Surrey’s civic election 2022 is already forecast to be a “mother of all elections,” with nine more weeks of campaigning left before voting day.
So far, six slates with six mayoral candidates and 28 candidates for council – and more on the way – are currently competing for your vote on Saturday Oct. 15. Kuldip Pelia is also running for mayor as an Independent, making for seven mayoral candidates so far.
Elections BC set Tuesday, Aug. 2 as the deadline for electoral organizations to register, and candidates for office will need to submit their nominations to local election officials between Tuesday Aug. 30 and Friday, Sept. 9. The campaign spending limit for Surrey mayoral candidates is $219,193.36 and $113,418.14 for councillor candidates.
So far, only two electoral groups are competing for school board seats – Surrey First Education Society (SFE), and newly minted Team Surrey Schools – which is interesting seeing as Surrey is B.C.’s largest school district while Vancouver, on the other hand, so far has eight slates competing for trustee positions.
The Safe Surrey Coalition, which currently forms the majority vote on council, needs four more councillor candidates to run a full slate. Mayor Doug McCallum and councillors Mandeep Nagra, Doug Elford, Allison Patton, and Laurie Guerra are hoping to keep their seats.
“Although we don’t have the other four solidified as of yet we’ve had many individuals come forward wanting to be a part of the team and we’ve reached out to some as well. A selection committee will look at potential candidates to see who will be best to serve the residents of Surrey and at the same time be a right fit for our team,” Guerra said.
Elford echoed that. “It’s very organic,” he said. “We are entertaining candidates and looking to fill the slate.”
“It’s going to be quite a roster,” he added, “seventy, eighty, I don’t know. It going to be as they say a mother of all elections, I guess is what they’re calling it.”
“Everybody thinks they’re electable. That’s democracy, right? The more the merrier.”
The SSC has not fielded school board candidates in past elections and it doesn’t look to do so this time either. “I don’t believe so,” Guerra said.
Sukh Dhaliwal’s team, United Surrey, is also expecting to add four more candidates for councillors. Dhaliwal is United Surrey’s mayoral candidate and Julie Tapley, Jasbir Sandhu, Becky Zhou and Jeff Bridge are campaigning to be councillors.
“We are not running candidates for school board,” Dhaliwal confirmed.
Jinny Sims’ Surrey Forward slate needs one more candidate to fill out her team. Sims is its mayoral candidate and Surrey Forward’s confirmed candidates for councillor to date are Philip Aquirre, Jody Toor, Arsh Mander, June Liu, Ramon Bandong, Theresa Pidcock and Paramjit S. Malhi.
As for fielding school board candidates, Sims said, “people keep asking us and so far we’ve said no, but we haven’t shut the door.”
Coun. Brenda Locke, of Surrey Connect, hopes to upgrade to mayor. Her slate presently stands at incumbent Coun. Jack Hundial, Ramona Kaptyn, Sebastian Sajda, Pardeep Kooner and Rochelle Prasad.
Locke says three more councillor candidates are on the way. “We are hoping to have them confirmed by August 15,” she said.
Surrey Connect is not running candidates for school board.
Surrey First has Gordon Hogg as its mayoral candidate and for councillor candidates has a complete slate of eight. They are incumbent Coun. Linda Annis, Bilal Cheema, Mary-Em Waddington, Ajit Mehat, Paul Orazietti, Mike Bose, Kulwinder Saini and Sargy Chima.
“The full platform will be released in the next few weeks,” Annis said.
Guildford resident Amrit Birring is Surrey’s seventh declared candidate for mayor and says he’ll be running with a team of eight for council under the banner of People’s Council Surrey.
Independent Coun. Steven Pettigrew has yet to reveal if he will seek re-election.
“I am going to be making a decision very soon. I will give you a heads up when I do,” he said.
All the Surrey First trustees are seeking re-election.
Independent trustee Laurae McNally will also run again, representing White Rock.
Dr. Balbir Gurm, a professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, has formed Team Surrey Schools and is running for school board with five other candidates.