Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)

Patton, Nagra, Guerra named directors of homelessness and housing society in closed meeting

The 11-member board was dissolved in June, also in a meeting that was closed to the public

Three Safe Surrey Coalition councillors were appointed as the directors of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society in a closed council meeting on June 29. This was after Mayor Doug McCallum decided to not elect a new board, during a meeting that was in-camera, or closed to the public.

Councillor Brenda Locke, who had been chairwoman of the 11-member board when it was dissolved, said at the time that the decision not to elect a new board to the society, which had been helping people since 2001, should have been discussed in open council.

READ ALSO: Surrey disbands homelessness society during closed meeting

READ ALSO: Surrey councillor wants ‘major’ accounting firm to review city’s land portfolio

The appointment of Councillors Laurie Guerra, Mandeep Nagra and Allison Patton as directors has since been posted to the city’s website.

homelessphoto

Guerra said Surrey’s mayor and council value the society’s accomplishments since 2007, and “the contributions of its committed volunteer directors over the years to build the organization that has funded so many valuable projects and programs in Surrey.

“We now wish to look at different governance options for SHHS to ensure the best possible delivery of funds and services to the community in Surrey,” Guerra told the Now-Leader. “Mayor and council are committed to continuing the legacy of good work carried out by SHHS over the years and at this time all we have changed is the directors.”

But Locke said she’s disappointed council “did not appreciate” the work that the volunteer board had done.

“They worked hard to ensure that there was equity in how the grants were provided,” Locke said. “There is just about $11 million in that fund that I think we’re going to have to ensure that it goes to where it’s meant to go.”

Vancity Foundation controls the money, she noted.

“It was directed by the society but it’s held by Vancity. So they have their work to do just to try and figure out what money goes where and how much was actually the city’s money initially that went into it because of course since that time there has been money raised by the society from people in the public, from corporations, there’s been lots of money raised by various entities.”

Locke said she doesn’t know why the board was disbanded as “it was never fairly explained to either myself or to our directors. I know that the mayor wants the money controlled in house, similar to what he did with SCDC.

“He said to me at the time he wanted it similar to the Green City Fund, that’s what he said. Well, that’s a big concern to me because we’ve just seen in this last round of discussions that some of the Green City Fund money is going into covering the losses for COVID, so that’s a concern to me,” she said last week. “This money was raised very specifically to support housing and housing initiatives in Surrey.”

McCallum said Monday the city won’t be”dipping” into that fund to cover pandemic-related losses.

Nagra told the Now-Leader he needed to get “more details” before commenting on the society’s next course of action. Former Surrey mayor Bob Bose remarked that Locke was probably ejected from the board because it’s “open warfare” on city council. “To dismiss the entire board and then appoint three members of council to it, I argue, is not supported,” Bose said.

City of Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey councillors wary of ‘streamlining’ environmental development permits process

Mayor Doug McCallum notes B.C. government only agency that can issue environment permit

White Rock Players Club productions up for CTC Awards

Three productions receive a total of 19 nominations

City buys century-old East Delta church

St. Stephen’s Church to be renovated and restored, used as community services and programming space

‘Best of Cloverdale’ contest returns

Voters can cast ballots once a day until Sept. 5; enter to win $250 gift card for Save-On-Foods

Oh baby, what a birthday gift: $2.8M raised to help Surrey boy with rare disease

‘We are very thankful to everybody,’ Aryan Deol’s father says

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

‘Huckleberry’ the bear killed after B.C. residents admit to leaving garbage out for videos

North Shore Black Bear Society said it was local residents who created a ‘death sentence’ for bear

Police investigating after insults, expletives yelled at federal minister’s staff

A 90-second video circulating on social media appears to have been shot by the person who was yelling

5 B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Lost dog reunited with family 3 months after going missing on remote B.C. trail

‘The poor thing was skin and bones,’ says one of its Vancouver Island rescuers

B.C. marine ecologist wants Canada to sink its teeth into shark protection

Gulf Islands scientist says top predator under shocking threat from human behaviour

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Most Read