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Surrey Connect adds 3 more candidates while Independent also joins election race

Wil Kwok, Gordon Hepner and Robin Stutt join Surrey Connect team and Narima Dela Cruz declares as Independent
Four more people have entered the race to work at Surrey city hall. (Photo: Anna Burns)

The Surrey Connect slate has added three more candidates for councillor to its roster heading into the Oct. 15 civic election while Narima Dela Cruz has declared she will run for a council seat as an Independent.

Wil Kwok, Gordon Hepner and Robin Stutt will join mayoral candidate Brenda Locke, and councillor candidates Ramona Kaptyn, Sebastian Sajda, Rochelle Prasad and Pardeep Kooner under the Surrey Connect banner.

Locke says Kwok “has everything that’s needed” to be a productive councillor for Surrey.

“A hard-working businessman who grew up in our city, he is guided by strong principles and believes in giving back to his community. We are very proud to have him on our team,” she said.

Kwok said he joined Surrey Connect because he “can no longer stand by and watch this mayor continue to fracture Surrey. By contrast, Brenda Locke is a connector, a person who works for all Surrey residents. I trust her character and respect her experience.”

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Locke also sang Stutt’s praises.

“We could not have a better councillor for a city desperately in need of leadership that can be trusted to represent our residents with honour, a unique skill set and complete transparency. All sorely lacking now,” she said.

Stutt is described as a “career investigator” in policing and the insurance field. His career pursuing the truth in a wide range of cases has developed a strong belief in and commitment to integrity in a community, Locke says.

“The four pillars of municipal government are public safety, infrastructure, parks and recreation, and responsible land management,” Stutt said. “As a resident of Surrey for 32 years, I am keenly interested in seeing all those pillars made stronger, and will serve by making unbiased, evidence-based, informed decisions to benefit our entire community.”

Locke says Gordon Hepner, a notary public and son of former Surrey First mayor Linda Hepner, “will be an excellent member of Surrey City Council.”

Hepner says Surrey needs an “intelligent community development plan that businesses and residents can rely on.

“I grew up in politics. My mother was the former mayor of this great city. I believe small businesses are critical to building a vibrant community. Equally important for our diverse community, Surrey must have facilities for all stages of life. I am committed to improving existing facilities and adding much-needed future facilities and infrastructure.”

Meantime, Narima Dela Cruz, says “it’s time to have a truly independent voice” at Surrey city hall and on Labour Day announced her candidacy for council, as an Independent, as a tribute to workers.

Dela Cruz said, if elected, she’ll seek to conduct bi-monthly townhall meetings in six different town centres to “update the community and listen to people’s concerns and issues, advocating for more federal and provincial support to ensure affordability in living condition of residents, more focus and actions on homelessness and mental health issues, and more community amenities for families and individuals.

While election day is Saturday Oct. 15, advance voting will be on Oct. 5, 8, 9 and 12 at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre (13458 107A Ave.), Guildford Recreation Centre (15105 105 Ave.), Fleetwood Community Centre (15996 84 Ave.), Princess Margaret Secondary School (12870 72 Ave.), Cloverdale Recreation Centre (6188 176 St.), and Semiahmoo Secondary School, at 1785 148 St.

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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