Surrey RCMP on scene of a shooting in the Clayton neighbourhood on Saturday (June 23). (Contributed photo)

Surrey RCMP on scene of a shooting in the Clayton neighbourhood on Saturday (June 23). (Contributed photo)

Public safety the number one issue ahead of Surrey civic election: poll

Online survey zeroes in on key issues and candidates ahead of municipal election in Surrey

Once again, public safety has emerged as a key issue for Surrey residents as a civic election looms this fall.

More than half (55 per cent) of Surrey residents say public safety is worse in this city than other Metro Vancouver municipalities, according to a Research Co. poll released July 2. It comes in the wake of yet more gun violence in the city, including the murders of two Surrey teenagers in early June and a Clayton nurse, father and hockey coach being shot dead on June 23.

“There are certainly issues where Surrey residents believe they are luckier than their neighbours in adjacent areas. But public safety is definitely not one of them,” said Mario Canseco, president of Research Co. that conducted the online survey of a representative sample of 401 Surrey adults from June 24 to 28.

Canseco noted the survey wasn’t commissioned and the company “did it on our own.”

More than half of survey respondents (56 per cent) said Surrey should have its own municipal police force, while 27 per cent disagreed.

See more: Surrey’s political hopefuls agree – change in RCMP policing model is needed

See also: ‘This is not who we are as a city’: Surrey’s top cop says in wake of gun violence

Many of those surveyed said they are unhappy with actions taken by the provincial government (49 per cent), the federal government (51 per cent) and the municipal government (53 per cent) to deal with crime in Surrey, and almost half (48 per cent) disagree with the notion that the legalization of marijuana will ultimately lead to lower crime rates in their city.

Crime was identified as the top issue facing the City of Surrey (with 45 per cent of respondents selecting it as the number one issue), but in Newton, that climbed to 58 per cent.

Housing was second on the list of municipal concerns (26 per cent), followed by transportation (10 per cent) and poverty (seven per cent).

More than a third of respondents (35 per cent) said they believe the influence of developers is worse in Surrey than in other areas of Metro Vancouver, while one-in-four (25 per cent) think Surrey is better on housing affordability.

The survey also delved into transporataion.

More than half of respondents (53 per cent) said the proposed Surrey–Newton– Guildford Light Rail Transit (LRT) project is a “great idea.”

Civic candidates in Surrey

More than half of survey respondents (52 per cent) said they would like to see Dianne Watts as the city’s mayor again, including 60 per cent of men and 74 per cent of South Surrey residents. Although, she has told the Now-Leader she’s not interested in running again.

Tom Gill, recently named as the Surrey First candidate for mayor, is seen as a good choice to lead the city by 15 per cent of residents, and a bad choice by 14 per cent, according to the survey results. The rating is similar for former interim BC Liberals leader and Langley East MLA minister Rich Coleman (20 per cent good, 19 per cent bad), who is considering a mayoral run in Surrey this fall.

Doug Elford of the Surrey Community Alliance was regarded as a good choice for mayor by 17 per cent of respondents, and 15 per cent felt the same way about former Surrey First councillor Bruce Hayne, who now sits as an independent after splitting from Surrey First last month.

See also: VIDEO: Rich Coleman won’t rule out running for Surrey mayor

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 Community Alliance unveils civic slate

According to the poll, more than a third of residents (36 per cent) have a “positive opinion of the governing Surrey First party,” while 21 per cent hold negative views.

Three opposition parties hold similar positivity ratings, according to the survey results (28 per cent for Surrey Community Alliance, 27 per cent for both Proudly Surrey and People First Surrey).

Just over 100,000 people cast a ballot in Surrey in the 2014 civic election, up from 70,253 in 2011. Out of 287,940 eligible Surrey voters, the city said 101,558 cast a ballot – a 35.3 per cent voter turnout. That is up from 2008 and 2011 elections, which saw a 24.1 per cent and 25 per cent turnout respectively.

Surrey voters head to the polls on Oct. 20, 2018.

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

See also: Proudly Surrey reveals two more civic candidates for fall election

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

Just Posted

South Surrey’s Kevin McAlpin is hoping to reunite this 50-year-old wedding ring with its rightful owner. (Contributed photo)
Owner of 50-year-old wedding band found near Peace Arch Park sought

Recovered ring ‘is important to somebody,’ says finder

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey council earmarks $1.8M in grants for community groups

Councillor Laurie Guerra says it’s ‘essential’ given damage done by pandemic

Screen shot from the SOS Children’s Village BC webpage for their “Big Hearts Open Doors” fundraising appeal. SOS is also currently running a Christmas gift-card drive to help at-risk youth this Christmas. (Image via sosbc.org)
SOS Children’s Village BC launches annual Christmas gift-card drive

SOS collecting gift cards and donations for Surrey’s at-risk youth

Surrey protesters wearing their blue “bubble” suits. (Submitted photo)
OUR VIEW: Shut down strange Surrey protest

Unfortunate neighbourhood under siege for 12 weeks and counting

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Cops converge in a Marshall Road parking lot on Thursday afternoon following a reported police incident. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Federal offender escapes, gets shot at and is taken back into custody in Abbotsford

Several branches of law enforcement find escapee a short distance from where he fled

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

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

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

Most Read