One of the civic parties that intends to challenge the reigning Surrey First party has announced its slate of candidates for the upcoming civic election, which doesn’t include a mayoral candidate.
Surrey Community Alliance (SCA) has revealed its five city council candidates, and lone school board candidate.
The council hopefuls include SCA President and longtime community activist Doug Elford, realtor and past president of the White Rock Muslim Association Asad Syed, realtor Saira Aujla, arts and technology professional Bernie Sheppard, as well as counsellor and radio host Imtiaz Popat.
Longtime teacher and education advocate Niovi Patsicakis is the party’s school trustee candidate.
“A Surrey resident for 32 years, (Elford) has been volunteering for many years working for children in the sports community,” notes a submitted bio. “He is a spokesperson for the Newton Community Association focusing on public safety issues and crime while working to improve the livability of the neighborhood.”
Elford is a Vancouver environmental protection officer for the City of Vancouver who “feels that there is a need for change on city council.”
“Many people of Surrey feel they are being neglected and ignored,” said Elford in a release. “When elected he will work to prioritize the concerns of our communities and neighborhoods. We need to bring to bring city hall back to the people of Surrey.”
A release notes Syed has lived in Surrey for 24 years with his wife and three children.
“When elected, he hopes to bring affordable Surrey back to citizens and shelter to those most in need,” the release states.
“He is a community activist and advocate for interfaith harmony,” it adds. “He served on the government relation committee for the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, as well as the Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) Syrian Refugee Sponsorship and settlement program.”
Syed also volunteers for several charities and not for profit organizations.
Aujla has lived in the city for three decades, and has been a realtor for 25.
“By interest she is a community spokesperson,” a release notes. “Her language skills in Cantonese, English , Punjabi and Hindi truly assist her in connecting with people and understandings their needs.”
She is running “because she believes our voice need to be heard and changes need to be made.”
Sheppard, another longtime resident, has “worked in arts and technology all his professional life from small printing companies to one of Canada’s premier space and satellite companies,” according to his bio.
“He has a love for the outdoors and has volunteered for local causes for many years. He brings a passion for progress, community and technology to the table.”
Sheppard studied computing systems at BCIT, electronics and electrical systems at Gloscat, and earth sciences at University of Bristol.
Popat has lived in the city for three decades and is described as an “equal rights advocate” as well as a “community TV and radio host.
“He is currently the development officer for the One Love West Coast Festival,” according to a submitted bio. “He is involved in several community charities and non-profit organizations. He has an affinity for poetry and writing.”
Finally, school trustee hopeful Patsicakis holds a Masters degree in Education from McGill University.
“She served as president of the Association of Special Educators, as a union representative, and holds several affiliations with different advocacy organizations,” her bio states.
She is also on the board of Surrey Hospice Society, the Surrey Global Peace Alliance and Canadian Peace Initiative.
Surrey residents head to the polls on Oct. 20.