British Columbia

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts not seeking re-election

At the grand opening for Surrey's new City Hall, Mayor Dianne Watts announced she would be leaving city politics.

At opening of new city hall complex in North Surrey, mayor announces 'new chapter' won't include her

The grand opening for Surrey's new city hall turned into Mayor Dianne Watts' farewell party 3:22

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts announced her departure from city politics Saturday afternoon at the grand opening celebration for the new city hall complex in North Surrey.

Watts, who has served three terms as mayor since first being elected to the position in 2005, said she will not be seeking re-election in this year's municipal elections.

"As your mayor for almost the past nine years, my heart, my integrity and my passion have been here for the city, and for the people who live here and who raise their children here," she said.

"And, as in every book, there comes a time to turn a page and to end a chapter, and I feel that I have completed this chapter in my life and it's time to pass the torch. Therefore, I will not be seeking re-election in the fall, and this opening of this new city hall, the community plaza, signifies a new chapter for this city," she said.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts arrives at the official opening of the new city hall complex Saturday afternoon. (Richard Zussman/CBC)

Watts has been a popular leader for B.C.'s second-largest city, and received 80 per cent of the vote in the last municipal election, in 2011.

Watts wouldn't say what she will be doing next, but there has been some speculation she may enter federal politics.

When asked by CBC News whether she would consider running federally, Watts would only say that she would examine any opportunity that is presented to her, whether it involve politics or the private sector.

"It's got to fit into my life. It's got to make sense," she said.

Watts also wouldn't say who her Surrey First party would be supporting as candidate for mayor in November.

With files from the CBC's Richard Zussman


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