Ba­jan Wants To Be Mayor Of A Cana­dian City

The Star (St. Lucia) - - INTERNATIONAL -

ABar­ba­dian-born im­mi­grant is hop­ing to be the next mayor of Sur­rey, a city in the prov­ince of Bri­tish Columbia, Canada.

John Ed­wards, who has lived in Sur­rey since 1994, says he’s hop­ing to in­crease re­gional, na­tional and global op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal busi­nesses and cre­ate job op­por­tu­ni­ties in his city through the build­ing of a con­ven­tion cen­tre by 2018 to at­tract more tourists and cre­ate new jobs.

He would also like to see a “surge” in po­lice pres­ences and in­creased fund­ing for pro­grams like Block Watch, Sur­rey Crime Preven­tion So­ci­ety and vic­tims’ ser­vices.

Last year Sur­rey had a record num­ber of 25 homi­cides, in­clud­ing the high-pro­file death of Julie Paskall, a 53-yearold mother of three who was bru­tally beaten in what po­lice called a rob­bery gone wrong out­side a New­ton hockey arena in De­cem­ber.

Ed­wards was born in St. An­drews, Bar­ba­dos, at­tended the Al­leyne High School and left the is­land in 1968 for Eng­land. There he stud­ied nurs­ing and be­came a regis­tered nurse and psy­chi­atric nurse.

He then moved to Canada in 1974 and worked for 30 years in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try. Ed­wards has been pres­i­dent of the Ro­tary Club of Sur­rey and a mem­ber of the Cana­dian Health­care En­gi­neer­ing So­ci­ety, the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Health­care Ex­ec­u­tives and the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety for Health­care Risk Man­age­ment.

It is not his first at­tempt at po­lit­i­cal of­fice. In 1984, Ed­wards sought fed­eral po­lit­i­cal of­fice in Mis­sion-Port Moody but was de­feated by Gerry St. Ger­main. He is hop­ing to make his­tory this time around for Caribbean im­mi­grants in Sur­rey as its first Ba­jan mayor.

Ed­wards is also urg­ing all Caribbean im­mi­grants “to ex­plore and ac­cess the broad range of op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able in higher ed­u­ca­tion, job train­ing and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment” and get more in­volved in “par­tic­i­pa­tion in po­lit­i­cal life at all lev­els of gov­ern­ment.”

The race for mayor of B.C.’s fastest grow­ing city could be the clos­est it’s seen in years. Ed­wards faces tough com­pe­ti­tion from for­mer three­term mayor Doug McCal­lum, who lost to cur­rent Mayor Dianne Watts in 2005 and Sur­rey City Coun­cil­lor Barinder Ra­sode and Linda Hep­ner.

Sur­rey’s mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions take place on Novem­ber 15th. Cur­rent Mayor Watts is not seek­ing re-elec­tion.

John Ed­wards: Will he be elected on Novem­ber 15th?

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