Surrey First's Mayor Linda Hepner (right) celebrates her November election win with outgoing mayor Dianne Watts.

Surrey First spent $1.2 M sweeping council

The electoral organization spent more than three times that of Barinder Rasode's One Surrey

Surrey First spent $1.18 million securing every seat on city council, according to recently released campaign disclosure statements.

The expense period covers money spent from Jan. 1 to Nov.15, 2014.

The expense eclipses that of Mayor Linda Hepner’s Surrey First competitors.

Mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode’s One Surrey coalition spent $347,000 during in the run up to the election, and Safe Surrey, with Doug McCallum as mayoral hopeful, spent just over $70,000.

The $1.2 million spent by Surrey First is a new high-water mark for the organization, which spent $662,000 in the 2011 election, when it also swept council.

This year’s contributors to the Surrey First campaign read like a who’s who of the development industry, as $902,000 of the campaign war chest was created by corporations.

David Balsor contributed $25,000 to the campaign, while Robert Bosa gave the coalition $21,500.

Other big contributors include: Bhupinder Ajula ($20,000), Surrey Firefighters Association ($32,600), Gurved Sandhu ($15,000) and Ralph Berezan ($13,000).

The vast majority of the campaign expenditures ($301,000) went to salaries and wages. Research and polling gobbled $163,000 of the campaign funds, while radio, TV and newspaper ads came to $174,000.

Contributors to Rasode’s One Surrey’s campaign was a mix of union groups, developers and members of the community. Larger donors included Bosa Properties ($14,000), BC Maritime Employers ($12,000), United Steelworkers ($10,000), Value Industries ($10,000), and the Rasode family ($10,000).

The bulk of Rasode’s expenditures went to “other” advertising ($120,000) and research and polling ($50,000).

Former Mayor Doug McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition received its larger donations from Bill’s Developments (Bob Cheema) for $9,600, Crown Distributors ($5,000), and Wendy and Rodney Cameron ($5,000).

Safe Surrey spent almost half of its contributions on salaries and wages ($30,000) and “other” campaign expenses ($15,800).

Surrey First Education (SFE), which swept all the Surrey school board seats, spent $35,000 in its campaign.

The largest donor by far was the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which donated $11,000 to the coalition. It represents the only union contribution to the SFE campaign. There was also $16,700 from corporations and $7,500 from individuals.

By law, all people or electoral organizations participating in the 2014 civic elections had until Friday, Feb. 13 to file their financial information.

That information was made public on the Elections BC website today (Monday, Feb. 23).

Those disclosures can be found at


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