Jinny Sims, incumbent and NDP candidate for Surrey-Panorama, fighting to keep her seat. (Submitted photo)

BC Election 2020

SURREY-PANORAMA: NDP’s Jinny Sims has been re-elected

Surrey-Panorama has been a riding of musical chairs, where MLAs are concerned

Jinny Sims has been re-elected in Surrey-Panorama, defeating Liberal rival Gulzar Cheema.

“It’s been a tough campaign because of the COVID rules, but we worked hard and I really want to take this opportunity to thank all of my volunteers,” she told the Now-Leader. “Everybody is still anxious about the mail-in ballots, right? It’s a huge number to be out there. I know for my riding alone that there were a couple thousand sent out.”

Due to the pandemic, more Surrey residents have decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6. In Surrey-Panorama, 8,130 ballots were issued to the riding’s 43,314 registered voters. That’s about 19 per cent of eligible voters receiving vote-by-mail packages.

Prior to 2017, Sims served as NDP MP for Newton-North Delta from 2011 to 2015 and before that was president of the BC Teachers Federation from 2004 to 2007.

Cheema, a medical doctor, is also no stranger to the provincial political theatre, having served as the Liberal MLA for Surrey-Panorama Ridge from 2001 to 2004. That was a provincial electoral district from 2001 to 2009, until it was replaced by Surrey-Panorama.

Surrey-Panorama has been a riding of musical chairs, where MLAs are concerned. It is a relatively new riding. Liberal Stephanie Cadieux was its first MLA, elected in 2009, before she moved on to Surrey-Cloverdale. She’s presently seeking office again in Surrey South, where she is the incumbent.

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Dr. Gulzar Cheema, Liberal candidate for Surrey-Panorama, got some election campaigning help from former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts. (Submitted photo)

Jagrup Brar, today the NDP incumbent and MLA candidate for Surrey-Fleetwood, had been elected NDP MLA for the riding’s predecessor, Surrey-Panorama Ridge, during a byelection in 2004, and served as its MLA until 2009 when he became Surrey-Fleetwood’s first MLA with 49.29 per cent of the vote. Liberal Peter Fassbender defeated him in 2013 in that riding, where the two are engaged in a re-match this election.

Liberal Marvin Hunt, who was also MLA in Surrey-Panorama, is the Liberal incumbent in Surrey-Cloverdale in this provincial election, where he is seeking re-election.

Surrey-Panorama’s population, according to available figures, is 60,128. It covers an area of 24 square kilometres and the average age of people living in this riding is 35 years old. All told, for 53.95 per cent of all residents, English is their second language.

Candidates:

We asked each candidate a simple question. “Why are you the best candidate in your riding?” We asked them to keep their pitch to 150 words. For those candidates who did not respond, we made every effort to tell you a little something about them or at the very least, send you in the right direction to learn about them.

Gulzar Cheema

Liberal

Surrey-Panorama is where I live with my family but also have been operating my medical practice for over twenty-five years.

During my previous tenure as a Surrey MLA for the same riding, I was appointed the first Minister of State for Mental Health in British Columbia. It was a portfolio I cherished and worked on passionately because of my experiences as a health care professional. I witnessed the destruction of individuals and families as a result of untreated mental health issues.

We need an experienced and credible voice that understands these issues and concerns to represent us in Victoria and that is why I have decided to put forward my name again to represent the good people of Surrey-Panorama.

COVID is also a big reason as to why I am running as health is at the forefront of the issues and problems of British Columbia.

My goal is to work together to make Surrey-Panorama a great place to live and work for families. We need to bring back hospitals, infrastructure and the support that small business need back to Surrey. The riding is a diverse growing community that needs a representative that makes sure it gets its critical needs and wants from the government in Victoria.

On October 24th, I humbly seek your support to once again be your strong voice in Victoria for Surrey- Panorama.

Sophie Shrestha

B.C. Vision

We did not receive a response or photo.

Jinny Sims

NDP

I’m so proud to call Surrey-Panorama home – I’m a mother, grandmother, and long-time resident, and as your MLA I’ve been working hard for this community every day.

The BC NDP has delivered results for Surrey – we’ve eliminated tolls on the Port Mann bridge, are investing in our schools, brought in a speculation tax that’s opened up thousands of empty homes, and are building a new state-of-the-art hospital. We’ve accomplished a lot together, but there’s much more work to do.

The BC Liberals put their wealthy donors ahead of the people of Surrey for years – just look at how they sold off land that should have been a hospital. Now Andrew Wilkinson wants to cut taxes for the rich and make you pay for them.

Together we can get through this pandemic – I’m with John Horgan and we’re fighting for a recovery that works for all of us.



edit@surreynowleader.com

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