Councillor Steven Pettigrew (left) and Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (Now-Leader file photos)

Surrey council

Surrey mayor removes Councillor Pettigrew from Metro Vancouver board

Pettigrew said it was a surprise; McCallum didn’t provide a reason

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition have stripped Councillor Steven Pettigrew of his role on the board of directors for Metro Vancouver, instead appointing a member of their team.

The mayor did not say why.

“I must express disappointment that I will not be able to serve the people of the region in this capacity,” Pettigrew said in chambers, in response to the decision.

“I feel I’ve done a good job, I’ve worked really hard the last number of months and developed some very strong relationships with my environmental focus. I feel I bring a really strong presence. I will respect it, I disagree with your decision. I will not be there in an official capacity but I will continue to go to Metro, and be there as an observer, and I will continue to build relationships to do what I can to further the environment cause and to bring awareness to climate change and the climate emergency.”

Pettigrew – who is well-known for leading the fight that tried to stop the former city council from allowing trees to be felled in Hawthorne Park in order to build a road – was currently serving as a director on the board and on both the climate action and regional parks committees.

“He’s pulled me from all those,” said Pettigrew, who was appointed to the positions by the mayor after council was sworn in last November.

READ MORE: Councillor Steven Pettigrew parts ways with Safe Surrey Coalition

The mayor made the announcement at the first meeting of Surrey council after its summer recess, and his Safe Surrey councillors approved the decision.

Instead, McCallum appointed his Councillor Allison Patton of the coalition. She had previously served as an alternate, and the mayor did not announce a new alternate.

Pettigrew – who split from the mayor’s Safe Surrey Coalition earlier this year – said he had no idea it was coming.

This was a “blind-sided approach,” Pettigrew told the Now-Leader.

Although the councillor said the mayor’s move was “not unexpected, because he’s done this sort of thing several times in the past.”

Pettigrew said any guess as to why the mayor removed him would be speculation.

“There’s all sorts of interesting things I could come up with, but I’m not going. I believe I do a good job. I did the best I could do.”

Pettigrew said he still intends to attend the meetings, as an observer, given his passion for the environment and climate action.

“We need to push this forward, make people aware, and we need to do this for our children, our grandchildren and our planet. It doesn’t matter whether people try to get me away, try to remove you or stop you, everybody needs to step up.”

During the meeting, Pettigrew asked the mayor for the rationale behind the decision.

McCallum replied by saying he was “not going to make any comments on it at this time.”

The mayor did not speak to media after the meeting.

Councillor Brenda Locke took to Twitter following the meeting, saying the decision is “indeed unfortunate.”

She described Pettgirew as a “principled person.”

“Because the Mayor gave no reason or warning for removing him from Metro Vancouver I can only assess it as mean spirited,” she wrote.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Surrey RCMP supporters make noise during rally outside city hall



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

‘Not the first time’ for driver clocked at excessive speed in South Surrey

Police say vehicle was doing 148 km/h in 80 km/h zone

COVID-19: Update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 2: Here’s the update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond for Thursday, July 2

Surrey School’s entrepreneurship program expands

‘YELL’ now offered at Queen Elizabeth, Semiahmoo

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Canada Day tractor incident kills three children, injures seven in Quebec

The tractor driver has been arrested following the accident

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Northbound lane of Coquihalla closed after vehicle incident near Hope

A northbound lane is closed just north of the Great Bear Snowshed, according to DriveBC

Most Read

l -->