Will Dianne Watts Endorsement Secure The “White Vote” For Surrey First Mayoral Candidate Tom Gill

Watts Burns Former Council Colleague Bruce Hayne By Not Even Acknowledging Him As A Mayoral Candidate!

Former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts finally endorsed Surrey First mayoral candidate Tom Gill in a column published in a Vancouver daily on Friday but will her endorsement secure the traditional Surrey First white vote for Tom Gill Watts had to do it after Gill supported her leadership bid and was the man who introduced her at the big kickoff event in Surrey for her failed bid to succeed Christy Clark as BC Liberal leader. In a big burn to Bruce Hayne, another council candidate running for Surrey mayor who Watts brought in, she didn't mention him in the Province newspaper opinion column. Watts didn't mention Hayne, who is supposed to be eating into Surrey First's traditional white vote bank but his campaign has been slow to get off the ground and his personnel seem to be asleep at the switch while McCallum and Gill campaigns get their word out on their proposed agendas.

By R. Paul Dhillon

SURREY – Former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts finally endorsed Surrey First mayoral candidate Tom Gill in a column published in a Vancouver daily on Friday but will her endorsement secure the traditional Surrey First white vote for Tom Gill? Gill is trying to become the first Indo-Canadian to be elected mayor of Surreyas well as the first South Asian to be the most powerful person of a big Canadian city.

Watts had to do it after Gill supported her leadership bid and was the man who introduced her at the big kickoff event in Surrey for her failed bid to succeed Christy Clark as BC Liberal leader. This had angered Surrey mayor Linda Hepner, the woman Watts put in the Mayor's chair four years ago, as Hepner felt that she should have introduced Watts since she was the mayor of Surrey. 

While Watts told the Province newspaper that she was endorsing Gill, she clearly expressed disdain against another former mayor Doug McCallum, who is trying to capture power again. Watts expressed deep concern about McCallum, saying he could not address the complex issues facing the city but she also said McCallum had the edge over Gill in the 2018 campaign which officially began on Saturday with the writ finally dropped.

In a big burn to Bruce Hayne, another council candidate running for Surrey mayor who Watts brought in, she didn't mention him in the Province newspaper opinion column.

Watts didn't mention Hayne, who is supposed to be eating into Surrey First's traditional white vote bank but his campaign has been slow to get off the ground and his personnel seem to be asleep at the switch while McCallum and Gill campaigns get their word out on their proposed agendas.

Gill said he and Surrey First are very humbled by Watts' support and look forward to working with her during the campaign.

Gill also detailed the second part of his team’s public safety platform today as he called for a city-wide referendum on a local police force, introduction of Surrey’s first Police Board, a ban on handguns, the addition of 125 new officers and a complete police services review.

Last week Gill introduced the first part of the Surrey First plan, including an anti-gang campaign with free access to Surrey’s pools, rinks and gyms for 125,000 children and teens, and a special 1-800 information hub for parents and families looking for programs to keep vulnerable youth out of gangs.

“We’re a safe city, but it only takes a single shot to shatter that sense of safety,” said Gill. “Public safety is a priority for all of us, and that means tackling issues on a number of fronts, because there isn’t just one answer when it comes to keeping Surrey safe.

“Two months ago, I asked whether our city had outgrown the RCMP, and called for a broad community-wide discussion and referendum on having our own police force,” added Gill. “It’s a big decision because policing is our single largest operating cost. We spend about $160 million annually on policing and if we are going to make a change then everyone needs to have the facts and everyone should have a say. But, it’s certainly time to ask ourselves if we have outgrown the RCMP and what it means if we decide to have a made-in-Surrey police department.”

Gill said Surrey First also believes it is time for a Surrey Police Board, the same kind of locally-controlled governing body that provides direction and oversight in communities that have their own police departments.

 

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