Voter turnout for advance polls, such as this one at Elks Hall in White Rock, increased from the last federal election. (File photo)

Voters’ priorities vary at South Surrey-White Rock polling station

Housing, affordability, environment were reoccurring themes

Voter turnout was slow-but-steady at the White Rock Seventh-Day Adventist Church Monday morning– one of several voting stations throughout the South Surrey-White Rock riding.

Residents casting their vote at the church on the final – rainy – day of the 2019 federal election didn’t have to deal with a lineup, however an organizer told Peace Arch News the poll station was “very busy” during advance polls.

In fact, across the country, advance poll turnout jumped by 29 per cent since the 2015 election. An estimated 4.7 million Canadians cast their ballots instead of leaving it until the final day.

Spotlight on B.C.: 12 races to watch on Election Day

In the final hours of the election, PAN spoke to a number of people who were en-route to cast their ballot, and all seemed to have made up their mind as to who deserves their vote.

Half a dozen voters were asked what the most important issue is to them this election. Cost of living, housing affordability, environment and the economy were the reoccurring issues.

“Affordability, health, trust,” Gael Howard said of her top three issues, adding “I think I’m going Green.”

Larry Ecklund said it was his first time voting in B.C. Ecklund, who moved here from Ontario, learned that he was at the wrong voting station, but expressed no concern about driving to his proper poll.

“Honesty of the new leader,” is what Ecklund described as his most important issue, adding that he would be voting Conservative.

“Bring down the debt,” said another voter, who did not provide her name.

Housing-related issues were most important for Tony Caines. Caines said he grew up in Edmonton and purchasing a home wasn’t as nearly as challenging – in terms of affordability and availability – as it is today. He expressed concern for his son, who rents a 700-square-foot apartment.

Caines said he will be voting Conservative.

RELATED: South Surrey-White Rock candidates have their say

Rita Backus, who voted at a different station but was waiting for the bus near the Adventist church, said she has traditionally been an NDP supporter, but voted differently this time around.

The environment was Backus’ biggest concern, which is why she voted Green. A factor, she said, was the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline by the Trudeau Liberal government.

Carole McCarthy and her friend, who did not provide her name, said housing affordability is the single-biggest issue for both of them. Both women, each retired and living on a fixed income, are renters.

McCarthy said her rent goes up every year, which is allowed and controlled by law.

“If it gets any more than what my rent is right now, I’ll have to go back to Ontario and be with my family. Live together,” McCarthy said.

Her friend said she’s in the same position.

McCarthy didn’t say who she was going to vote for, but did offer a clue.

“I can’t say yet. I’m choosing someone who has been here long-term and has lots of experience,” McCarthy said, adding that her candidate also takes housing affordability seriously.

Candidates for the South Surrey-White Rock riding include Beverly ‘Pixie’ Hobby (Green); Stephen Crozier (NDP); Joel Poulin (PPC); Kerry-Lynne Findlay (Conservative) and Gordie Hogg (Liberal).

RELATED: Polls now open in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls opened at 7 a.m. this morning and will close at 7 p.m. Voters are required to bring a piece of photo identification and their voting card. If a voter did not receive their voting card, they can still go to the poll to register.

Voting poll locations can be found on the elections.ca website.

Just Posted

Call for better security follows fuel thefts at South Surrey Park & Ride

White Rock man says someone used a drill to drain his fuel tank Wednesday

‘Stuff the Sleigh’ event aims to collect 5,000 Christmas toys for Surrey children

The Surrey Central Lions Club event will support the Surrey Christmas Bureau

Surrey kidnapping suspect still at large

Meaz Nour-Eldin is wanted in a 15-month-old Surrey kidnapping and assault case

Surrey RCMP seeking help to find man missing since Nov. 7

Hyung ‘John’ Lee was last seen in the 13300-block of Old Yale Road

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Paul Bissonnette joins Vancouver Warriors after tweeting he could walk on to an NLL club

Bissonnette will join the Warriors for their final week of training camp at Rogers Arena

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Body found after SUV found fully engulfed in flames in Abbotsford field

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team have been called in

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

Most Read

l -->