Posted by Jack Hundial on Saturday, October 20, 2018
BY RATTAN MALL
DOUG McCallum was elected Mayor of Surrey on Saturday, thrashing Surrey First’s mayoral candidate and incumbent councillor Tom Gill, who had the support of both former mayor Dianne Watts and incumbent mayor Linda Hepner, by a solid margin of 17,011 that seemed to stun everybody.
Both Watts and Hepner looked pathetic on TV as the results were announced as they had taken Gill’s victory for granted!
McCallum got 45,564 votes, Gill garnered 28,553 votes, while Integrity Now’s mayoral candidate and incumbent councillor came third with 28,077 votes.
Not only did McCallum win convincingly, but also seven of the eight candidates for council on his Safe Surrey Coalition slate won equally convincingly:
– Brenda Locke (40,497 votes)
– Doug Elford (39,082 votes)
– Laurie Guerra (33,955 votes)
– Jack Singh Hundial (33,750 votes)
– Dr. Allison Patton (33,116 votes)
– Steven Pettigrew (30,820 votes)
– Mandeep Nagra (30,083 votes)
The eighth seat was won by Surrey First’s Linda Annis (33,085 votes), who to save her skin had announced just days before the election that she as such supported McCallum’s stand on Rosemary Heights development.
Safe Surrey Coalition’s Bableen Rana came ninth with 29,822 votes.
Incumbent councillors Barbara Steele (27,482 votes), Mike Starchuk (26,907 votes), Vera LeFranc (25,943 votes) and Dave Woods (25,835 votes) lost.
THE VOICE remained fair in its coverage of the Surrey municipal election, carrying all major mayoral candidates’ statements to the extent possible both on its highly popular website as well as in its print paper … BUT it was all along evident to me that Doug McCallum would win because:
FIRST … Tom Gill, in spite of all the hype around him thanks to former mayor Dianne Watts (who tried her best to run down McCallum in the media) and incumbent mayor Linda Hepner (who just could not control her party in the end and saw so many councillors either retire or leave her party), just did NOT command the respect that he (and some ignorant journalists in the mainstream media) thought he did either in the South Asian community or in the mainstream community.
SECOND … The fact is – as I had been pointing out all these years – that Gill was riding on the back of Watts and Hepner and that without them, the white voters would never have voted for him. I know some or many will accuse me of being racist! But that is an inescapable FACT about Surrey – it is still a very divided city, racially. And every shooting and/or murder involving a South Asian only worsens that distrust. Still the fact remains that the white voters did support all three South Asian candidates on McCallum’s team: while Jack Singh Hundial, a former RCMP officer, and businessman Mandeep Nagra were elected councillors, lawyer Bableen Rana almost got elected. That shows the respect that McCallum commands in Surrey.
THIRD … Surrey-ites weren’t stupid! They could see that all the new (and old) promises that Gill was making only highlighted the FAILURE of the party of Watts and Hepner and Gill. They had all failed MISERABLY to control the law and order situation. They really had NO NEW stuff to offer – except the same old, same old. All the incumbent councillors lost! Good riddance, indeed!
Incidentally, BC Global’s coverage of the Surrey election was terribly biased and/or ignorant. Sonia Deol should stick to reading the news and not try to be some kind of a reporter or analyst. After Gill lost, she spoke of the alleged smear campaign against Gill as though that was a major reason for his defeat. Yet she never mentioned the smear campaign against McCallum. She seemed totally clueless about Surrey politics.