Surrey councillors Jack Hundial and Brenda Locke. (Photos: Now-Leader files)

City council

Hundial and Locke’s new slate looks to ‘Connect’ with Surrey residents

Surrey councillors create ‘Surrey Connect’ in bid to make community more united

It’s all about connections.

That’s what Surrey councillors Jack Hundial and Brenda Locke say about their new slate, called Surrey Connect.

While the pair, who both ran with Mayor Doug McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition before parting ways in 2019, established an online presence for Surrey Connect (surreyconnect.org) about two months ago, Hundial said he figured it was time to go public with it, “especially after this budget vote.”

For her part, Locke said council’s two contentious budget votes “were the tipping points for us.”

“If there was one message that we had when we started in 2018, it was that we really wanted to give residents their voice back at city hall,” she said.

“We wanted to let people feel that they were a part of this great, big city and this great, big build that we’re going to be doing, and that hasn’t happened.”

READ ALSO FOCUS: Surrey’s long love affair with civic slates endures

READ ALSO: ‘A real breach of democracy’: Surrey councillors reaction to budget decision, rowdy meeting, Dec. 17, 2019

READ ALSO: Surrey budget passes as loud crowd fills city hall, Dec. 16, 2019

Moving forward, Hundial said, the new slate hopes to give Surrey residents “hope that there’s an opportunity for a better future.”

“Certainly with all the division that we’ve seen in council this last year… is that Surrey should not be a divided community,” he said.

“It needs to be very united and very connected community and that’s what we’re hoping to do, is to create that opportunity for a vision for a better future for also a community that is connected together from the different town centres, but also connected on different issues as well.”

He said part of that will be going out and “connecting” with the different town centres, doing their own public consultation and meeting residents “over the next 1,030 days until the next election.”

For now, Surrey Connect just consists of Locke and Hundial. Asked if they’ve spoken to anyone else on council about the new slate, Locke said they’ve “absolutely” sat down and talked with councillors Steven Pettigrew and Linda Annis, the lone Surrey First member.

As of Monday (Jan. 6), Pettigrew, who couldn’t be reached for comment, wouldn’t be joining Surrey Connect.

“Because we’re all independents, we all have our own people that we work with, so I think everybody wants to kind of talk to their own supporters,” said Locke, adding that they do all come together from time to time on votes.

But, Hundial said, the “door is open” for Pettigrew or others to join.

Asked if McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition councillors are aware of the new slate, Hundial said he and Locke haven’t mentioned it to them.

“I don’t think it’ll be a shock to them,” he said. “If you look at our voting patterns, you can sort of see some natural alignments that go on in council, and not even just around the policing issue.”

However, Locke said she wasn’t sure how the SSC members would react, since her leaving the coalition wasn’t taken lightly.

“I don’t know. You never know… He (McCallum) knows we’re not coming back to the Safe Surrey Coalition, nor would they invite us back.”

Both Hundial and Locke said the two of them joined together before the Oct. 20, 2018 election, and well before they both joined Safe Surrey Coalition.

The two were also part of the unanimous vote at the Nov. 5, 2018 inaugural council meeting that saw council vote to pull out of the RCMP contract.

READ ALSO: New Surrey council passes motion to pull out of RCMP contract, Nov. 5, 2018

“At the time, the mayor pursued us vigorously to come join his team,” said Hundial, adding that they had the “name recognition” with Locke and his 25-plus years of service as a police officer.

“When we joined with Doug (McCallum), it was the idea that it’d be a true coalition and it seems like during that time, over that tenure, it wasn’t us that left, it was the coalition that sort of left us.”

In May, Pettigrew was the first SSC councillor to split from McCallum’s coalition. Locke followed suit in June, and Hundial split in July.

READ ALSO: Councillor Steven Pettigrew parts ways with Safe Surrey Coalition, May 31, 2019

READ ALSO: Locke splits from Safe Surrey, slamming mayor’s ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ approach, June 27, 2019

READ ALSO: Hundial latest councillor to split from McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition, July 18, 2019

Locke criticized the mayor’s “my-way-or-the-highway” approach.

“I understand the mayor was obviously disappointed and he expected us to be in line with everything he did and said, and we just couldn’t do it,” she said.

“It wasn’t what I thought I was there to do. It didn’t give me the ability to exercise my own fiduciary duty as a councillor.”

Since then, the councillors that have split from SSC and Annis have become more vocal about the decisions on council.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mark Taylor’s hockey life: A ‘Cyclone’ for grandpa, pro days in NHL and new gig as DHA coach

Retail store operator embraces the role of coaching female hockey players

Surrey councillor wants property taxes deferred to December

Linda Annis is expected to present notice of motion to that effect at April 6 “virtual” council meeting

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

April 6: Thousands apply for emergency response benefit on opening day of program

Apartment building catches fire in White Rock

Crews called to Foster Street complex at 7:30 a.m. Monday

As 240K apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

COVID-19 world update: 1,000 cases hit U.S. military; Good news in Spain, Portugal

Comprehensive collection of coronavirus news from around the world

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open this week

Bars, cannabis sector eligible for $40B credit program from government bank

Applicants must go through their own banks to access the program

Immunocompromised community call for more options to get groceries during COVID-19

One woman has decided to build a greenhouse to ensure she is able to access food throughout pandemic

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Most Read