OUR VIEW: Denying delegations is not what Surrey council was elected to do

To be an elected official is to be a servant, not a censor

Safe Surrey Coalition’s election campaign literature in 2018 stated that “it’s important to have many different perspectives and opinions on council” as “this will result in better decisions for the City of Surrey.”

Unfortunately, eight months into this council’s watch and the same clearly does not apply to all delegations seeking to get their point across to the politicians.

Just ask Ivan Scott, a Surrey resident who has collected roughly 8,000 signatures from people who want to keep the RCMP in Surrey, as opposed to seeing it replaced by a made-in-Surrey police force.

The city tried to bar his efforts to gather petition signatures at the Canada Day event in Cloverdale. More recently, it denied his request to appear before council as a delegation on July 8.

READ ALSO: Surrey council denies pro-RCMP delegation

Members of council are, of course, expected to harbour their own opinions. But it is also their duty to listen to what all constituents have to say and to not deny their voice, like what this council has done to Scott.

Councillor Laurie Guerra’s reference to those, whom she considers to fall short in respectfully addressing council, as “prickly people” is beyond the pale. That this comment came from the same council member who is chairing the city’s task force on public engagement is concerning, to say the least.

To those who prefer to stymie the free marketplace of ideas rather than be open to entertaining the potential for reasoned argument and sound logic are simply not performing the duty they were elected to perform.

A healthy democracy cannot be fettered by the shunning of viewpoints however “prickly” they might be to those in seats of power.

They call it public service for a reason. To be an elected official is to be a servant.

Not a censor.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

‘Person of interest’ identified after suspicious meat left in North Delta park

Piles of meat have been dumped near the 63rd Avenue trail entrance four times in the last 30 days

Surrey-raised Merkules raps his way around the world

Cole Stevenson opens up about his ‘Scars,’ a hit remix of ‘Old Town Road’ and how he’s pals with Shaq

Fundraiser launched for South Surrey stabbing victim’s funeral

Paul Prestbakmo remembered for ‘amazing smile, great soul’

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Mouse infestation hit Langley hospital’s kitchens

Droppings and urine were found by Fraser Health inspectors in the spring

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

B.C. mom mourns 14-year-old son whose fatal overdose was posted online

Chantell Griffiths misses the son she hadn’t seen much in recent years

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Most Read