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HomeBusinessDay 3: Mutiny by the pier, as South Surrey-White Rock BC Liberals question HQ candidate choice

Day 3: Mutiny by the pier, as South Surrey-White Rock BC Liberals question HQ candidate choice


Bob Mackin

The former constituency assistant to retired BC Liberal MLA Tracy Redies says she quit the party over the way it mishandled the search for a new South Surrey-White Rock candidate.

Debbie Ward (Twitter)

Debbie Ward told that she does not know who will get her vote in the Oct. 24 provincial election, after party headquarters chose Trevor Halford, instead of allowing members to vote.

Redies announced in late July that she was resigning effective Aug. 31 to become the new CEO of Science World.

Ward said there were as many as nine applicants for the nomination. Only Halford passed headquarters’ vetting by the time John Horgan called the snap election on Sept. 21. The party still had time to hold a nomination race, because Oct. 2 is the deadline for candidates to register with Elections BC to appear on ballots.

Ward supported former White Rock Coun. Megan Knight, but said party brass “slow walked and delayed” Knight’s application.

“If they can’t have a little, teeny-tiny election in a riding where they’ve had ample time, then how can they have a big election, how can they manage the province?” Ward said.

The Peace Arch News quoted Knight, who said the fix was in for Halford. 

“I would have loved to run under the Liberal banner, but now I’ve got a taste of how the big boys play,” Knight told the newspaper.

Other hopefuls included lawyer Mike Pearce and Gurminder Parihar, who ran for the BC Liberals in Surrey-Newton in 2017. Pearce wants his $500 deposit back.

Ward said this is why people “get so turned-off” politics.

Trevor Halford (Twitter)

“The people trying to make things happen that [they] don’t organically want to happen,” she said.

The diehard Liberal said she doesn’t need to be a member of a party to express herself. She has applied for a mail-in ballot. “I’ve got lots of time to think about it, I don’t know what I’ll do.”

Halford unsuccessfully ran for Surrey city council in the 2018 election for Surrey First. He was senior communications coordinator in Premier Christy Clark’s office in 2011 before joining TransCanada Pipelines as a lobbyist in 2012.

Halford was not immediately available for comment on Sept. 23.

The leaders

NDP’s John Horgan was in Surrey-Panorama at a tae-kwon-do studio with Jinny Sims. His Sept. 24 event will be in Maple Ridge with the area’s two MLAs, Lisa Beare and Bob D’EIth. That will be three swing cities in three days.

In Surrey, Horgan was asked about the contentious transition from the RCMP to the Surrey Police Department.

“It’s an issue that’s the responsibility of the local mayor and council, delivering public safety services are the responsibility of municipalities supported by the provincial government…. this is a divisive issue. Mayor McCallum opened up the hornet’s nest and Mayor McCallum is responsible for it.”

BC Liberal Andrew Wilkinson was in Victoria where he was asked about the campaign’s defining issue.

“To our surprise it’s turning into trust. We’ve seen John Horgan basically mislead the public about why we’re having this election, we’ve seen him double-cross his coalition partners the Greens, we’ve seen him break the law that he passed, we’ve seen him contradict the Lieutenant-Governor and his own health minister about how things are going in the legislature. Is he telling the truth?” 

Former Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May Tweeted this about BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau.

“Anyone else notice how Sonia Furstenau is Canada’s own Jacinda Ardern? She’s super-cool, scary-smart and fearless. And — yes, a woman crashing through glass ceilings.”

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