Bob Mackin (with files from Jon Woodward)
Three Surrey city councillors in the Safe Surrey Coalition are standing behind Mayor Doug McCallum and Coun. Allison Patton, who are refusing to comment about the status of their personal relationship.
theBreaker.news originally asked Councillors Doug Elford, Laurie Guerra and Mandeep Nagra on May 4 if they continued to have confidence in Patton and the coalition’s leader McCallum. None replied until May 22.
“Yes, they do have my full confidence,” said Nagra by email. “I don’t think it appropriate for me to comment on their personal lives.”
“Yes, they absolutely do,” said Guerra. “The private lives of any of my colleagues are none of my business. If they choose to include me in them, I certainly wouldn’t be talking about it to the media.”
Said Elford: “I will not comment on the private affairs of any of my colleagues on my council.”
theBreaker.news was first to report May 6 about RCMP officers attending a call to Patton’s South Surrey naturopathic clinic, the Mountainview Wellness Centre, on the evening of April 30.
theBreaker.news confirmed that Patton’s other business partners, naturopathic doctors Caleb Ng and Galina Bogatch, were no longer employed at the clinic.
Ng is Patton’s husband. The couple has separated.
Ng has since opened a competing clinic, the West Coast Center for Regenerative Medicine, in the same complex as Mountainview, near Semiahmoo Shopping Centre.
A video provided by Bogatch to Postmedia shows both McCallum and Patton outside Mountainview on April 30. McCallum stood to Patton’s right as an RCMP officer mediated between them and Bogatch.
“We just signed a lease here,” McCallum said on the video.
Locksmith Brian Kerr told CTV News Vancouver reporter Jon Woodward that he was called by the landlord to change the locks at Mountainview on April 30. Kerr said McCallum and Patton watched while he did the job earlier in the day.
“I went back, the mayor was there and she introduced herself to me,” Kerr told Woodward. “I put the lock back in. I gave the keys to the mayor and he said, ‘Allison’s busy so I’ll give the keys to her’.”
Patton did not comment when Woodward went to Mountainview’s door on May 22.
Patton lived in White Rock when she was elected in 2018, but finally moved to Surrey last December after she bought a condominium in Rosemary Heights. Sources told theBreaker.news they have witnessed McCallum and Patton arriving and departing from the Rosemary Heights building. The mayor and councillor have also been spotted at a Crescent Beach house where McCallum has lived.
Oliver Lum, the spokesman for McCallum’s office, would neither confirm nor deny to theBreaker.news that McCallum and Patton are in a relationship: “The personal affairs of the Mayor is outside the scope of this office.”
The day after the RCMP visited Patton’s clinic, a man identical to McCallum “Zoom bombed” Patton while she was on a virtual town hall hosted by the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce. A door opened behind Patton and the man popped his head in the room. Patton wore a medical face shield, the man did not. Two days later, McCallum’s white Buick was photographed parked in front of Mountainview.
Former Surrey Mayor Bob Bose told theBreaker.news Podcast on May 3 that McCallum and Patton owe citizens of Surrey an explanation.
“Are they acting independently in terms of discharge of their public responsibilities or are their decisions compromised by relationship?” Bose asked. “As [Pierre] Trudeau said, the state has no business in the bedrooms of the community, but transparency is also imperative here.”
City council voted on April 20 for a new conflict of interest code. But it has yet to recruit an ethics commissioner.
“The ethics commissioner will enforce the new code of conduct for city council which does not encompass the private lives of councillors,” Guerra said.
Guerra, Elford, Nagra, Patton and McCallum hold the majority of votes on city council, which is proceeding with a plan to replace the RCMP with a new municipal police force next year. Councillors Jack Hundial, Brenda Locke and Steven Pettigrew defected from the Safe Surrey Coalition last year over McCallum’s leadership and lack of public consultation on the cop swap.
Solicitor General Mike Farnworth did not respond May 22 when theBreaker.news asked if he has confidence that Surrey, under McCallum’s leadership, can proceed with the policing transition.
In happier times, Patton, Ng and Bogatch were featured frequently in Metanoia, a Mountainview-published, glossy lifestyle and politics magazine loosely inspired by “O, The Oprah Magazine.” Metanoia was a vehicle to promote Patton’s political ambitions and achievements. She had previously been aligned with the BC Liberals and B.C. Conservatives.
Support theBreaker.news for as low as $2 a month on Patreon. Find out how. Click here.