Ex-Surrey mayor runs again 0
Doug McCallum is running for mayor of Surrey again. (FILE PHOTO)
The former mayor of Surrey says he is ready to resume his role as head of the city after a nine-year hiatus since losing the 2005 mayoral race to Dianne Watts, who will not be running this year.
Doug McCallum officially announced his candidacy Monday at Surrey’s old city hall after speculation he would run again reached its zenith last week.
“With such rapid growth, Surrey requires decisive leadership to tackle some very difficult issues,” McCallum said in a statement. “People are feeling unsafe in their neighbourhoods, spending and debt is out of control, transit services are severely lacking, and a ward system that would help cultural and regional representation on city council has never been seriously considered.”
McCallum said the city will be the largest in the province within 10 years and criticized the current administration for not spending money on infrastructure to accommodate the growth.
McCallum’s candidacy was called “unfortunate” by Surrey First Coun. Judy Villeneuve.
“I have been a councillor in Surrey with both Doug McCallum and Dianne Watts as mayor – and I would hate to see our city go backwards to McCallum’s style of leadership,” she said in a statement.
McCallum’s former tenure as mayor included allegations he tried to censor RCMP crime statistics to improve the city’s image.
But McCallum said he intends to tackle the city’s crime problem if elected, pointing to an increase in homicides from 2012 to 2013 of 127%.