Right now, at polling stations across the Semiahmoo Peninsula, residents in two ridings – South Surrey-White Rock and Surrey South – are voting to determine who will represent them in Victoria – that is, those who aren’t among the more than one million British Columbians who this year opted to cast their ballot by mail or vote in the advance polls.
And while election winners likely won’t be known by end of day today, due to thousands of mail-in votes that have yet to be counted, what has become clear is that there’s no shortage of issues that local voters say are important to them.
We asked readers on the Peace Arch News Facebook page, what those issues were. Here are some of their answers:
• “1. Lack of infrastructure like schools to match the approval for residential development. 2. The BNSF rail line along the water front still transporting coal. Relocate the train tracks already. 3. Lack of environmental protection due to rezoning for industrial, agricultural and residential development.” – Ricky Hurley
• “First issue is property crime. The number of thefts from vehicles and homes is outrageous. Secondly the increasing number of homeless that seem to be falling between the cracks. There are far too few community resources to effectively help. Third, all levels of government have failed to acknowledge an entire group of residents. Seniors who are independent, healthy and just trying to get by. It’s like we don’t even exist.” – Lee Williams
• “Affordable car insurance.” – Gina Bean
“Privatization of ICBC. Ridiculous insurance rates. We are less than half the population of Ontario with twice as many employees. Quebec’s average rate is way lower than ours according to my brother. The Massey bridge with all the preliminary work completed and ready is a no brainer… free flu shots is another good idea in this pandemic environment.” – Clint Delwo
• “Honest politicians!” – Gaston Essiambre
• “An overpass over the 99 freeway from Morgan Crossing south to 160th… the congestion in and out of this commercial area is ridiculous and getting worse. The only routes now are 24th to KG Boulevard and 24th to 168th or 176th.” – Alan Houghland
• “Overdose crisis and homelessness… COVID… housing… senior housing.” – Claudia Cox
• “Affordable housing.” – Mathew Dadpour
• “Find a way to get the trains OFF the waterfront along the entire Semiahmoo Peninsula; there is already another route, and there are BC Hydro tracks still on the ground, rusting and unused. There are other utility corridors that can do more than one job, like a buried pipeline right-of-way, the power tower corridors, and the many divided highway routes. The diversion along the water’s edge on the entire peninsula requires a long meander, very slow speeds. It also cuts off Crescent Beach (for) several minutes at a time more than a few times a day.” – Marilyn Stirn McIntosh
• “What about a rapid transit link to South Surrey/White Rock and get that bridge or new (expanded) tunnel built!” – Tony Weinberger
• “We’re in a pandemic, so obviously the contagion is the number one priority. Covid has affected our lives in all aspects – physical health, mental health, finances, social and so on. How our MLA and government handles this crisis in the only important thing.” – Stephen Klaver
Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians have decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6., when those mail-in ballots are counted. An estimated 11,206 number of mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within the Surrey-White Rock riding. There are 44,326 registered voters in the region.
Additionally, an estimated 12,703 number of mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within the Surrey South riding. There are 52,202 registered voters in the region.
There are roughly 3.5 million registered voters in the province.
For more coverage of the election after the polls close at 8 p.m., check peacearchnews.com later tonight.