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

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

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

Most Read