British Columbia

Councillor Bruce Hayne resigns from Surrey First party, will sit as independent

The former president of the Surrey Board of Trade, Hayne originally considered running for leadership of Surrey First after Mayor Linda Hepner announced she wouldn't seek re-election.

Cites lack of transparency as big reason for leaving party on the day before it chooses new leader

Surrey city councillor Bruce Hayne said he will run in October's municipal elections, but was unsure whether he would run for mayor or council, and whether he would do so as an independent or for a new party. (City of Surrey)

On the day before the party's meeting to pick a new leader, Coun. Bruce Hayne has resigned from Surrey First to sit as an independent.

"It's been a difficult decision … but I really feel my values and the direction I see the city taking is simply no longer aligned with Surrey First, so it would be disingenuous for me to keep sitting as a Surrey First member," said Hayne, who was first elected in 2011. 

The former president of the Surrey Board of Trade, Hayne originally considered running for leadership of Surrey First after Mayor Linda Hepner announced she wouldn't seek re-election

'We don't engage the public enough'

But Hayne said he realized in the long-term, he no longer wanted to be associated with the party, which has run the City of Surrey since 2007 and held every seat on council since 2011. 

"It's been a lack of getting things accomplished over the last couple of years, and a lack of consultation with the public," he said. 

"We don't engage the public enough in the decisions we are making, whether on transit or public safety or development, and I really believe we need to be much more consultative with the public, much more open with the decisions we are making."

Hayne said he will run in October's municipal elections, but was unsure whether he would run for mayor or council, and whether he would do so as an independent or for a new party. 

Surrey First will meet Friday to choose its new leader, with councillors Tom Gill, Mike Starchuk and Vera LeFranc considered the main candidates. 

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