New Surrey South MLA Elenore Sturko was officially sworn in as a member of the B.C. Legislature Monday morning, a little more than three weeks after the former Surrey RCMP officer won the riding’s byelection.’
In a statement released after the ceremony – which included BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon, and members of Sturko’s family – the new MLA thanked her supporters and outlined some of her top priorities while also criticizing the BC NDP.
“As I take my seat in the Legislature today for the first time, I am grateful for the support I’ve received from Surrey South residents and am ready to get to work advocating for our community and for all British Columbians,” Sturko said.
“From the cost of living crisis to the rise in violent crime on our streets to the crumbling health care system, the list of broken NDP promises made to my community only continues to grow.
“At the end of the day, people in Surrey are worse off under this two-term NDP government, which seems unable to even get the basics right.”
Legislature clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd told those gathered for the swearing-in ceremony that Sturko is the first elected official in Canada to pledge allegiance to King Charles since the recent death of the queen.
Sturko’s swearing-in ceremony kicked off the seven-week fall sitting of the Legislature, which is expected to be the last session as premier for John Horgan.
In addition to crime and health care, Sturko said other “key matters” include mental health, human rights and LGBTQ2+ issues. As well, Sturko has been named education critic.
“I am also excited to take on the role of education critic to hold the NDP government to account for their commitments to our education system and ensuring students across B.C. have access to the best education possible,” she said.
“I look forward to working hard for Surrey South residents alongside my BC Liberal Caucus team, as we deliver real solutions for British Columbians.”
Sturko was elected in a Sept. 10 byelection with nearly 52 per cent of the vote (10,742 total votes), which was 7,000 more votes than were cast for NDP candidate Pauline Greaves, who was second.
The Surrey South seat was vacated by former MLA Stephanie Cadieux, who left the post earlier this spring to take on a federal role as Canada’s first Chief Accessibility Officer. She left the post at the end of April.
– with files from The Canadian Press