British Columbia

Coun. Bruce Hayne latest to enter Surrey mayoral race

There are now three people looking to run British Columbia's second-largest city.

Two-term councillor quit ruling Surrey First party last month, arguing it wasn't transparent with the public

Surrey councillor Bruce Hayne, pictured here, joins Tom Gill and Doug McCallum in the race to become next mayor of Surrey.

There are now three people looking to run British Columbia's second-largest city. 

Coun. Bruce Hayne announced on Monday his candidacy for mayor of Surrey, a month after quitting the ruling Surrey First party.

"I want to bring a sense of openness, transparency and collaboration to city hall," said Hayne, the former president of the Surrey Board of Trade.

"We really need to collaborate and be transparent and work with the community on the big files."

Hayne didn't name a specific issue that separated him from Surrey First. The party has chosen Coun. Tom Gill to be its nominee in this year's local elections, scheduled for Oct. 20.

But Hayne said the party, which has led Surrey since 2005 and won every seat on council the last two elections, has stopped being accountable to the public.

As examples, he pointed to approval of the 105 Avenue corridor dividing Hawthorne Park and signing off on light-rapid transit to Guildford and Newton

Hayne said a number of his supporters would seek a seat on council, including incumbent Barbara Steele, who also quit Surrey First recently. However, the group will not run a full slate of candidates.

"There's been criticism that there hasn't been enough vigorous debate, different ideas around council," he said. "So the slate that we're putting together now is going to be a shorter slate, to ensure there are other voices."

Also running for mayor is Doug McCallum, who was previously mayor from 1996 to 2005. 

Regional police force for Surrey? 

Hayne's announcement came on the same day Surrey council was scheduled to debate a motion by Gill directing staff to start planning for a review of whether it should establish a local police department and leave RCMP jurisdiction. 

If passed, a full report will come to council after the election, where "Council will determine if a special referendum regarding the implementation of a Surrey Police Department is required to be held in the Fall of 2019."

McCallum has gone a step further than Gill, fully endorsing the idea of a separate police force for Surrey — the largest municipality in Canada under RCMP jurisdiction.

Hayne, however, has taken a more cautious stand on the proposal. 

"I imagine the costs of moving to a municipal police force would be huge," he said. "Once we have that report, and know what it would cost, then we can have an informed conversation with the community.

"Just moving to a municipal police force from the RCMP is not going to be this magic panacea to get rid of gun violence in our community."

About the Author

Justin McElroy

@j_mcelroy

Justin is the Municipal Affairs Reporter for CBC Vancouver, covering local political stories throughout British Columbia.

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