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Green party leader visits Surrey

Green Party leader Jane Sterk (standing) speaks to about a dozen people at a public information session at the home of party chair Murray Weisenberger Sunday afternoon.

B.C. Green party leader Jane Sterk had a busy couple days in South Surrey this past weekend, where she attended a meeting of the organization’s governing body and hosted a public information session.

Both events were held at party chair Murray Weisenberger’s Crescent Road home.

While the party’s provincial council meeting on Saturday and Sunday was for members, the two-hour open house Jan. 30 was intended to reach out to residents of Surrey, White Rock, Langley and Delta. About 12 people turned out, with five remaining afterwards to form an organizing team for Surrey.

“We got a group of people that met after the formal part of the meeting was over to start planning for what they can be doing in Surrey to make people know that the Green party is a relevant and important option for them in Surrey ridings,” Sterk told Peace Arch News Monday.

Attendants – some who were party members and others who joined at the meeting – offered useful advice during the session’s question-and-answer period, Sterk said.

“We had some people who had some really constructive suggestions relating to collaborating with other organizations, which was also really helpful,” she said, noting CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons) was one example given.

“It might be good for us to get more Greens joining these organizations so that we create the reputation of people who are involved in things that matter.”

Sterk said she spoke of ways the Green party can improve Surrey – such as creating businesses that allow the city to be more self-sufficient and environmentally friendly – but didn’t address specific proposals or actions of the Liberals or NDP.

“We believe the things that we propose would make the Surrey area much better than the decisions that are being made. That’s an indirect criticism of the other two parties.”

Transit was also discussed at Sunday’s meeting, as was the need to involve residents in the transportation-planning process.

“It’s local people solving local problems. You find ways to involve those people that actually do want to get involved,” Sterk said.

“Out of that guided discussion, you’d probably come up with a better solution than is currently being tried.”

Sterk said the party wasn’t able to advertise the session as much as it wanted due to the holidays, and more planning in the future could result in a larger turnout.

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