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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Cloverdale students make puzzles for care home residents

Students from Cloverdale’s Sunrise Ridge delivered gifts to seniors and thank you notes to first responders

COLUMN: Timing just right for raising minimum wage

Raising minimum wage will protect human life and reduce poverty, writes Garber Black

New goalkeeper training centre opens in Cloverdale

Nestled on Surrey-Langley border, facility offers full range of training programs

Easter Seals drop zone returning to Surrey as ‘great no-contact event’

Health and safety a ‘top priority’ for annual event

Blustery South Surrey walk to benefit homeless

Patricia Mulvaney is walking 10k to boost awareness of Surrey Urban Mission Society

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

Police arsenal deployed to avoid potentially violent situation: Mounties

Langley RCMP arrest armed Vancouver man after Tasering him on side street

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

President Donald Trump said the jobs report shows the economy is “roaring back”

Most Read