Imtiaz Popat has announced his mayoral candidacy. (Submitted photo)

Imtiaz Popat to run for Surrey mayor, calls for interurban over light rail or SkyTrain

Popat was previously a council candidate with the now defunct Surrey Community Alliance slate

Imtiaz Popat has announced that he is running for Surrey mayor in the upcoming Oct. 20 election.

In a release, Popat said he’s running to “give the people of Surrey a better choice.”

“There is no one running for mayor I can support,” said Popat, who was originally nominated to run for city council with now defunct Surrey Community Alliance. “People are telling me that none of the candidates for mayor are a credible choice.”

Popat said he does not support LRT or Skytrain, but rather the “reactivation of the interurban community rail.”

According to Popat, the interurban was planned as a community rail service south of the Fraser that would run from Scott Road station through Newton, Cloverdale, Langley, Abbotsford all the way to Chilliwack at a “fraction of the cost of the proposed LRT or Skytrain.”

“The new high-tech trams would be hydrogen powered and would be even cheaper that buses,” Popat said in a release. “The tracks are intact and have been preserved for commuter rail service. Both LRT and Skytrain will damage the fragile ecology of the Green Timbers Urban Forest. We don’t need another ecocide after what the outgoing council did with Hawthorne Park. They must be held accountable for what they did.”

Popat said the City of Surrey shouldn’t be pitching in money for the LRT project, that rather, that money should be spend on social housing. In June, the city decided to contribute roughly $24.5 million to the first phase of the project, described as a “modest sum.”

See also: Surrey to contribute $24M to LRT costs

“Both the LRT and Skytrain projects will displace a lot of low income housing,” said Popat. “Where are these people going to go?”

Meanwhile, Popat said he supports a Surrey police force, something proposed by the Surrey Community Alliance.

“I don’t however think we need to increase the number of officers as other parties have proposed, nor do I think we need a referendum that Tom Gill has proposed,” he said. “What we need is a police force that is accountable to community and works with community. We need better sensitivity training so that diverse population trust our police force.”

Imtiaz Popat, has lived in Surrey for over 30 years.

His biography says he is counsellor, and a community TV and radio host.

He is currently the development officer for the One Love West Coast Festival being held in Surrey in September and a program assistant at the Phoenix Drug & Alcohol Recovery & Education Society.

“He is a long-time equal rights and social justice activist,” a release notes. “He founded the Coalition Against Bigotry – Pacific to challenge the rise of bigotry in the pacific coast.”

Popat says his understanding as a counsellor will help him “understand critical issues facing diverse communities such as mental health, addiction as well issues around gang violence in order to advocate for more inclusive programs and service that are offered by the city.”

Other mayoral candidates in the upcoming Oct. 20 election in Surrey are Surrey First’s Tom Gill, Integrity Now’s Bruce Hayne, former mayor Doug McCallum with his Safe Surrey Coalition, Rajesh Jayaprakash with People First Surrey, and Proudly Surrey’s Pauline Greaves.

Click here to see a full list of candidates.

Click here to read more election stories.

Other election news:

See also: VIDEO: Surrey First announces full slate of candidates

See also: Mayoral candidate Pauline Greaves joins Proudly Surrey slate

See also: Parshotam Goel joins Proudly Surrey slate

See also: Steven Pettigrew and Jack Hundial join McCallum’s Safe Surrey slate

See also: Proudly Surrey announces fourth school board candidate

See also: People First Surrey announces mayoral candidate, third council hopeful

See also: Brenda Locke, Mandeep Nagra join McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition

See also: BUCHOLTZ: Surrey First naysayer goes out with a bang

See also: Woods joins Hayne’s Integrity Now slate as Surrey council candidate

See also: Handgun ban issue fires up Surrey candidates

See also: Surrey Honeybee Centre founder to run for council with Integrity Now

See also: Councillor Dave Woods resigns from Surrey First

See also: New independent school board candidate in Surrey

See also: Dr. Allison Patton joins Safe Surrey Coalition slate

See also: Downtown Surrey BIA announces all-candidates meetings

See also: Retired teacher Julia Poole to run for Surrey school board

See also: Pauline Greaves joins mayoral race in Surrey

See also: Avi Dhaliwal joins Surrey Integrity Now as council candidate

See also: Proudly Surrey wants to build a Rita Johnston statue, rename the Pattullo to Bob Bose Bridge

See also: McCallum keeps ‘Safe Surrey Coalition’ name, announces new candidate

See also: Rina Gill joins Bruce Hayne’s ‘Surrey Integrity Now’ party

See also: Doug Elford resigns from his Surrey party to run with McCallum

See also: People First Surrey announces first two candidates

See also: Doug McCallum running for Surrey mayor

See also: Former Surrey First Councillor Bruce Hayne to run for mayor

See also: Tom Gill is Surrey First’s mayoral candidate

See also: Hayne splits from Surrey First: ‘It’s just not open and transparent the way I’d like it to be’

See also: Surrey First’s Mary Martin not seeking re-election this fall

See also: Surrey First Councillor Judy Villeneuve not seeking re-election this fall

See more: New civic slate Proudly Surrey aims to offer ‘sharp, strong, left-leaning’ candidates

See more: Proudly Surrey introduces two more candidates for Surrey council, schoolboard

See more: Surrey Community Alliance announces intention to challenge Surrey First in civic election

See more: Surrey Community Alliance unveils civic slate, but no mayoral candidate

See more: People First Surrey party reveals intention to run in upcoming civic election

See more: Five Surrey First councillors now reveal interest in mayor’s chair

See more: With Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner out, who is mulling a mayoral run?

See more: Hawthorne Park crusader to run for Surrey council

Just Posted

Road safety plan in the works for Surrey

Council to consider hosting ‘Vision Zero’ summit in new year

VIDEO: Hundreds of volunteers collect, wrap toys in Surrey at Sikh elementary school

Guru Nanak Free Kitchen, Sikh Academy partner together on annual toy drive

City of Surrey looks to reduce building permit wait times

Staff targeting a 10-week average processing time

Surrey considers 75% discount on senior rec passes, drop-in admission

Council to vote Monday on proposal to deeply discount rates for residents over 70

‘A promise is a promise’: Cloverdale lantern festival opens, two months late

After months of delays due to permit issues and uncooperative weather, Art of Lights finally opens

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Hundreds attend Hells Angels funeral in Maple Ridge

Body of Chad John Wilson found last month face-down under the Golden Ears Bridge.

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Gas prices to climb 11 cents overnight in Lower Mainland

Hike of 17 cents in less than 48 hours due to unexpected shutdown of Washington state pipeline

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

Most Read

l -->