everybody from different backgrounds, different religions, different cultures can live together with love.”

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Anna Burns

About the Author: Anna Burns

I cover health care, non-profits and social issues-related topics for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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