During the election campaign, Doug McCallum stated, with a certain amount of pride, that he answered all of his phone calls. But since being elected, his evasiveness has proven otherwise. (Now-Leader file photo)

Opinion

OUR VIEW: Mayor McCallum, Surrey needs you to pick up your phone

Make no mistake, readers, when McCallum ducks reporters, he is ducking you

Never in recent memory have we dealt with a mayor who so consistently spurns media requests for comment.

Former mayor Don Ross returned his phone calls, as did Bob Bose, Dianne Watts and most recently Linda Hepner, and we could count on them to do so in a timely manner.

Even Doug McCallum returned his, when he was first mayor from 1996 to 2005.

What’s changed? Has he been consulting some kind of Machiavellian manual for mayors? Ignore reporters long enough, and they will eventually go away?

Well, here’s the scoop, Surrey mayor: We will not go away.

Some might dismiss this editorial as whiny media navel-gazing, but it is not.

Remember, it is our business to keep a sharp eye on city council for you, our readers, while you are busy at your day jobs.

It is also our job to provide balanced news coverage, taking pains to see all sides fairly represented. This is particularly important in matters of significant consequence to the public.

On Sept. 26, during an election campaign debate at the Civic Hotel, McCallum told the audience of a couple hundred people that his style of mayoring is “open door.”

“I answered all of my phone calls,” the former mayor said of his nine years in office.

READ ALSO: Surrey’s mayoral candidates civil at the Civic in Whalley

But since McCallum was elected eight weeks ago, our reporters have lodged many dozens of phone calls with him that have gone unanswered.

The result is, instead of availing himself of opportunities to educate Surrey residents on the reasoning behind council’s initiatives, our readers instead receive – for no lack of trying on our part – an information vacuum in the form of “McCallum could not be reached for comment.”

This set of words, unfortunately, will continue to collect on our pages like grains of sand in the jar of time until this mayor starts responding to media requests.

Only he has the power to change this. We hope he does.

Until then, make no mistake about it – when our mayor ducks us, he is ducking you.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow us on Twitter

SurreySurreyBC

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

Just Posted

Urban Safari Rescue Society starts online video presentations

Animal shelter struggling to stay afloat during pandemic

White Rock’s promenade to close to the public

Public access to popular waterfront walkway closing April 10: city

Young Muslims offer helping hand to isolated residents throughout Lower Mainland

Neighbourhood Helper campaign aims to get help to people who can’t leave their homes

Christopherson Steps, 1,001 Steps closed due to COVID-19

Access restricted to Crescent Beach over Easter weekend, City of Surrey announces

SIMPSON: In taking care of its vulnerable, Surrey is showing what it’s made of

Stories about people helping others have overwhelmed the newsroom since COVID-19 hit community

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

BC institution has highest number of positive results for COVID-19

11 inmates in Mission test positive for coronavirus, more than any other federal prison in Canada

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Most Read