Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (File photo)

EDITORIAL: Surrey mayor’s ‘shaken to the core’ over city debt, but we’re not

Just about any time of pendular change in ideology following an election, shock is sure to follow

You can almost set your clock by it – er…, well, your calendar, anyways.

Just about any time there is a pendular change in ideology following an election at any level of government, shock and surprise are sure to follow.

We heard it in spring of 2017 when the NDP took over the province from the BC Liberals, we heard it a few months prior from our neighbours when U.S. Republican President Donald Trump took over from the Democrats, and we heard it about a year earlier when Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took over from the Conservatives’ ‘Harper Government.’

The refrain is familiar: “Gosh, we had no idea how bad our predecessors were at keeping the books, and the electorate should blame them if we can’t afford all our election promises,” or something to that effect.

Today (Tuesday), we heard from Mayor Doug McCallum, whose Safe Surrey Coalition all but swept Surrey First from office last month, after its own back-to-back clean-sweeps in past elections.

“When the books were shown to me, I was deeply dismayed and shaken to the core to see how much debt the City of Surrey has been carrying,” McCallum was quoted in a media release received by Peace Arch News 43 seconds after midnight.

“The fact that the debt load is at $514 million is simply untenable and frankly, irresponsible.”

READ: McCallum ‘shaken to the core’ over debt

The response from Surrey First was immediate and, of course, as expected. That slate’s defeated mayoral candidate, former councillor Tom Gill and longtime finance chair, questioned why McCallum was so in the dark until this week, considering the city prides itself on open books. And he wondered whether McCallum plans to use this as an excuse to not fulfil his most expensive promises, which includes replacing the RCMP with a civic force.

Certainly, McCallum’s release includes comments that while “services and programs that the city delivers will not be impacted… what we will be doing as a Council is determining what makes the most fiscal sense for our ratepayers and how to responsibly proceed with capital projects.”

For those wondering what the future holds, we predict that the only guarantee will be more excuses when the pendulum swings towards whatever political ideology replaces McCallum’s team, when it eventually comes time for that.

 

Just Posted

What’s happening in Cloverdale this weekend, March 22 to 24

Looking for something to do in Cloverdale this weekend?

Surrey mom says Liberal budget falls short in helping people with autism

Louise Witt, whose son has autism, says budget provisions like ‘putting a Band-Aid on a cancer’

Missing Surrey woman ‘located and safe,’ police say

Kayla Amy Smith, 30, who was reported missing last month

Cloverdale residents invited to review new town centre plan

Final public open house will take place Thursday, April 11, 2019

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

VIDEO: Giants take a 1-0 playoff series lead

Vancouver beat Seattle 7-1 in game one of the best-of-seven Western Conference series in Langley

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Six ‘distraction thefts’ in two days spark warning to seniors by Vancouver police

Distraction thefts are used to steal jewelry off the necks of unsuspecting women

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Most Read