Councillor Steven Pettigrew (left) and Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (Now-Leader file photos)

Councillor Steven Pettigrew (left) and Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (Now-Leader file photos)

Surrey council

Surrey mayor removes Councillor Pettigrew from Metro Vancouver board

Pettigrew said it was a surprise; McCallum didn’t provide a reason

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition have stripped Councillor Steven Pettigrew of his role on the board of directors for Metro Vancouver, instead appointing a member of their team.

The mayor did not say why.

“I must express disappointment that I will not be able to serve the people of the region in this capacity,” Pettigrew said in chambers, in response to the decision.

“I feel I’ve done a good job, I’ve worked really hard the last number of months and developed some very strong relationships with my environmental focus. I feel I bring a really strong presence. I will respect it, I disagree with your decision. I will not be there in an official capacity but I will continue to go to Metro, and be there as an observer, and I will continue to build relationships to do what I can to further the environment cause and to bring awareness to climate change and the climate emergency.”

Pettigrew – who is well-known for leading the fight that tried to stop the former city council from allowing trees to be felled in Hawthorne Park in order to build a road – was currently serving as a director on the board and on both the climate action and regional parks committees.

“He’s pulled me from all those,” said Pettigrew, who was appointed to the positions by the mayor after council was sworn in last November.

READ MORE: Councillor Steven Pettigrew parts ways with Safe Surrey Coalition

The mayor made the announcement at the first meeting of Surrey council after its summer recess, and his Safe Surrey councillors approved the decision.

Instead, McCallum appointed his Councillor Allison Patton of the coalition. She had previously served as an alternate, and the mayor did not announce a new alternate.

Pettigrew – who split from the mayor’s Safe Surrey Coalition earlier this year – said he had no idea it was coming.

This was a “blind-sided approach,” Pettigrew told the Now-Leader.

Although the councillor said the mayor’s move was “not unexpected, because he’s done this sort of thing several times in the past.”

Pettigrew said any guess as to why the mayor removed him would be speculation.

“There’s all sorts of interesting things I could come up with, but I’m not going. I believe I do a good job. I did the best I could do.”

Pettigrew said he still intends to attend the meetings, as an observer, given his passion for the environment and climate action.

“We need to push this forward, make people aware, and we need to do this for our children, our grandchildren and our planet. It doesn’t matter whether people try to get me away, try to remove you or stop you, everybody needs to step up.”

During the meeting, Pettigrew asked the mayor for the rationale behind the decision.

McCallum replied by saying he was “not going to make any comments on it at this time.”

The mayor did not speak to media after the meeting.

Councillor Brenda Locke took to Twitter following the meeting, saying the decision is “indeed unfortunate.”

She described Pettgirew as a “principled person.”

“Because the Mayor gave no reason or warning for removing him from Metro Vancouver I can only assess it as mean spirited,” she wrote.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Surrey RCMP supporters make noise during rally outside city hall



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

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

Just Posted

In 2017, a member of the Disneyana Fan Club curated a small Community Treasures exhibit at the Museum of Surrey about the early days of Disney and the cartoonist Walt Disney. The museum is now accepting applications for its 2022 Community Treasures exhibition. (Photo: Submitted)
Museum of Surrey wants to spotlight local organizations and clubs

Museum now accepting applications for its 2022 Community Treasures exhibit

Musician Dana Vande is seen in a screenshot from a music video on Youtube. Vande recently released a pro-lockdown track in response to an Eric Clapton and Van Morrison anti-lockdown track.
Cloverdale musician writes pandemic response song to Van Morrison and Eric Clapton

Dana Vande answers a Clapton-Morrison anti-lockdown track with a pro-lockdown track

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Cloverdale man said public pressure only convinces church goers they are right

Engageing churches in discussions on how to reduce transmission would be more effective than bans

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Delta Police dog retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Surrey RCMP Constable Mike Della-Paolera as seen in a cut-out used for the detachment’s Operation Double Take program. (File photo)
Surrey’s tall ‘Operation Double Take’ cop is on the move

Cut-out of Constable Mike Della-Paolera used in program to curb speeding and dangerous driving

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

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

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

(Realtor.ca)
Rent dropped to 2019 rates across parts of Metro Vancouver in December: Rentals.ca report

Rent costs have declined since May, a trend expected to continue due in part to the COVID pandemic

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

Most Read