NDP AGM mulls Watts decision to run for Conservatives

Party 'energized', candidate for Surrey White Rock riding still to be confirmed

The Surrey White Rock NDP Federal Riding Association hasn’t confirmed a candidate for the next election yet.

But riding president Peter Ferris said local members feel energized following last week’s annual general meeting, which drew some 50 people to Ocean Park Community Hall.

“It was a very good meeting,” he said. “There was lots of enthusiasm.”

Announcement of a candidate should be expected during the next two months, he added.

Ferris said concerns of members focused on local issues, including conversation about former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts’ decision  – announced in September – to run for the Conservatives in South Surrey-White Rock.

“There was some speculation on why someone of obvious political talent would want to be in a situation of being told what to say and when to say it,” he said.

Ferris said the local NDP campaign will emphasize “listening to people, rather than telling people how to vote and what they should be thinking.”

And he said he believes the NDP will have some traction, regardless of Watts, as a result of what he termed a “disappointing” track record of Conservative South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale MP Russ Hiebert, who announced last February he would not seek a fifth term.

“We need to have a government that is more inclusive of business, labour and First Nations, one that is less reliant on resource extraction and more on new technologies and green technologies to produce long-term, well-paying jobs,” Ferris said.