Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)

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

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP in the 4900-block of 148th Street, a short road just off of King George Boulevard, on May 15, 2021 after a male was allegedly assaulted with a “pipe-like” weapon that morning. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey RCMP investigating after person reportedly injured with ‘pipe-like’ weapon

Police investigating incident in the 4900-block of 148th Street

Surrey Fire Service battled a fire at an apartment building in Fleetwood late Friday night (May 14), near 84th Avenue and 160th Street. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
UPDATE: Surrey firefighters continue to work to put out ‘stubborn’ fire

Four-storey building located at 84th Avenue near 160th Street; crews on scene for nearly 12 hours

The leadership team at Johnston Heights Secondary is looking to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society through the Relay for Life, planned as an online and in-person event (following COVID-19 restrictions) for the week of June 1 to 7.
Pushed back a year, Surrey students well on their way to Relay for Life fundraising goal

Johnston Heights Leadership Team aims to raise $6,500 for Canadian Cancer Society

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in South Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Dr. Steve Beerman, of Nanaimo, shows off his Dr. David Bishop Gold Medal, awarded for distinguished medical service. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read