EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fifth in a series on Surrey’s eight newly elected city councillors.
Safe Surrey Coalition’s platform is the medicine Surrey residents need, says Allison Patton, a naturopathic doctor and new city councillor.
Patton, 44, was fifth from the top of Surrey city councillors to be elected on Oct. 20, with 33,116 votes.
A naturopath for 17 years, she practices in South Surrey out of the Mountainview Wellness Centre, with her husband Dr. Caleb Ng and other physicians. The couple has a 13-year-old daughter.
Patton lives in White Rock but has also lived in Cloverdale and Crescent Beach.
She holds a masters degree in business administration from Royal Roads University and was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal for the most outstanding thesis at the university. She said newly elected Mayor Doug McCallum had asked her to run with his Safe Surrey Coalition in the 2014 civic election, but she declined.
“I have been invited in the past to run with Doug, in his last election. At that time it wasn’t quite the right time. This was a better time.”
Asked why she took the leap this time round, she said her decision was informed by listening to her patients.
“I love people,” she says, explaining why she sought a seat on council. “Listening to my patients I saw the challenges they are facing, the stresses they are under. The stresses weren’t coming from in their body, it was coming from the environment and so when I saw what Doug’s coalition platform was, I thought that those were high-level concepts that could provide a reduction in stress for the citizens.
“I’m just talking just about on life’s road, you know, transportation, development, all those issues that agitate the people and cause them stress and get them sick, and then they end up at my office.
“If we could make a more strategic solution, then they wouldn’t even get to my office. So I was inspired by that.”
Patton says she’s excited to be part of the new council, which is dominated by her group.
“We truly are a coalition, I think it is quite unique,” she said.
“Definitely not carbon copies, let’s put it that way.”
She and her council colleagues were sworn in on Monday and right after that got down to the business of voting unanimously to cancel the previous council’s light rail transit plans in favour of extending SkyTrain from Whalley to Langley. They also voted to replace the RCMP with a city police force.
While she’s new to city council, Patton is not new to politics.
She served as president of the Surrey-White Rock BC Conservative constituency association for a few years and in 2012 led a group of dissidents on a revolt against then party leader John Cummins, calling on him to resign.
The party’s infighting resulted in Patton and two other dissidents being expelled from the B.C. Conservative Party. The three then filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court, claiming they’d been booted out without proper disciplinary hearings being held first, according to the party’s bylaws.