EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the sixth in a series on Surrey’s eight newly elected city councillors.
There’s busy, and then there’s Linda Annis busy. Where does she find the time?
Besides recently being elected to Surrey council with 33,085 votes, the lone Surrey First council member and Morgan Creek resident has served as executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, chairwoman of the board for the Zajac Ranch for Children, vice-chairwoman of the board for Osteoporosis Canada, a director of Semiahmoo House, director at the BC Sports Hall of Fame, a director of the Provincial Capital Commission, a member of the Surrey Board of Trade’s crime and justice committee and as a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade’s community safety committee. She’s a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for volunteering.
If that’s not enough for you, Annis also volunteers at Peace Arch Hospital and with the Nature Trust of BC.
She is also the sole member of Surrey First, at a table with eight Safe Surrey Coalition council members.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Dianne Watts, and Linda Hepner and Tom (Gill) and the team, and it just felt like the right fit for me,” she said, explaining why she ran with Surrey First.
“I very much like the diversity of the team both in the fact that they basically represent all walks of life and from almost every area of Surrey as well.”
Annis is outnumbered on city council. But is she feeling it?
“No, I really wish that more of my peers were there with me, because we really were such a tight team, but do I feel isolated or alone in any way being Surrey First? No. The other council-elect and mayor-elect have really reached out to me to really make me feel welcome and I think really, at the end of the day, everybody that ran for council or for mayor did it for the right reason — they want to make Surrey a better place to live and I think we all share that common thread so I think, no, I think now it’s time to get to work and I think they’ll be very accepting of me.
“I think they’ve gone out of their way to try to make me feel welcome,” Annis said of her fellow council members.
While this series seeks to explore some more personal aspects of the new councillors, Annis declined to reveal her age.
“I do mind you asking that,” she told the Now-Leader.
She said she wants to keep her personal information private.
“The reason why I’m asking that is I run the Crime Stoppers program,” she said. “It’s not that I don’t want to share it with you, it’s just that I need to keep a little bit of privacy.”
She has been the executive director of Crime Stoppers since 2004. Will she take a leave of absence from that position now that she’s on council?
“No absolutely I love the job that I’m able to do at Crime Stoppers,” she replied. “I’m going to think the two fit together very nicely because part of what I’m bringing to the table with coming to council is my knowledge of public safety.
“I am a busy person and thrive on being busy, so it’s a good thing,” she added.
“My real passion is about making people that live in Surrey feel safe in their community. I think there’s been a perception for a long while that Surrey has a lot of gang and a lot of criminal activity. Certainly we do have our share of gang activity, but it’s not just a Surrey problem, it’s a Lower Mainland problem, it’s a B.C. problem and I really want to be able to work with youth and get some early intervention for them so that we can reduce gang activity, not just in Surrey but in the Lower Mainland.”