Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)

Patton, Nagra, Guerra named directors of homelessness and housing society in closed meeting

The 11-member board was dissolved in June, also in a meeting that was closed to the public

Three Safe Surrey Coalition councillors were appointed as the directors of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society in a closed council meeting on June 29. This was after Mayor Doug McCallum decided to not elect a new board, during a meeting that was in-camera, or closed to the public.

Councillor Brenda Locke, who had been chairwoman of the 11-member board when it was dissolved, said at the time that the decision not to elect a new board to the society, which had been helping people since 2001, should have been discussed in open council.

READ ALSO: Surrey disbands homelessness society during closed meeting

READ ALSO: Surrey councillor wants ‘major’ accounting firm to review city’s land portfolio

The appointment of Councillors Laurie Guerra, Mandeep Nagra and Allison Patton as directors has since been posted to the city’s website.

homelessphoto

Guerra said Surrey’s mayor and council value the society’s accomplishments since 2007, and “the contributions of its committed volunteer directors over the years to build the organization that has funded so many valuable projects and programs in Surrey.

“We now wish to look at different governance options for SHHS to ensure the best possible delivery of funds and services to the community in Surrey,” Guerra told the Now-Leader. “Mayor and council are committed to continuing the legacy of good work carried out by SHHS over the years and at this time all we have changed is the directors.”

But Locke said she’s disappointed council “did not appreciate” the work that the volunteer board had done.

“They worked hard to ensure that there was equity in how the grants were provided,” Locke said. “There is just about $11 million in that fund that I think we’re going to have to ensure that it goes to where it’s meant to go.”

Vancity Foundation controls the money, she noted.

“It was directed by the society but it’s held by Vancity. So they have their work to do just to try and figure out what money goes where and how much was actually the city’s money initially that went into it because of course since that time there has been money raised by the society from people in the public, from corporations, there’s been lots of money raised by various entities.”

Locke said she doesn’t know why the board was disbanded as “it was never fairly explained to either myself or to our directors. I know that the mayor wants the money controlled in house, similar to what he did with SCDC.

“He said to me at the time he wanted it similar to the Green City Fund, that’s what he said. Well, that’s a big concern to me because we’ve just seen in this last round of discussions that some of the Green City Fund money is going into covering the losses for COVID, so that’s a concern to me,” she said last week. “This money was raised very specifically to support housing and housing initiatives in Surrey.”

McCallum said Monday the city won’t be”dipping” into that fund to cover pandemic-related losses.

Nagra told the Now-Leader he needed to get “more details” before commenting on the society’s next course of action. Former Surrey mayor Bob Bose remarked that Locke was probably ejected from the board because it’s “open warfare” on city council. “To dismiss the entire board and then appoint three members of council to it, I argue, is not supported,” Bose said.

City of Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Items collected from last year’s Ocean Park Food Drive. (Contributed file photo)
Ocean Park Food Drive expands, open to residents south of 32 Avenue

Homeowners south of 32 Avenue and west of 160 Street encouraged to put donations on doorstep

(Black Press Media files)
‘Potentially damaging’ winds expected in Metro Vancouver

Wind is expected to pick up late Sunday night

Bella Coola RCMP are alerting residents that the road between 4 Mile subdivision and downtown will be closed until at least tomorrow. (File image)
Missing man found safe, Surrey RCMP said

Riley Arnold- Higgenbottom was last seen at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 28 in the 18900-block of 69 A Avenue

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Kathy McIntyre

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Most Read