YES, the NDP did it!
Surrey was always seen as the main battleground – and with South Asians dominating B.C.’s second largest city, the community was deeply involved.
The VOICE had consistently pointed out that three ridings — Surrey-Newton, Surrey-Green Timbers and Surrey-Whalley — were considered to be safe NDP ones; three other riding — Surrey-White Rock, Surrey South and Surrey-Cloverdale – were considered to be safe Liberal ones; while the remaining three ridings — Surrey-Fleetwood, Surrey-Panorama, and Surrey-Guildford – would be hard-fought ones.
Well, that’s what happened.
* In Surrey-Fleetwood, Liberal candidate Peter Fassbender (Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for TransLink) was defeated by former MLA Jagrup Brar in a tale of sweet revenge.
Jagrup Brar (NDP): 9,951 / 53.42%
Peter Fassbender (Liberal): 6,659 / 35.75%
* In Surrey-Panorama, NDP’s Jinny Sims, former MP, who had a clear advantage over her Liberal rival Puneet Sandhar because of name recognition, but had many in the community opposing her over past rivalries, won.
Jinny Sims (NDP): 10,910 / 50.53%
Puneet Sandhar (Liberal): 9,126 / 42.27%
* In Surrey-Guildford, Liberal candidate Amrik Virk (Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services) faced a formidable rival, the NDP’s Garry Begg. Both Begg and Virk are former RCMP inspectors. Virk was really not too popular in the community as he was seen as aloof and even arrogant. So many South Asians decided to support a friendly Begg.
Garry Begg (NDP): 8,467 / 49.60%
Amrik Virk (Liberal): 6,510 / 38.14%
The three safe ridings for the NDP remained just that:
* Surrey-Newton – Harry Bains (NDP), who had been elected three times as an MLA in the past, defeated Gurminder Singh Parihar (Liberal).
Harry Bains (NDP): 8,823 / 57.37%
Gurminder Singh Parihar (Liberal): 4,603 / 29.93%
* Surrey-Green Timbers – Rachna Singh (NDP), who replaced the highly popular Sue Hammell when she decided to retire from politics, defeated Brenda Locke (Liberal), who had once been elected MLA from the riding and had been a minister. (By the way, Brenda is a very nice and genuine person and I have known her for many years.)
Rachna Singh (NDP): 8,280 / 58.19%
Brenda Joy Locke (Liberal): 4,711 / 33.11%
* Surrey-Whalley – Bruce Ralston (NDP) defeated newcomer Sargy Chima (Liberal), who is former federal minister Herb Dhaliwal’s sister.
Bruce Ralston (NDP): 9,060 / 58.37%
Sargy Chima (Liberal): 4,712 / 30.36%
And the three safe ridings for the Liberals remained just that, too:
* Surrey-White Rock – Tracy Redies (Liberal) defeated Niovi Patsicakis (NDP).
* Surrey South – Stephanie Cadieux (Liberal), a minister, defeated Jonathan Silveira (NDP)