SURREY Councillor Dave Woods has become the third councillor to split with Surrey First party after Bruce Hayne and Barbara Steele.
In a statement to the media, Woods said: “Due to the recent statement by Councillor Tom Gill indicating he supports banning of all handguns in the City of Surrey, I have decided to leave Surrey First Party.”
Woods, a former RCMP officer, added: “I do not support such a ban as it would impact law abiding handgun owners, such as hobby target shooters. In my view, Canada’s handgun restrictions are very good; hence I do not support a wholesale legislation change.
“From my experience in law enforcement, thugs and gang members never / seldom have legal permits to possess handguns; therefore, such a wholesale ban would have little effect to decease gang violence in our community.
“I believe if there is a need for handgun regulation change or enhancement, recommendations should come from the Association of Canadian Police Chiefs.”
Woods said: “I stayed with Surrey First because I was assured there would be a new culture and attitude on the team, one of consultation and team input into decisions and the platform.
“I cannot support a team leader who doesn’t value or seek consultation of team members who have experience in areas where he does not.
“I have no confidence the movement towards a more open, collaborative, and transparent culture within the party will exist and, therefore, I will not be seeking re-election as a member of Surrey First.”
Woods told The VOICE that he hasn’t decided as yet if he will run on his own or join any other group in the upcoming municipal election, adding that he had just made “a huge decision” to leave Surrey First.
Woods served in the RCMP for 43 years. His career encompassed general patrol, drug enforcement and administration responsibilities. His service was primarily in Burnaby and Surrey detachments. After serving as the District Commander for Cloverdale / Port Kells for eight years, he retired as Surrey Detachment’s first Staff Sergeant Major.