EDITORIAL: A byelection to watch in South Surrey-White Rock

Race for federal seat promises to go right down to the wire

By most standards, a mid-term federal byelection in a riding that has for decades voted right-of-centre would be expected to be all but ignored by the voters, the media and, indeed, the political parties themselves.

But next month’s vote in South Surrey-White Rock is not your standard byelection. Not by a long shot – not when, in a single day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer come to town to endorse their respective candidates.

While the safe bet in the last general election, in 2015, was on the then-governing Conservative party and their star candidate – former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts – it didn’t go unnoticed that Watts was far from a shoo-in with voters. In a constituency that previously saw her lacklustre Conservative predecessor take relatively massive leads over his opposition, Watts won by a mere 1,439 votes to serve as opposition MP.

Add to this Watts’ decision in September – not two years into a four-year term – to abandon her post to compete for the leadership of the provincial opposition party, the BC Liberals.

Add to this the week-long headstart the Liberals had in naming their candidate and their choice of retired White Rock mayor/MLA Gordon Hogg, and it’s likely both parties see this as a footrace to the Dec. 11 finish line.

While Conservative Kerry-Lynne Findlay will need to take some pains to explain to voters her ties to their community (a rather confusing bio indicates she lived in “South Surrey-White Rock, Vancouver and Delta” since her teens), it’s undeniable she brings experience, not only as a past Delta-Richmond East MP but also as minister of national revenue.

The growing influence of other parties cannot be discounted in the current shift in BC’s political climate. Familiar face Larry Colero is returning to run for the Greens, while the NDP will formally acclaim Jonathan Silveira as their candidate on Saturday. Can both candidates score some benefit on the federal level from B.C.’s shifting mood and the current provincial NDP-Green working relationship in Victoria?

In addition, there are candidates from three other parties – Michael Huenefeld (Progressive Canadian), Donald Wilson (Libertarian Party) and Rod Taylor (Christian Heritage Party) – that might have ideas that appeal to voters.

The only thing that can be predicted with any degree of certainty is that it shapes up to be a lively race right down to the wire.

Just Posted

CCTV cameras help Surrey RCMP arrest two bank robbery suspects

The robberies were in North Surrey on Nov. 7 and Oct. 1

City of Surrey to remove eight dead trees along stretch of road where SUV was hit

Assessment confirms tree that fell was dead; others to be removed ‘early this week’

Guitar ‘swap & sale’ planned at Cloverdale’s Shannon Hall

40-plus vendors are signed up for event on Saturday, Nov. 23

Cloverdale Rec. Centre to host course on writing and publishing family history

Surrey Libraries brings courses on family history research to Cloverdale

New Surrey Police force ‘swallowing up’ city’s funds, Annis says

City councillor says draft city budget shows new force coming at expense of ‘everything else’ in the city

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

Most Read