THE VICTORY: Doug McCallum is Surrey’s Mayor once again
By Simon Little McCallum, who was first elected to council in 1993, served as mayor of Surrey from 1996 to 2005. The head of the Safe Surrey Coalition, defeated challengers Coun. Tom Gill with Surrey First and Coun. Bruce Hayne with Integrity Now in a bruising campaign that included allegations of attempted election fraud. His election heralds a big shakeup in Surrey politics, with big-ticket promises to radically change the city’s direction. McCallum pledged to do away with the Surrey RCMP, amid ongoing shootings as well as gang and drug crime. He’s promising to replace the Mounties with Surrey’s own municipal police force and a homegrown police board. McCallum’s election could also put the brakes on the $1.65-billion light rail transit (LRT) project proposed for the city. The project has already secured funding from three levels of government, however McCallum argued at-grade transit will cause congestion, and says he wants to see the city pursue elevated SkyTrain instead. McCallum attempted a comeback in 2014, but was defeated by Surrey First’s Linda Hepner by about 20,000 votes. McCallum was unseated from the mayor’s office in 2005 by Dianne Watts, who later went on to found the Surry First slate in 2008. Surrey First has held the mayoralty since then. On leaving office, McCallum left Surrey with a $300-million surplus.